IN THE HOUSE ~ PM refuses to acknowledge that FIPA will dramatically change the significance of the Nexen takeover

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canadians are asking these questions because they know, after these last few months of sheer incompetence, Conservatives cannot be trusted to manage foreign investment. The Conservatives just want to sell out Canada.

    Conservatives claim they will limit foreign-state control of the oil sands and yet the FIPA with China will do the opposite. They did not get reciprocity, they gave away national treatment rights to companies like CNOOC. The Conservatives do not even seem to understand the agreement they signed. They approved the CNOOC takeover of Nexen and they signed the Canada–China FIPA which gives special rights to CNOOC. Why were they so irresponsible?

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there are so many errors in that question, I do not know where to begin. Let me just say this. We know the position of the other two parties. We know the extreme position of the Liberal Party which rubber-stamped every single foreign investment when it was in office. We know the position of the NDP which is to be against every single foreign investment.

    Canadians expect that our government will be open to foreign investment for the benefit of this economy but in a way that preserves Canadian jobs and protects Canadian interests. Only we have the balanced reasonable approach that Canadians—

    Some hon. members: Oh! Oh!

    The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we know the Conservative position all right: sheer incoherence and incompetence. That is the Conservative position. The Canada–China FIPA is just one other botched Conservative negotiation. And the FIPA guarantees CNOOC the right to expand its ownership of the oil sands like any other company in Canada. If anybody tries to stop it, CNOOC can sue for millions or billions of dollars.

     The Conservatives refused to consult Canadians on the FIPA or on Nexen and unbelievably Conservatives even choose to leave it up to the Chinese government to provide openness and transparency. It is incredible.

    Why are the Conservatives so contemptuous of the views of ordinary Canadians? Why do they—

    The Speaker: Order, please. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the problem with the ideologues over there is they do not bother to read anything. If they had read the foreign investment protection and promotion agreement, they would understand that Canada has exempted the Investment Canada Act from the application of that. We retain full authority and we have been very clear that there will be no foreign government takeovers of entire sectors like the oil sands or anything else.