IN THE HOUSE ~ Question to government on Canadians' request for public hearings on CNOOC takeover bid on Nexen

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we have more secretive midnight deals from the Conservatives.

Petronas submitted a modified deal last week, but Canadians did not hear about it from their government; they had to hear about it from the Malaysian media. There was no transparency and no accountability from the Conservatives and people are
noticing abroad. Even Senator John McCain has now said that Canada should have
public hearings on foreign takeovers like the CNOOC takeover of Nexen.

The Conservatives are shutting out Canadians and refusing to listen. Why are the
they keeping Canadians in the dark?

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), CPC): Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. My colleague has asked a lot of questions in the House and I have said several times that a decision was
rendered. As part of that decision, investors have 30 days to make additional
representations.

Stemming from that, the required time will be taken to carefully examine the proposed transaction to determine if it is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, no answers, no transparency and no accountability means no respect for Canadians. Canadians deserve better than what they are getting from the government.

There are concerns about CNOOC's human rights record, possible job losses at Nexen's head office in Calgary and concerns about CNOOC's description of itself as a foreign policy arm of the Chinese government. Even Americans are saying we should have public hearings on these serious concerns.

Will the Conservatives now agree to start respecting Canadians—

Hon. James Moore: Louder, louder.

The Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster has the floor and I am having great difficulty hearing him.

The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

Mr. Peter Julian: Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives can try to shut us down, but
they will never shut us off. They just will not do that. We will speak for
Canadians.

The simple question is this. Will the Conservatives now agree to start respecting
Canadians and consult them on the CNOOC takeover of Nexen?

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), CPC): Mr. Speaker, I did not need my earplug to hear the member across the floor, but I hope he will hear me this time.

I said several times that we have improved the laws. Back in 2007, we put in
guidelines regarding state-owned enterprises. We put in provisions with respect
to national security issues. Also, we have put in new provisions under the act
in terms of communications.

What we said is that we would take the time to fully scrutinize the proposed
transaction to make sure that it is likely to provide a net benefit to Canada.