Third reading of Bill C-31, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and UkrainePublished on 18 May 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Percy Downe
Hon. Percy E. Downe:
Colleagues, I want to say a few words, and all the good words have been taken so I will be very short. All the significant points have been made.
Unlike other trade deals that have come before our committee, there wasn’t a dissenting voice on this one. People understood that not only was this a trade deal, it was a trade deal plus. This was a deal to support Ukraine; this was a deal to support Ukraine politically; this was a deal hopefully to support them through trade. Time will tell. We’re optimistic. As Senator Andreychuk has indicated, we have all kinds of Canadians interested in doing trade.
We have a large Canadian population of Ukrainian descent that hopefully will be particularly interested, but all Canadians will be interested in doing trade.
But it sends a message as well. The country is in difficult straits for a host of reasons. As some of you may know, Senator Andreychuk and I are barred from visiting Russia and I believe after this deal goes through that visa exemption will not be lifted for us either.
It is for those reasons that it’s not insignificant for Ukraine, that it sends a message, and I was particularly pleased that all the members of the committee understood that instinctively, that we were doing much more than a trade deal here. I thank Senator Baker and Senator Andreychuk for their leadership on this file.