NDP Industry critic, HÃ©lÃ¨ne LeBlanc (LaSalleâ€’Ã‰mard), and Natural Resources and Energy critic, Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster), are concerned about the Conservativesâ€™ refusal to have a parliamentary committee study the offer made by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to purchase the Nexen Oil Company.
New Democrats recently asked the Conservative Chairs of the Standing Committees on Natural Resources and Industry to hold hearings to assess the impact of this takeover valued at $15.1 billion. In response, the Chairs said they had no plans to review this issue.
â€œThe Conservatives are hiding one of the most significant foreign takeovers in this countryâ€™s history from the public,â€� said LeBlanc. â€œThis decision driven by Conservative arrogance and it goes against the interests of Canadians. The public has a right to know the full details of this deal.â€�
â€œWe are in favor of foreign investment,â€� said Julian. â€œBut the government must always ensure that this type of takeover is in the best interest of Canadians. By refusing to do this, the Conservatives are neglecting their responsibilities and casting aside the basic principles of transparency.â€�
Of particular concern is the complete lack of commitment from the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to any level of environmental protection. Further, the Chinese corporation has made no commitment to protect Canadian jobs, to allocate some profits to local community development, or to consult First Nations in the region.
â€œThis process once again underscores the importance of careful review of foreign takeovers under the Investment Canada Act. The NDP has long called for this type of oversight but Conservatives have completely refused to show such leadershipâ€�, said Leblanc.