CanadaEuropean trade envoy Pierre Pettigrew optimistic CETA will be approved


MONTREAL — Canada”s European trade envoy says he”s hopeful a landmark trade agreement with the European Union will be approved later this week despite snags that have stalled a vote on the deal.

Pierre Pettigrew expressed his optimism after speaking to the Montreal Board of Trade today while overseas, EU officials took pains to save a pact that has been years in the making.

The fate of the so-called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, also known as CETA, remains unclear because of opposition from Wallonia, a francophone southern region in Belgium.

EU nations were scheduled to vote on the deal today, but that has been delayed.

Pettigrew says he expects the vote could happen as early as Thursday, when EU leaders kick off a two-day summit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to fly to Brussels next week to sign the agreement should it be unanimously approved by the EU”s 28 member countries.