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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you, Chair; and thank you very much to all the witnesses for appearing here today.
Ms. MacEwen, I want to go back to some of your comments about consultation. Granted, we have heard that a number of organizations typically are not satisfied with the level of consultation, more than those that feel they were more included. However, as you say, that depends upon the political culture of the day and the whims of government. It's always nice when winds tend in the right direction, but it's not the same as a guarantee.
It's something that we, in the NDP, have tried to make part of this process of talking about trade. We're happy to get some commitments from the government on making at least their initial negotiating objectives public before entering into negotiation, and having to provide an economic impact assessment—which seems like an odd victory, because you'd think it was common sense. Certainly, in a lot of other jurisdictions with which we trade, it is part of their process. We have that coming now in Canada. It's a good first step.
Could you speak a bit more about the importance of civic engagement and what it means to have, as matter of policy or law, clear expectations about what type of information Canadians can expect to get from their government with respect to trade agreement negotiation, and the difference that can make?
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