Wednesday, April 16th5.7°C

Marois wants feds to reach cheese deal before legislature adopts Canada-EU free trade

BRUSSELS - Premier Pauline Marois says the Quebec legislature will not endorse the Canada-Europe free-trade agreement until Ottawa explains how it will compensate the province's cheese producers.

Marois says she will present the accord in the national assembly only when that detail has been finalized.

The premier issued the warning in Brussels while on a tour of Europe.

She insisted her stand does not put the deal in danger.

Marois pointed out there is no published text and many details still need to be worked out.

She said she is not worried.

"I promised (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper that the accord would be presented to the national assembly once Ottawa had reached a deal with our cheese producers on compensation," she said Monday. "Until we get that deal, I will not table the accord and it will not be applicable."

Marois said after a meeting with Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for internal market and services, that she sees advantages in the free-trade deal but the cheese issue had "caused some problems."

Small producers of Quebec cheese fear they could lose $450 million a year because of the European competition.

The federal government has said it will offer compensation but neither the details nor the amount have been determined.

She said Quebec is preparing to "take the lead" in advance of the implementation of the deal in the next 18 to 24 months.

"Quebec wants to position itself as a strategic partner," she told a luncheon organized by the Canada-Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

The Quebec government has estimated the free-trade deal with Europe will bring the province $2.2 billion per year and create 16,000 jobs.

"Our goal is to increase our exports to Europe by 10 per cent in five years," said Marois. "There is no doubt in my mind that this new agreement will help achieve this goal."

And she said she has no doubt that an independent Quebec would continue to benefit from the deal.

"It is normal that we continue to implement the agreements that we have adopted in the legislature," Marois said, pointing out the Parti Quebecois has always supported free trade.

The Canadian Press

Read more Business News


Recent Trending

Today's Market
S&P TSX14446.52+142.60
S&P CDNX997.975.87
S&P 5001862.31+19.33
CDN Dollar0.9089+0.0012
Natural Gas4.556+0.026

Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.105-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.22-0.05
Anavex Life Sciences0.375-0.005
Metalex Ventures0.0750.00
Russel Metals30.55+0.28
Copper Mountain Mining2.42+0.10
Colorado Resources0.2650.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.12-0.01
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.23-0.02



186501210669 Cheryl Road
4 bedrooms 2 baths
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading

Valuation fears grip markets

The Big Picture Valuation fears grip markets Growing concerns about the level of stock market valuations sparked a risk-off trade in global markets this week. Investors are worried that many companies...

Quick and nimble

Photo: ContributedFor many businesses this has been a tremendously difficult time since the 2008 crisis. Business fell off. Sales techniques that always worked, well… stopped working. Customers...

Keeping a clear focus on the future

Many times when we are gripped by fear it can be one of two mental challenges that we can learn to overcome. Photo: ContributedThe Fear is completely imaginary. In this situation there may be no fact...




Member of BC Press Council