Top 10 places to work in Canada

Top 10 places to work in Canada

One night last summer, as you were likely unwinding after a long, thankless day at the office, employees of Research In Motion loaded onto a bus for a very special evening. The Waterloo-based tech giant had rented out the Rogers Centre in Toronto and brought in U2 to play a private concert for its employees. On the “Man, do I wish I worked there” scale, this ranks about an 8.5 or nine out of 10.

Sounds like a great perk, right? Well, the Great Place to Work Institute has ranked the top places for employees in Canada. All findings are based on a survey of 40,000 Canucks that accounts for a variety of workplace factors. Did RIM and its rock star benefits make the list? Click through the following slides to see the top ten results for yourself.

10. L.V. Lomas Limited

Headquarters: Brampton, Ont.

Employees: 193

What L.V. Lomas thinks of its employees is splashed right across the company website’s home page: “To be the best in the industry, hire the best people.” Indeed, the chemical distributor appears to make a point of treating its workforce right – this is the second year running the company has appeared on the Great Place to Work Institute’s top 25 list. With almost 200 employees across four Canadian locations, L.V. Lomas also boasts two U.S. branches in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash.

9. Keller Williams Ottawa Realty

Headquarters: Ottawa, Ont.

Employees: 295

Keller Williams has a longstanding position on the Great Place to Work Institute’s list, having cracked the top 25 in four of the last five years. According to the realtor’s website, KW’s Ottawa branch (Keller Williams is a major U.S. chain) has already become the “largest single real estate office in Ottawa” since opening in 2001. Last year, when it appeared at number eight on this same list, Keller Williams Ottawa was also named as the second-best Canadian employer for women by the Globe and Mail.

8. Precision BioLogic

Headquarters: Dartmouth, N.S.

Employees: 56

“Your stuff is just superior. I always say if you’re not using PBI, then you’re not using quality.” That’s a quote from a satisfied Precision BioLogic customer that appears proudly on the medical manufacturer’s website. And, considering the site is also filled with images of the company’s smiling employees, it’s quite apparent the privately-owned Maritime business puts value in its personal touch, something it achieves with the smallest number of employees on this year’s Great Place to Work’s list.

7. Microsoft Canada

Headquarters: Mississauga, Ont.

Employees: 1,028

While Microsoft Canada has become a mainstay on this list — it’s cracked the Great Place to Work Institute’s top 25 in three of the last four years — never has the company been a better place for Canadians to work. Having risen to the seventh spot, Canada’s arm of the U.S. tech pioneer boasts several employee programs that make work a little brighter each day. One of those is the “I Volunteer” initiative, which allows Microsoft Canada employees to take up to five days off per year to volunteer in their communities during work hours.

6. Protegra

Headquarters: Winnipeg, Man.

Employees: 68

At number six, Protegra is actually down three spots from last year (it ranked number three on 2009’s list), but don’t let the tiny dip put you off. The Winnipeg-based IT solutions company is no stranger to accolades. In 2006, Protegra was selected as one of the most “innovative, inspiring” workplaces in Winnipeg by the Winnipeg Free Press and was given the number one ranking for Best Small and Medium Employer in Canada by the Globe and Mail.

5. Devon Canada Corporation

Headquarters: Calgary, Alta.

Employees: 1,558

Normally, when a big corporation says it maintains a “small company feel that stems from our family-owned roots,” it’s little more than a grab for a few positive PR headlines. However, Devon Energy — a multinational operation with more than 5,000 employees — may just be telling the truth. The Canadian arm of the Oklahoma City-based corporation, which features the above proclamation on its website, has been featured on the Great Places to Work Institution’s list two years running and was named the best Calgary oil and gas company to work for by CalgaryInc magazine.

4. SAS Institute (Canada) Inc.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ont.

Employees: 241

SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company, opened its Canadian doors in 1988 and now maintains offices in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. And its Toronto headquarters gives its tech employees one of the most eco-friendly atmospheres to work in. SAS Canada’s downtown office is the country’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified building, consuming as much as 65 per cent less energy than the typical Ontario workplace each year.

3. Google Canada

Headquarters: Toronto, Ont.

