IN THE HOUSE ~ Question - Will the Minister vote tonight to consult the public on the Nexen takeover bid?

41st Parliament, 1st Session

Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, let us go back two years when every single Conservative MP in the House voted to make public hearings a mandatory part of the foreign investment review. It was November 16, 2010. The government has simply stopped listening to Canadians.

The minister for small business said yesterday that government has no role, quote,
“interfering in a private decision” like the Nexen takeover bid. Does the
minister agree with his colleague? Does he agree that government has no role
interfering in a Nexen decision that has implications throughout Canada?

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), CPC): Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with my colleague across the floor. When we made improvements, back in 2007, we put in guidelines for state-owned enterprises. Back in 2009, we put in provisions to make sure that security
interests would be taken into account. Also back in 2009, we put in tools to be
able to communicate more with the public. We did this also in 2012, earlier
this year. The NDP always voted against it.

This transaction will be scrutinized very closely and each single decision made by
the government is made in the greatest interests of the country.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is not scrutinized unless the government is consulting with Canadians.

The small business minister also said yesterday, and I quote from Hansard “...the
real individuals are those who pay corporate income tax”. What arrogance. We
have one of the most significant takeovers in decades and the government is
telling all Canadians it is none of their business.

Will the minister do the right thing, stop hiding from Canadians and vote tonight to consult the public on this takeover?

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), CPC): Mr. Speaker, here I will quote Professor Ian Lee from Carleton University “It will politicize the process enormously”. Then he follows: “They are trying to transform these approval processes into kangaroo courts”. He
continues further “The whole purpose is to frighten off foreign capital”.

The NDP members are trying to install a process to make sure we are going back 30, 40 years, because they are against trade. They are against investment and
development of the country.

Each single decision we will make here will be for the best interests of the
country.