Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, announced on 21 April that Canada will support a new trade mission to bolster groups that have historically been ignored. Groups included are the LGBTI community, Canada’s Indigenous population, and women.
This announcement came as part of a speech promoting the liberal government’s progressive trade plans at the party’s national convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
‘In 2018, Canada will lead a women business ministerial trade mission. We will also lead the first ever LGBTQ trade mission, and the first ever trade mission devoted to Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs,’ Champagne said in the speech.
Though he offered no additional details, these new trade missions are meant to begin later this year.
‘We want everyone in Canada to succeed,’ he said. ‘We are going to lead the way in the world, making sure that every community reaps the benefit of trade.’
Champagne noted that marginalized populations like the LGBTI community haven’t fully reaped the benefits of the economy, which is why such an agenda is necessary moving forward.
‘Canada will fight for free trade, fight for the rules we need to govern it, and most importantly for the right and capacity of more Canadians from all walks of life to compete and win on the world stage,’ Champagne said.
‘Now is the time for a new approach to trade, and for more Canadians to have the tools to capitalize on it.’