Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in Strasbourg, France, where he will mark the European Parliament’s passing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
Trudeau will give a speech Thursday morning to the European Parliament — the first time a sitting Canadian prime minister has addressed the legislature.
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After delivering his speech, Trudeau will travel to Berlin, where he will meet with German President Joachim Gauck. Trudeau will also visit the Reichstag and the German Holocaust Memorial.
The prime minister will have a working lunch with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before flying to Hamburg, where he will be the guest of honour at the St. Matthias Day dinner.
Celebrating free trade
On Wednesday the European Parliament approved CETA, with 58 per cent of members voting to adopt the deal.
The final vote saw most of the members representing Europe’s centrist parties voting in favour, with opposition from members representing left-leaning socialist and Green as well as right-wing, nationalist parties.
Of the 695 members present in the 751-seat legislature, 408 voted in favour, 254 against and 33 abstained.
The House of Commons passed C-30, Canada’s implementation legislation, at third reading Tuesday.
Both Liberals and Conservatives — who were in power when the deal was negotiated — supported the bill. The NDP, Bloc Québécois and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May voted against.
Once C-30 clears the Senate, federal laws and regulations will change to bring Canada into compliance.
Similar changes need to be made at the provincial and territorial level.
Once Canada finishes this, over 90 per cent of the agreement may come into force provisionally. A release from the EU suggested this could be the case as early as April 1.
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