Employees: 101

By Google Canada’s own estimation, it “is not a conventional company, and [it doesn’t] intend to become one.” That’s just one of the messages displayed on the search engine’s corporate site, which offers a “Top 10 reasons to work at Google” list featuring a range of employee perks, benefits and stock option programs. Hubris aside, Google Canada is — by most accounts — a fine place to work, having placed in the top 10 of the Great Place to Work Institution’s rankings two years running. Last year, the company was ranked number one overall in Canada.

2. NetApp Canada Ltd.

Headquarters: Mississauga, Ont.

Employees: 71

Where the Great Place to Work Institution’s list is concerned, NetApp Canada rocketed onto the scene only this year. The local arm of the California-based data storage company never appeared in the GPWI rankings before leaping right into the number two ranking in 2010. The company’s strong standing with its Canadian employees is mirrored in its positive workplace relations in the U.S., where it’s landed on Fortune magazine’s Best (American) Companies to Work For list eight years in a row

1. Environics Communications Inc.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ont.

Employees: 76

Environics Communications has dominated the Great Place to Work Institution’s rankings for the last four years, appearing in the top five each year. Until now, though, it has never reached the number one position. According to the Canadian Press, Environics rewards company loyalty by offering generous long-service rewards to its employees. Hailed by GPWI as a “high-trust work environment,” workers who have been with the company for five years get $5,000 toward travel expenses and an additional week of vacation per year.


Spousal Work in Canada

Spouse of an international student in Canada can legally work in the country

Many people do not know, but who are married or living in a stable relationship with a foreign student in Canada (enrolled in a post-secondary course) can work legally in the country. The work permit has the same length as the course of the spouse, and does not require a job offer or a letter of opinion favourable labour market issued by the Canadian government.

The Spouse is already packed and ready to travel to Canada in the coming weeks. The decision to live in the country was made after her husband enrolled in the course of at Univeristy of Toronto, one of the most prestigious universities in the country, located in Ontario. Being married to an international student, the spouise embarks with a open work permit, which will entitle her to work in any Canadian province while her husband is studying. “I need help at home, and the cost of Canadian life is not cheap. If I had not had the opportunity to work in Canada, our trip to the country really would be impossible, “she says.

As the spouse, anyone who is married or living in community property with an international student in Canada can apply for a work permit, since your companion is enrolled full time in a public institution of post-secondary education, university or college. In the case of private schools of higher education, it is necessary that they are authorized by each province to provide diplomas or receive at least 50 per cent of government funding, as with some colleges in Quebec.

The open work permit allows the applicant to work in any area, provided that it meets the minimum requirements for each function. In the case of regulated professions in Canada, such as medicine and engineering, it is necessary for the person to go through all the training and testing to be authorized to work in the area. Those who intend to work with children or in health services should undergo a medical examination, and you must indicate this option in the application for the visa.

The fact follow his spouse does not allow the applicant to study in the country. To do so, you must follow all the regulations required to get the permission of studies, such as letter from the school confirming enrolment.

We will show all the steps for those who are married or living in a stable relationship with an international student in Canadian territory and wants to get a work permit. More information can be obtained on the website of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

  • Fill out the form IMM 5710, referring to changing conditions, extended stay or remain in Canada as a worker

  • Copy of marriage certificate

  • Those who live in stable fill the need Statuary Declaration of Stable Union.

  • Copy of passport pages showing the document number, date of issue and expiry, name, date of birth, any marking that has been made.

  • Proof of enrolment in a spouse’s ongoing post-secondary full-time in universities or public colleges or private institutions authorized by the government.

  • To avoid errors, it is advisable that the applicant write a letter stating that you want to apply for an open work permit (open permit), emphasizing the spouse of an international student.

  • Pay a fee of CAD $150. The amount can be paid by internet banking or at any branch in Canada through the form.

  • Send all documents (including proof of payment) online or via mail to the following address: Case Processing Centre-Vegreville-Work-Permit 6212-55th Avenue, Unit 555 – Vegreville, AB, T9C 1X6. For those who live in Brazil’s request can be made via the VAC (visa application center) or in person at the Canadian Consulate in Sao Paulo.

For help in filing your application contact me at or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us

Provincial Nominee Program

What is it and how does the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

The PNP is an economic immigration program created to help canadian provinces to meet the demands of their labor markets. The program helps employers attract foreign professionals with skills and experience to work in Canadian business and contribute to the expansion of the economy. The Provincial Nominee Program selects also entrepreneurs willing to invest in the province’s economy, creating more jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The PNP is operated by the provincial government in partnership with the federal government through the Canadian Immigration. The program evaluates the applications and nominates candidates for permanent residency, although the final decision is from the Department of Immigration.

