Europe, Quebec & Canada’s Atlantic Advantage
The first known colonies settled by Europeans after the fall of the Roman Empire were in Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland.
Canada’s trade relied for centuries on staples traded across the Atlantic.
Today capital, expertise, ideas, investment, research, services, students, talent, trade and visitors flow back and forth between Canada and all our European partners on an unprecedented scale, influencing our societies on every level from our infrastructure and our technology to our public service priorities and tax systems.
For Newfoundland & Labrador, the Maritime Provinces and Quebec, the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) represents an opportunity of truly historic proportions. Canada never quite achieved tariff-free commerce with either France or the United Kingdom. Now we have it on the basis of a ground-breaking, modern trade deal with 500 million affluent Europeans – the largest single market in the world.
But it will take enormous effort to unlock the full potential of this partnership.
As Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Canada, I would:
(i) seek to double Canadian exports to Europe within five years;
(ii) significantly increase Canada’s footprint in Europe;
(iii) seek to multiply direct flights, shipping routes and connectivity with Europe;
(iv) launch a Canada-EU strategic dialogue on borders and migration;
(v) inaugurate a strategic partnership with the UK, offering continuing benefits of CETA; additional labour mobility; financial services partnership; and global cooperation on defence, development and rule of law issues;
(vi) enhance Canada’s Atlantic-facing port infrastructure;
(vii) develop comprehensive Canadian strategies for pursuing our national interest and strengthening global security in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas;
(viii) work with the governments of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to support their strategies for attracting European business and exporting expertise, goods and services to Europe – to derive full benefit from Canada’s Atlantic Advantage;
(ix) strengthen the competitive advantage of Atlantic Canada, including by eliminating tolls on the Confederation Bridge, drastically reducing fares on Cape Breton-Newfoundland ferries, and working with all provincial governments in Atlantic Canada to make their provinces more tax competitive with European and other North American jurisdictions; and
(x) work with Quebec to ensure its linguistic, regional and historic connections in France and across Europe result in deeper strategic linkages that drive prosperity, knowledge, partnership and cultural outreach.