OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has tapped former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose to give advice on the imminent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Ambrose is one of 13 members of a newly created advisory council on NAFTA, announced today by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Other members include James Moore, a former minister in the previous Conservative government, and Brian Topp, a veteran NDP strategist, one-time NDP leadership contender and former chief of staff to Alberta’s NDP premier, Rachel Notley.
Non-partisan, Team Canada approach
The membership is designed to demonstrate a unified, non-partisan, Team Canada approach to the negotiations, which are set to start Aug. 16.
It also includes representatives of various groups that have the most at stake in the negotiations, among them, Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff; Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of automotive parts manufacturer Linamar Corp., and Marce Groleau, president of Quebec’s union of agricultural producers.
The inclusion of Ambrose, who retired from politics in May, comes as Liberals and Conservatives have been accusing each other of hurting Canada’s position in the U.S. as NAFTA talks are about to begin.