IN THE NEWS ~ Nexen: Official opposition now calling for government to reject deal with China

 

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU

Duplicates: THE BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER (FINAL), A5; THE NORTH BAY NUGGET (FINAL), A7; THE BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR (FINAL), D3, 2012/10/05; THE CHATHAM DAILY NEWS (FINAL), B5

OTTAWA -- After spending weeks slamming a Chinese oil company's $15-billion
takeover deal for Canadian energy giant Nexen, the NDP is now officially
calling on the federal government to reject the merger.

 

NDP natural resources critic Peter Julian says his party is worried about
state-owned CNOOC's record in maintaining jobs in the companies it acquires, as
well as its behaviour in environmental and human rights issues.

 

"Also on national security grounds we cannot see the net benefit and we share the concerns that many Canadians have about CNOOC's use as what the chair of CNOOC has referred to as a 'strategic arm' of the Chinese government," Julian said Thursday. "CNOOC operations are tied directly to the Chinesegovernment." The NDP had been calling for public hearings on the takeover of Nexen, but with the House of Commons rejecting that plea on Wednesday, Julian says the party has made up its mind on the deal.

Most Canadians appear opposed to the takeover, too. A Sun News-Abacus survey
last month found 69% of those polled wanted the feds to reject the deal.

 

The Conservative government has yet to make up its mind. Industry Minister Christian Paradis has steadfastly refused to indicate which way he is leaning.

 

Paradis has also rejected changing the foreign investment approval process by including public hearings and more specific criteria for determining the net benefit to Canada.

"When we made improvements, back in 2007, we put in guidelines for state-owned enterprises," he told the Commons on Wednesday. "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."

daniel.proussalidis@sunmedia.ca
ILLUS: Claro Cortes