Nathan leads Question Period with a request on foreign investment
September 21st, 2012 - 3:55pm
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the deadline for the proposed takeover of Nexen by CNOOC is in 22 days. Time is running out. Canadians are concerned. They are concerned about the consequences and about the inaction of the Conservative ministers: no public consultation, no clear criteria. The Minister of Industry seems lost and overwhelmed by events.
Will the Conservatives do their job or will they simply rubber-stamp the project?
Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our government will always act in the best interest of Canadians. This transaction will be reviewed very carefully. The Investment Canada Act contains provisions to protect national security, and the people of Canada can be sure that our government is doing its job and making the right decisions in the interest of Canada.
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, not a single Conservative minister has stood up in the House to express any concerns whatsoever about this company's human rights record. Not a word about their human rights record, not a word about their environmental record, not a single word about a foreign state-owned company buying a huge stake in Canada's oil industry. Is this what Conservatives actually meant when they said “stand up for Canada”?
Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our government will always act in the best interests of Canadians. There is a process set out in legislation. We are certainly following that. There are elements to ensure that our national security is protected.
I find it passing strange that the NDP members have spent the last six and half years since I arrived in this place trying to do everything they can to shut down the oil industry. They call it the Dutch disease. They disparage it. Now they seem to be coming to its defence. That is rather strange.
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives first got elected I bet they believed they could actually change this place. I bet they told their voters that they were going to go to Ottawa to represent them, not just parrot the Prime Minister's Office's lines day after day. However, unless those same constituents are actually living in the Prime Minister's Office, these Conservatives are not doing their jobs.
Let us give this another try. Will anyone on that side of the House stand up and acknowledge that Canadians have real and legitimate concerns about the purchase of Nexen by CNOOC?
Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is self-evident that this is not a minor transaction. That is why the Minister of Industry and the Government of Canada will do a thorough review to ensure that Canadian interests are protected and that Canadian national security is guarded.
Canadians can count on our government to always do the right thing, to always stand up for Canada and to do what is in our best economic interests. Job creation and economic growth continue to be a priority.
I suspect what this company would want to know is how much of an effect would the NDP's carbon tax have on this transaction. Why does he not stand up and be very clear? How much of the $21.5 billion in new taxes would he impose on this company? Maybe the shareholders would—