What’s the biggest social, political and economic issue in Canada right now? Social conservativism vs liberalism? Tax cuts? Bank regulations? Climate change? Plagiarism?

None of the above, not in my opinion. I think the biggest story is a Canada-Europe trade deal…

What’s the biggest social, political and economic issue in Canada right
now? Social conservativism vs liberalism? Tax cuts? Bank regulations?
Climate change? Plagiarism?

None of the above, not in my
opinion. I think the biggest story is a Canada-Europe trade deal, the
possibility of social and economic integration with the old continent,
and the fact that negotiations have been long-planned and will begin in
earnest days after the election. Unless these talks fall flat
immediately any deal that might come of them will affect all other
Canadian issues.

Why is this not a major election issue? Perhaps because it’s all but invisible in the media.

The first story I saw about it was the one Doug Saunders broke in the Globe and Mail of Sept. 18, Canada-EU trade proposal rivals scope of NAFTA. A story from Europe by Peter O’Neil of CanWest appeared in some of that chain’s papers the next day. The same day the National Post  wrote an editorial:
“We urge our government to do everything in its power to make it
reality.” Maclean’s soon weighed in, sort-of:: “The time to talk about
this is during the election, not after,” blogged Andrew Coyne.
A Google search turns up very brief, passion mentions of
European-Canada trade in reports from political speeches.  Doug
Saunders returned to the issue Oct. 4 with an analysis — Europe to Canada: Get your act together — on the inside pages of the Saturday FOCUS section. None of these stories have had a high profile.

Do
most journalists think these talks are already a lost cause and
therefore not worth attention? Are we too insular, with our blinkered
view restricted to North America? Are we short-term thinkers, reporting
only in the moment?

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