Who is eligible?

There are two ways: either as the Skills for Business Immigration Immigration.

If the applicant is an entrepreneur wanting to live in Canada to manage its business, may be eligible to immigrate by PNP Business Immigration.

Through Skills are eligible:

  • Skilled workers (managers and professionals)

  • Health professionals (doctors, nurses, etc.)

  • Foreign graduates in Canadian colleges and universities

  • Semi-skilled workers in Tourism / Hospitality

How does the program work?

The applicant accepts a job offer full-time indeterminate an employer in the region, willing to help with the application for permanent residence through the PNP. If the applicant is currently working in the province with a temporary permit, the employer must offer a position with no end date.

If the candidate with the employer meets the criteria of the program can then apply for the Provincial Nominee Program. The Department will review the application in relation to the requirements and, if the application is approved, will be granted permanent residence. If necessary, the candidate will be provided a letter of work permit so he can apply to obtain or renew a work permit.

After the program name the candidate for permanent residence, you must submit an application to the Department of Immigration Canada. The deadline to apply is six months. If approved, will be issued a permanent residence visa to live in Canada.

How to apply?

First, the candidate and the employer fill out the forms. Then, you pay a fee of CAD $550. Once approved the application, you must enter an application to the Immigration Department for permanent residence.

Meet other immigration programs to Canada

For help in filing your application contact me at or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us

Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class sofre mudanças e estabelece limites no número anual de imigrantes aprovados

O Ministro da Imigração e Cidadania do Canadá, Chris Alexander, falou recentemente sobre o crescimento do programa de imigração Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Mas no dia 8 de novembro, ele anunciou, entre outras mudanças, que um limite no número de imigrantes a serem aceitos pelo programa entrará em vigor entre 9 de novembro de 2013 e 31 de outubro de 2014.

Dentro desse período, somente 12,000 inscrições para o CEC serão aceitas pelo Citizenship and Immigration Canada. “O Canadian Experience Class permitiu que mais de 25,000 pessoas imigrassem para o Canadá de forma permanente para contribuir com suas habilidades e talentos,” disse Chris. “O governo está tomando decisões concretas para reduzir os atrasos no tempo de processamento. Ao fazermos essas mudanças no Canadian Experience Class, estamos caminhando para um sistema de imigração mais eficiente e eficaz.”

Apesar do limite anual de 12,000 inscrições, o Canadá ainda pretende receber aproximadamente 15,000 imigrantes via CEC em 2014, conforme anunciado recentemente.

Além disso, seis profissões serão cortadas da lista de ocupações aceitas pelo CEC, devido ao programa já ter atingido a meta relacionada a essas ocupações. São elas:

  • cooks (NOC code 6322);

  • food service supervisors (NOC 6311);

  • administrative officers (NOC 1221);

  • administrative assistants (NOC 1241);

  • accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311); e

  • retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211).

A Imigração ainda possui muitas inscrições para essas ocupações a serem processadas, e irá finalizar todos os processos.

Também haverá um sub-limite de 200 inscrições para cada ocupação do NOC B, que são as profissões mais técnicas e administrativas. Os NOCs 0 e A (gerenciais e profissionais) não receberão esse sub-limite, mas ficarão dentro do limite total de 12,000 inscrições.

Os requisitos de proficiência de idioma serão mantidos, mas a comprovação de nível de idioma será avaliada antes de cada processo ser iniciado. Os requisitos atuais são Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 para ocupações dos NOCs 0 ou A, e CLB 5 para ocupações do NOC B. Essa nova medida irá garantir que os candidatos sem nível mínimo de proficiência de idioma sejam eliminados mais cedo, e os recursos de processamento do governo possam ser concentrados nos candidatos que têm mais chances se serem aprovados.

Candidatos que não conseguirem comprovar o nível mínimo de conhecimento do idioma terão suas inscrições retornadas, e receberão reembolso da taxa de processamento.

Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class undergoes changes and sets limits on the annual number of immigrants approved

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Chris Alexander, recently spoke about the growth of the immigration program Canadian Experience Class (CEC). But on the 8th of November, he announced, among other changes, a limit on the number of immigrants to be accepted for the program will come into effect from November 9, 2013 and October 31, 2014.

