The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that policymaking is based on sound evidence and reliable data. To make informed decisions, policymakers at all levels must integrate economic, social and environmental considerations into their analysis. The prospective assessment of impacts is an essential tool to help decision makers evaluate policy options in support of Canada’s sustainable and inclusive economic development.
In the context of trade negotiations, Canada’s expanded approach toward impact assessments consists of three complementary evaluations:
- an Economic Impact Assessment, which evaluates expected changes in Canada’s economy as a result of trade liberalization under a proposed free trade agreement (FTA). An important and recently introduced component of this analysis is the inclusion of a labour market module which provides a better understanding of potential economic impacts on Canadians, taking into account gender, age and the distribution of Canadian workers across different occupations;
- an Environmental Assessment, to identify environmental implications of trade agreements, assess the significance of these risks, and propose options to reduce environmental risks and enhance opportunities, in the context of the negotiations or through additional domestic measures. Environmental assessments are critical to understand environmental implications of trade and ensure that trade agreements play an active role in the achievement of clean and sustainable growth in Canada;
- a Gender-Based Analysis +, to assess the differentiated effects of trade agreements on men and women in Canada, with SMEs and Indigenous peoples as priority considerations, to identify opportunities for Canada to pursue new gender-responsive and inclusive trade provisions in its trade agreements, and to assess alignment with domestic flanking measures. GBA+ helps support Canada’s inclusive approach to trade, which seeks to ensure that the benefits and opportunities resulting from FTAs are more widely shared, including among under-represented groups in Canada’s economy and trade.
These three evaluations support each other to provide a comprehensive analysis of the expected impacts of proposed trade policy initiatives on our economy, our environment and our population, with a specific focus on under-represented groups in Canada’s economy and trade such as women, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and Indigenous peoples. Together, these assessments inform Canada’s attainment of sustainable development goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Interaction between assessments
Text description: Interaction between assessments
The Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) is in a circle with an overlapping circle to the left titled Environmental Assessment (EA) and another overlapping circle to the right titled Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+), given that both EAs and GBA+ integrate the EIA in their reports.
Economic, environmental and GBA+ assessments are undertaken iteratively throughout the policymaking cycle of trade negotiations, from initial preparations prior to a decision to launch negotiations to the conclusion of a trade agreement. Public and stakeholder consultations feed into this process at several points in time, as illustrated below.
Impact assessment process
Text description: Impact assessment process
- There is a continuum with three arrow boxes. The first box contains: Preliminary Economic Impact Assessment, Initial Environmental Assessment, and Initial GBA+. The second box contains: Negotiations. The last box contains: Final Economic Impact Assessment, Final Environmental Assessment, and Final GBA+.
- There are two curved arrows above the continuum. The first curved arrow informs that going from the first box to the second box is to: Inform Negotiations. The second curved arrow goes from the second bow to the third and last box informing that this part of the process is: Reporting on Negotiation Outcomes.
- Below and in parallel to the continuum there is one rectangular box containing “Public and Stakeholder Consultations” that goes from the beginning to the end of the continuum with three straight arrows pointing towards each of the three boxes constituting the continuum.
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