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Bill C-358

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First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-358
An Act to provide for fair, democratic and sustainable trade treaties
FIRST READING, June 9, 2017
Mr. Julian
421315


SUMMARY
This enactment requires the Government of Canada to obtain the approval of Parliament before expressing its consent to be bound by a trade treaty.
Available on the Parliament of Canada Web Site at the following address:
http://www.parl.gc.ca


1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-358
An Act to provide for fair, democratic and sustainable trade treaties
Preamble
Whereas the Government of Canada is committed to encouraging transparent, accountable, fair and ethical trade practices, as well as to protecting its ability to legislate in the public interest;
Whereas the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of economic fairness, democratic accountability and social justice when engaging in trade and negotiating trade treaties;
Whereas Canadians value trade treaties that support Canadian jobs and businesses, promote sustainable development, respect environmental laws and strengthen cooperation on environmental matters;
Whereas the Government of Canada recognizes the harm caused by exploitative labour practices and is committed to supporting safe working conditions and fair competition;
Whereas Canadians value international agreements that expand equal employment opportunities, promote prosperity and enhance quality of life in Canada;
And whereas the approval of trade treaties by the Parliament of Canada is considered necessary in order to promote, protect and ensure the highest stand­ards in relation to fair trade, human rights, the environment and labour;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Short Title
Short title
1This Act may be cited as the Fair, Democratic and Sustainable Trade Treaties Act.
Interpretation
Definitions
2The following definitions apply in this Act.
Minister means the Minister of Foreign Affairs. (mi­nistre)
trade treaty includes any agreement relating to international trade, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments, as well as any investment treaty between two or more countries. (traité commercial)
Purpose
Purpose
3The purpose of this Act is to create a transparent trade treaty assessment process that ensures that Canada adheres to principles of economic fairness and social justice and to internationally recognized human rights and labour standards, and that promotes sustainable development and trade in goods and services beneficial to local communities and the environment.
Trade Treaties
Consultation with provinces
4If the Government of Canada proposes to enter into a trade treaty that relates in whole or in part to matters that fall under the legislative authority of the legislatures of the provinces, it must consult the government of any province that would be affected by the treaty.
Approval of trade treaty
5(1)Before expressing its consent to be bound by a trade treaty, the Government of Canada must obtain
(a)the approval by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons; and
(b)the consent of any province where the treaty would allow a foreign investor to challenge the province’s legislation before an international tribunal without first going before Canadian courts.
Withdrawal provision
(2)The Government of Canada may express its consent to be bound by a trade treaty only if the treaty includes a provision allowing it to withdraw in full from the treaty’s obligations provided it gives no more than 12 months’ notice of its intention to do so to the other parties to the treaty.
Tabling in Parliament
6(1)The Minister must cause to be tabled in the Senate and the House of Commons any trade treaty into which the Government of Canada proposes to enter.
Supporting evidence and assessments
(2)The trade treaty must be accompanied by supporting evidence that describes the subject matter and assesses the impacts and scope of the treaty, including the following:
(a)a statement of Canada’s proposed obligations under the treaty, including any obligations related to labour, the environment and human rights, and of the measures the Government of Canada intends to take to ensure benefits to local communities and sustainable development and fair and sustainable trade under the treaty;
(b)an assessment of the treaty’s anticipated impacts on the parties involved, including an analysis of the economic, environmental and social impacts, such as labour market outcomes;
(c)any considerations addressed in the treaty relating to services, investments, procurement, intellectual property, trade remedies and safeguards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical assistance, taxation and national security exceptions;
(d)an assessment of the anticipated financial benefits and risks for Canada, including those arising from the treaty’s dispute resolution provisions;
(e)a determination of whether the proposed obligations under the treaty relate in whole or in part to matters that fall under the legislative authority of the legislatures of the provinces and of whether the treaty would allow a foreign investor to challenge the province’s legislation before an international tribunal without first going before Canadian courts;
(f)a record of the consent given by each province when required under this Act;
(g)a record of the consultations held with the government of any province and with any Aboriginal peoples affected by the treaty and with any other interested party, and of the process through which those consultations were held;
(h)the text of any reservation or interpretive declaration that the Government of Canada intends to make in respect of the treaty;
(i)a description of the provisions of the treaty relating to withdrawal, suspension of its effects by a party, enforcement mechanisms and dispute resolution, including any provision relating to the selection of judges, arbitrators or other adjudicators and to the transparency of proceedings in the resolution of disputes;
(j)any recommendations that would apply to the treaty made by an advisory committee established under section 6 of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to advise and assist the Minister with respect to trade treaties; and
(k)a summary of any legislation that will be required to fulfil Canada’s obligations under the treaty or to implement any of its provisions.
Independent Review
Review
7(1)The Minister must, within two years after any trade treaty is entered into and every two years after that, cause an independent review to be conducted or cause the Auditor General to conduct a review of Canada’s situation in relation to Canada’s sovereignty, the economy, jobs, trade balances, regulatory capacity, human rights, labour and environmental standards, the conduct of foreign investors in Canada and of Canadian investors in the other country or countries party to the treaty, and any other relevant subject matter following the implementation of the treaty.
Tabling of report
(2)The Minister must cause a report on the review to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the review is completed.‍  
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons

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