IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Conservatives missed deadline for national security evaluation on CNOOC

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conservatives seemed to have trouble understanding their new investment agreement with China. Maybe they should actually read it.

Under this agreement, if the CNOOC-Nexen takeover is approved, CNOOC will have the same rights as any Canadian company to buy up new oil leases and expand operations.

Let us look at Article 6, which states that Chinese state-owned companies will receive “national treatment for expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale”. That is nice and simple.

Have the Conservatives read their own agreement and do they deny it would give Chinese state-owned companies the same rights as Canadian companies to buy up new oil leases and a whole lot more?

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am trying to follow the hon. member's logic. I am having a lot of difficulty with that, I suspect because the question is not logical.

Here is the issue. The issue is this simple. The FIPA will establish rules Those rules
will protect Canadian investors in China. Those rules will treat Chinese
investors in Canada the same as Canadian investors. What is wrong with rules?

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the problem with rules is the Conservatives do not seem to be able to manage them effectively and they have badly mismanaged this file from the start.

Breaking news, now we learn from Canadian Press that the Conservatives have missed a key deadline to examine the impact that the CNOOC-Nexen takeover will have on Canadian national security. How could Conservatives stand up in the House day after day and tell Canadians they are evaluating the CNOOC takeover on the basis of national security when they dropped the ball and missed the deadline? They broke the rules. This is amateur hour. How could they drop the ball?

The Speaker: Order, please.

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), CPC): Mr. Speaker, our government will always act in the best interests of Canadians. What we have to do with this transaction is see if it will provide a net benefit for Canada.

They come here and advocate for national security provisions when we put them back in in 2009 and the NDP voted against that. We also put in guidelines for the SOEs. We have tools to fully scrutinize this transaction and we will do that very
closely.