3d human with a red question mark

The officials have said that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (the “Canada-EU CETA”) will be provisionally implemented in the Spring of 2017.  We know from the Canada-EU CETA implementing provisions that the start date will be the first of a month.  April 1, 2017, May 1, 2017 and June 1, 2017 are all firsts of months in Spring.

April 1, 2017 is next week and the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade have not yet met to discuss Bill C-30 “An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures”. So, that means that April 1, 2017 is no longer likely.

We have heard that the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade will schedule to meet and hear testimony on Bill C-30 soon.  So far, no meetings on Bill C-30 have been posted by the Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  This Committee is meeting on March 29, 2017 on a different piece of legislation.  However, there will be an in camera discussion about future Committee business on March 29, 2017.

Assuming that the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade meets and calls witnesses to provide testimony and answer questions from senators concerning Bill C-30, the Report could be written in April 2017 and could be tabled for third reading in the Senate.  It is possible for Bill C-30 to pass third reading in April 2017.  It is possible that Bill C-30 will receive Royal Assent in Canada in April 2017.  It is possible that Canada will ratify the Canada-EU CETA in April 2017 – but is it likely?

Canada must pass regulations after Bill C-30 receives Royal Assent.  Many of Canada’s laws to implement CETA will be in changes to regulations and the issuance of new regulations.  Canada may not be ready in April to promulgate all the necessary regulations.  Rumour has it that Canada still needs some time to prepare the regulations and take other steps to be ready for provisional implementation.

For this reason, May 1, 2017 may not be the most likely provisional implementation date.  June 1, 2017 is the most likely date for provisional implementation of the Canada-EU CETA unless the Government of Canada is willing to miss an important date that was communicated to the public this week by the EU Trade Commissioner. Would Canada want to embarrass, Cecilia Malmström?  Canada will not wish to embarrass a key trade ally.

There are many other important questions to ask – hopefully this gets you started asking questions.  If you require any assistance, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or  There are many useful articles posted on the LexSage website.