Debate to enact new continental trade pact kicks off in House of Commons

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OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has kicked off debate on a bill to implement the new North American free trade deal by urging MPs to approve the proposed legislation quickly.

The United States and Mexico have already ratified the agreement and President Donald Trump held a signing ceremony at the White House Wednesday.

The Canadian implementation bill was introduced in the House of Commons later that day, to begin the process of garnering parliamentary approval.

A host of industry groups and premiers have come out asking MPs and senators to support the bill without delay.

Freeland began the debate with a speech that included a walk down memory lane through turbulent negotiations with an unconventional U.S. administration.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to talk about the agreement at an event in the Toronto area this afternoon.