Within this period, only 12,000 applications for the CEC will be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. “The Canadian Experience Class allowed more than 25,000 people immigrate to Canada permanently to contribute their skills and talents,” said Chris. “The government is taking concrete decisions to reduce delays in processing time. In making these changes in the Canadian Experience Class, we are moving towards an immigration system more efficient and effective. “

Despite the annual limit of 12,000 entries, Canada still want to receive approximately 15,000 immigrants via CEC in 2014, as announced recently.

In addition, six professions will be cut from the list of occupations accepted by the CEC, due to the program having already achieved the goal related to these occupations. They are:

  • cooks (NOC code 6322);

  • food service supervisors (NOC 6311);

  • Administrative Officers (NOC 1221);

  • administrative assistants (NOC 1241);

  • bookkeepers and accounting technicians (NOC 1311), and

  • retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211).

Immigration also has many applications for these occupations to be processed, and will kill all processes.

There will also be a sub-limit of 200 entries for each occupation NOC B occupations that are more technical and administrative. NOCs and A 0 (managerial and professional) will not receive this sub-limit, but will within the total limit of 12,000 entries.

The language proficiency requirements will be maintained, but the proof of language level will be assessed before each process is initiated. The current requirements are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for occupations NOCs 0 or A, and CLB 5 to occupations NOC B. This new measure will ensure that candidates without minimum level of language proficiency are eliminated earlier, and the processing resources of the government to be concentrated in the candidates who have more chances if they are approved.

Candidates who fail to demonstrate a minimum level of knowledge of the language will have their entries returned, and receive a refund of the processing fee.

Please contact us at or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us

Evidence to be submitted with the EB-5 Petition

Evidence to be submitted with the EB-5 Petition


What evidence do you need for the EB-5 Visa?

Question: I have the $1,000,000 to invest in the EBp-5 Visa, but I don’t know exactly what evidence is needed. Can you describe?

Answer: There are many requirements needed to show and provide evidence.


Question: What about the actual business or the commercial enterprise?

Answer: First, you have to show that it is a valid commercial enterprise. To qualify for EB-5 classification, an investor must show that an investment has been made in a qualified commercial enterprise. The applicant should include: An organizational document for the new enterprise, including articles of incorporation, certificates of merger and consolidation, or partnership agreements; A business license or authorization to transact business in a state or city, if applicable; and for investments in an existing business, proof that the required amount of capital was transferred to the business after November 29, 1990, and that the investment has increased the net worth or number of employees by 40 percent or more.


Question: What about the capitalization or investment?

Answer: You must show different items regarding the actual investment itself. The EB-5 Petition must be accompanied by evidence that you have placed the required amount of capital “at risk.” A mere intention to invest will not demonstrate that the petitioner is actively in the process of investing. The investor must show actual commitment of the required amount of capital. Such evidence may include: Bank statements showing deposits in the U.S. account of the enterprise; Evidence of assets purchased for use in the enterprise; Evidence of property transferred from abroad; Evidence of funds invested in the enterprise in exchange for stock, except for stock redeemable at the holder’s request; Evidence of debts secured by the investor’s assets and for which the investor is personally and primarily liable.

Simply putting the $1,000,000 into an account will not suffice.


Question: Is there anything else I must show with the funds invested?

Answer: You must show the legal origins of the capital. The regulations require filing the following types of documentation, as applicable, to establish that capital used in the new enterprise was acquired by legitimate means. Foreign business registration records; Personal and business tax returns, or other tax returns of any kind filed anywhere in the world within the previous five years; Documents identifying any other source of money; or Certified copies of all pending governmental civil or criminal actions and proceedings, or any private civil actions involving money judgments against the investor within the past 15 years.


Question: What about the employment creation requirement?

Answer: To show that a new commercial enterprise will create at least 10 full-time positions for qualified employees, the petition must be accompanied by: Photocopies of relevant tax records, I-9 forms, or similar documents for 10 qualifying employees; or a comprehensive business plan showing the need for at least 10 qualifying employees, and when the employees will be hired. The plan should include a description of the business; the business’s objectives; a market analysis, including names of competing businesses and their relative strengths and weaknesses; a comparison of the competition’s products and pricing structures; a description of the target market and prospective customers; a description of any manufacturing or production processes, materials required, and supply sources; details of any contracts executed; marketing.


