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EU & Canada Free Trade Deal: Huh?

Was reading the less-than-stellar analysis of Globe Opinion writer Jeffrey Simpson the other day when I noticed this little gem:

France and Canada are on the same wavelength on issue after issue, including Afghanistan and trade (Canada and the European Union are entering serious talks about a free-trade agreement). They both opposed the invasion of Iraq.

Canada and EU free trade deal? I read a lot of news so I was wondering why I hadn't seen more of this before.

A quick google search found a couple of news pieces here, here and here about the issue, but this could potentially be major.

I'm no fan of free trade and think NAFTA should be abolished, but do believe in the benefits of fair trade as long as never-ending growth isn't part of the deal.

Canada's trade has been almost entirely dependent on the US since colonization. Would a free trade agreement with the EU mean less dependence? Would Canadian standards plummet on certain issues? What would the impacts on social justice, the tar sands, mining and other issues be?

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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