Global Affairs Canada - Notice of intent to conduct impact assessments, including an initial environmental assessment and gender-based analysis plus, on a Canada-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Agreement
On November 24, 2021, the Government notified the House of Commons of its intent to initiate free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Government of Canada held broad public consultations from September 1 to October 16, 2018, to solicit the general views of Canadians on a Canada–ASEAN FTA. A summary of the feedback received was published on the Global Affairs website.
The government is furthermore seeking the views of Canadians on the potential impacts and opportunities of a Canada–ASEAN FTA with respect to the environment — including changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions — to inform an initial environmental assessment. The government will also examine gender and other diversity considerations through a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+).
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, Global Affairs Canada conducts environmental assessments (EAs) for all trade and investment negotiations using a process that requires interdepartmental coordination and public consultation. The objectives of the EA of a trade agreement are to
- Assess the environmental risks and opportunities of a potential trade agreement in Canada and beyond; and
- Assist Canadian negotiators to take into account environmental considerations during the negotiating process, with a view to mitigate risks and enhance benefits, and mainstream relevant environmental provisions across the agreement.
Canada is also committed to the promotion of inclusivity and gender equality in its FTAs, as underpinned by Canada's inclusive approach to trade and the Export Diversification Strategy. The government works to ensure that all trade initiatives are informed by a GBA+, which is an analytical process to examine the effects of initiatives on diverse groups of people in Canada, taking into account gender and other identity factors such as age, education, language, religion, culture, ethnicity, geography, income, sexual orientation, ability, etc.
Public consultations are an important part of the process, as they help to inform the initial impact assessments of Canada–ASEAN FTA negotiations, and are used to assist Canadian negotiators in the negotiating process. Once negotiations are concluded and prior to the ratification of the agreement, a final economic impact assessment, final EA and final GBA+ will be undertaken to assess the potential impacts of the negotiated outcome on the environment, labour, gender and inclusivity.
The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Indigenous peoples, industry stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and all interested Canadian citizens. Interested parties are invited to submit their views by April 26, 2022. Please be advised that any information received as a result of this consultation will be considered as public information, unless explicitly specified otherwise.
To help frame submissions, please consider the following questions:
- Do you see any potential environmental and gender- or inclusivity-related risks associated with a Canada–ASEAN FTA in Canada and beyond?
- Do you see any environmental and gender- or inclusivity-related opportunities that could result from a Canada–ASEAN FTA in Canada and beyond?
- What environmental and gender- or inclusivity-related considerations should Canadian negotiators take into account during the negotiating process, with a view to mitigate risks and enhance benefits?
Submissions should include the following information:
- The contributor's name and address and, if applicable, the name of the contributor's organization, institution or business;
- The specific questions being addressed and other related issues of concern; and
- Where possible, precise information on the rationale for the positions taken, including any significant impact it may have on Canada's domestic or international interests.
Contributions can be sent by email or mail to:
Trade Negotiations — Trade Agreements and CUSMA Secretariat (TCT)
Global Affairs Canada
111 Sussex Drive
Please read the privacy notice statement carefully prior to sending a written submission. When providing your personal opinion(s), we ask that you refrain from including the personal information of other individuals.
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