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| 3/25/2010 12:00:00 AM

Bipartisan deal amends free-trade pact with Colombia

March 25--Rare instance of collaboration across party lines in a factious minority Parliament

The Harper government is allowing an unprecedented expansion of Parliament’s role in foreign relations, striking a deal with the Liberals that will amend the government’s free-trade legislation with Colombia.

The Conservative bill now has the votes to pass through Parliament, after Trade Minister Peter Van Loan told the House of Commons Wednesday that his government will accept an amendment calling on Colombia and Canada to jointly produce annual reports on the human-rights impact of the deal in both countries.

In a minority Parliament where government and opposition MPs are regularly at war, the amendment provides an unusual example of behind-the-scenes co-operation and negotiation. It also sets the stage for future battles over trade deals.

Read more here.
 
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