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Senate passes updated Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement without support of Tories

OTTAWA — The Senate has passed a bill to implement Canada’s updated free trade agreement with Ukraine, paving the way for it to become law. 

It passed without the support of a single Conservative senator, which is in line with how Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre and the rest of his MPs voted in the House of Commons. 

Conservatives say they voted against the bill because the trade deal says the two countries, which both have a carbon price in place, will promote carbon pricing.

Longtime Manitoba MP James Bezan has said a future Conservative government would renegotiate the deal so it contains no reference to carbon pricing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly accused the Conservatives of abandoning Ukraine and following in the footsteps of some U.S. Republicans, who have tried blocking aid to Ukraine. 

Trade Minister Mary Ng has said the updated agreement is necessary to help Ukraine rebuild from the war it has been fighting since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024. 

The Canadian Press

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