Question: How about my abilities to run the company?

Answer: You must show that you have managerial capacity to run the company. An EB-5 immigrant must be involved in the management of a new commercial enterprise to qualify for a visa. The petitioner must be involved in the day-to-day managerial control of the enterprise, or manage it through policy formulation.


Want to know more about the program?


Please contact us at or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us

Immigration through study

Immigration through study

Did you know that after graduating from a higher education institution in Canadian, legally registered with the Immigration Department, you can request your permanent residence? Many people have questions about this process, and what the rules are, how to become eligible. Thinking about it, we wrote this post.

See list of all institutions registered with the Canadian Immigration:

How to get a work permit after graduation?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows students who have graduated from an institution of higher education in Canada and who are searching for a valuable work experience in the country, they can gain experience in the Canadian labour market for a period of up at most three. The authorization is valid only for a study program of the student and the course must be at least two years duration.

For example, if you graduate in a degree program for four years, you may be eligible for a work permit for three years if you meet the criteria required by immigration. If you graduate from a certificate program for 2 years, you would be eligible for a work visa valid in Canada. Courses lasting more than two years, the PGWP is issued with three-year validity.

The experience in the Canadian labour market gained through PGWPP help graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Program Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Canadian Experience Class

Canada is looking for people who can contribute to the economy, ie, if you are a foreign student who recently graduated from a higher education institution in Canada, you probably have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. In addition to the work experience, knowledge of English or French is important.

Am I eligible?

Here are some rules for you to become eligible for the program:

  • Have worked for at least one year in the area of training, being considered by the Canadian Immigration office as High Skill;

  • You must have studied full-time in Canada in a program of study with a minimum duration of two years;

  • You must apply for a work permit within 90 days after receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing your academic program;

  • You must have completed a positive program of study and have received a notification that you are eligible to get your diploma or certificate;

  • You must have a valid student visa for when you apply for the work visa.

Important: If you graduated from a training program or professional in a public or private secondary institution in Quebec, regulated by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), you may be eligible to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Follow the link and see all rules established by the Canadian Immigration:

What can not

Studying at a program lasting less than two years;

Participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;

Attend an Awards Program of the Canadian Government, funded by DFAIT;

Receiving funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA);

Participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile;

Participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program;

Participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program;

Participate in a program of distance education abroad or within Canada, or

What has previously been issued one Post-Graduation Work Permit Program following any program of study.

Want to know more about the program?

Please contact us at or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us

Acordo com Mercosul “é muito difícil”, diz Canadá

O Canadá gostaria de negociar um acordo de livre comércio bilateral com o Brasil, pois acredita ser pouco provável que avance a atual negociação com o Mercosul. Isso indica que a oposição, principalmente da Argentina, a mais abertura comercial está contribuindo para deixar o Brasil cada vez mais isolado no intrincado sistema de acordos bi e plurilaterais que está moldando o comércio mundial.

“Com o Brasil haveria muito mais oportunidades de se trabalhar bilateralmente, se isso fosse possível”, afirmou o ministro das Relações Exteriores do Canadá, John Baird, em entrevista a um grupo de jornalistas latino-americanos, da qual participou o Valor PRO, serviço de notícias em tempo real do Valor.

“O Canadá está ansioso para -ampliar o comércio com o Brasil. O desafio são alguns outros membros do bloco, em termos de se chegar a um acordo comercial”, disse Baird, tido como um dos ministros mais poderosos e influentes no Gabinete do premiê conservador Stephen Harper.

Questionado se espera que seja concluído um acordo com o Mercosul, Baird foi claro: “É difícil, muito difícil”, respondeu. “Não pelo Brasil, mas por causa de dois ou três países”. Ele preferiu não citar quais países, mas obviamente se trata de Argentina e Venezuela, com os quais o Canadá tem uma relação ruim.

Mercosul e Canadá já realizaram reuniões exploratórias para avaliar a viabilidade de abrir a negociação formal de um acordo de livre comércio. Autoridades canadenses indicaram, porém, que o país não está disposto a abrir a negociação se não houver chance razoável de concluir o acordo. As palavras do ministro Baird sugerem que isso é pouco provável.

