Prime Minister Harper finally has his very own tombstone-ready one-liner, too: "he got us free trade with the Europeans." That seems to be the consensus bouncing around the Canadian punditocracy at the moment, at least. Everyone agrees this trade deal rules. An estimated 80,000 new jobs, an annual $12 billion boost to GDP, cheaper vino from Italy, yadda yadda. But perhaps there's another story here, too.
It is tempting to think of trade negotiations as technical exercises best left to departmental officials. But the reality is that these agreements can affect regions in profound ways. If Canadians are to be well-served by these negotiations they deserve to have their parliamentarians actively involved in exercising oversight.