NAFTA progress doesn’t stop Freeland from heading to Europe on diplomatic trip

Chrystia Freeland said it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be travelling to Europe next week on a diplomatic mission that’s raising questions about whether Canada expects to return to the bargaining table soon for the three-country NAFTA talks.

Freeland said Friday it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world — even with signs of progress in the bilateral NAFTA negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Europe is a very important one that I’ve been looking forward to,” she said, adding she will be meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany and France, as well as addressing the annual meeting of Ukraine’s ambassadors to show Canada’s support for its sovereignty and opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Canada has key allies around the world given CETA, our trade agreement with the EU.”

There’s optimism that the U.S. and Mexico are close to sorting out their one-on-one sticking points, which would open the door for Canada to rejoin the negotiations.

Freeland was asked whether her European trip meant she didn’t expect a breakthrough next week in the NAFTA talks. She replied by saying Canada will return to the NAFTA table for trilateral talks once the American and Mexican governments resolve their bilateral issues — particularly their differences on automotive rules of origin.

“I do want to underscore that I’ve been hearing optimism from those countries about the progress they’re making and Canada is very sympathetic to the fact that these issues are very complicated,” she told reporters in Richmond, B.C.

“We want a good deal, not just any deal.”

Freeland didn’t directly say whether she would cut her European trip short if Canada is invited back to the table.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

West Kelowna water warning downgraded

City lowers boil water notice for Lakeview water system to a water quality advisory

Ancestral remains uncovered at Fintry to be reburied

Remains found along Shorts Creek in Fintry Provincial Park during flood remediation measures

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read