IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Why do the Conservatives not actually talk to Canadians before they agree to Nexen deal behind closed-doors?

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today Canadians found out through anonymous leaks that CNOOC has agreed to meet the federal government's request. What request? This is the first time Canadians have heard of any request coming from the federal government on CNOOC.

The government refuses to be transparent, refuses to be accountable, refuses to
have respect for Canadians, so what is the government respecting of CNOOC and
why is it doing it in secret? Why is it doing it behind closed doors?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let me just address that very briefly.

The Minister of Industry has been very clear. The government's policy on these
matters, while we welcome foreign investment, is to scrutinize every individual
foreign investment to make sure they are in the bests interests of this
country.

On the one hand, the position of the NDP, as we know, is to be against all of these
investments. The position of the Liberal Party, as reiterated yesterday, is to
rubber-stamp every single one of them.

We think Canadians expect us to examine these investments carefully and make sure they are in the best interests of Canada.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the problem is the Prime Minister and the Conservatives are not credible on this issue.

The Conservatives allowed Falconbridge to—

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Credible and foreign investment.

The Speaker: Order. There is already far too much noise going back and forth.
The members are putting the questions and answering, so let us try to get a bit
more order for the rest of question period.

The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

Mr. Peter Julian: Mr. Speaker, the truth hurts. It surely does.

The Conservatives allowed Falconbridge to be taken over by Xstrata by the promise that there would be no job losses. The result was that hundreds of jobs were lost with zero consequence and no action from the government.

The same thing happened when Inco was taken over by Vale. Hundreds of jobs were lost.

U.S. Steel took over Stelco and hundreds of jobs were lost.

Rio Tinto took over Alcan and hundreds of jobs were lost.

Why do the Conservatives consistently fail to stand up for Canadians on these takeovers?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we know that the NDP is opposed to every single actual or potential foreign investment. The reality of course is that we have strengthened the Investment Canada Act to be able to secure the undertakings that are made as part of those transactions.

However, the reality of this government's record is absolutely clear. As a consequence of this government's measures over 800,000 net new jobs have been created.

Part II ~ Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, that is no answer. That is no transparency, no accountability, no respect for Canadians.
Canadians deserve better because Canadian jobs are on the line, including jobs
in downtown Calgary. Conservatives and Liberals are all in favour of letting
CNOOC and Chinese state-owned companies buy a controlling interest in our oil
industry. Why do they not actually talk to Canadians before they agree to this
deal?

Thousands of jobs have been lost in the past on these takeovers. Why is the government not pushing for job guarantees? And why are the Conservatives approving this takeover behind closed doors?

    Hon.
Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture),
CPC):
Mr. Speaker, what is not credible here is the opposition trying to
politicize these reviews. With those members' anti-trade, job-killing agenda,
this is what we will not do. What we will do is to evaluate whether these
transactions are likely to provide a net benefit for Canada, always in the best
interests of Canadians. We will not politicize this stuff, we will do it
properly. With our economic action plan, we created 820,000 net new jobs. This
is results.