Pelas regras do Mercosul, novos acordos comerciais só podem ser negociados pelo bloco, e não individualmente pelos países-membros. A União Europeia adota essa mesma norma. Já o Nafta (bloco comercial da América do Norte, formado por Canadá, EUA e México) permite que seus membros negociem em separado.

Para estimular um caminho solo para o Brasil, uma autoridade canadense lembrou a experiência do país nas negociações com o Pacto Andino, que começaram com o bloco e acabaram sendo concluída por apenas dois membros (Peru e Colômbia), depois que ficou claro que Equador e Bolívia não queriam avançar.

Assim como Baird, autoridades da União Europeia também destacaram recentemente a dificuldade de avançar nas negociações com o Mercosul, por conta principalmente da resistência da Argentina em abrir seu mercado.

Apesar de enfrentar alguns desafios similares aos do Brasil – uma moeda valorizada, uma indústria sob pressão da concorrência externa e crescente dependência das commodities minerais e agrícolas – o Canadá é uma das economias mais abertas do continente. Junto com México e EUA, forma o Nafta (o bloco comercial da América do Norte). Tem ainda acordo com outros seis países da região (Chile, Peru, Colômbia, Costa Rica, Honduras e Panamá). Os canadenses acabaram de anunciar a conclusão de um tratado amplo com a União Europeia e participam ainda das negociação da TPP (Parceria Transpacífica), que inclui 12 países das Américas e da Ásia.

Na falta de um acordo com o Mercosul, o Canadá reforça seu contato com os países da Aliança do Pacífico, o bloco liberal e pró-abertura comercial formado por México, Chile, Colômbia e Peru. “Temos algumas prioridades na América Latina. Obviamente a Aliança do pacífico é uma delas”, disse o ministro Baird.

Agreement with Mercosul “is very difficult,” says Canada

Canada would like to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Brazil, because it believes it is unlikely that advances the current negotiations with Mercosul. This indicates that the opposition, mainly from Argentina, more open trade is contributing to leave Brazil increasingly isolated in the intricate system of bilateral and multilateral agreements that are shaping the world trade.

“In Brazil there would be many more opportunities to work bilaterally, if that was possible,” said the Foreign Minister of Canada, John Baird, told a group of journalists in Latin America, which participated in the PRO Value, Service news in real-time value.

“Canada is eager to expand-trade with Brazil. Challenge What are some other members of the pack in terms of reaching a commercial agreement,” said Baird, considered one of the most powerful and influential ministers in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Conservative Stephen Harper.

Asked if he expected to be an agreement with Mercosur, Baird was clear: “It’s difficult, very difficult,” he said. “Not by Brazil, but because of two or three countries.” He declined to name which countries, but obviously this is Argentina and Venezuela, with which Canada has a bad relationship.

Mercosul and Canada already held exploratory meetings to assess the feasibility of opening a formal negotiation of a free trade agreement. Canadian officials indicated, however, that the country is not willing to open negotiations if no reasonable chance of concluding the agreement. Minister Baird’s words suggest that this is unlikely.

Mercosul rules, new trade agreements can only be negotiated by block, not by individual member countries. The European Union has adopted the same standard. Already NAFTA (trade bloc in North America, comprising Canada, USA and Mexico) allows its members to negotiate separately.

To stimulate a path ground to Brazil, one Canadian authority recalled the country’s experience in negotiations with the Andean Pact, which began with the block and eventually completed by only two members (Peru and Colombia), after it became clear that Ecuador and Bolivia did not want to move.

Like Baird, European Union officials recently also highlighted the difficulty of progress in negotiations with Mercosur, mainly due to the resistance of Argentina in opening its market.

Despite facing some challenges similar to those of Brazil – a coin valued, an industry under pressure from foreign competition and increasing dependence on mineral and agricultural commodities – Canada is one of the most open economies in the continent. Along with Mexico and the U.S., as NAFTA (the trade bloc in North America). It has also an agreement with six other countries in the region (Chile, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama). Canadians just announced the completion of a comprehensive treaty with the European Union and also participate in the negotiation of TPP (Transpacific Partnership), which includes 12 countries of the Americas and Asia.

In the absence of an agreement with Mercosul, Canada strengthens its contact with countries of the Pacific Alliance, the liberal block and pro-trade opening formed by Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. “We have some priorities in Latin America. Obviously the Alliance Pacific is one of them,” said Minister Baird.