In his Nov. 7 letter, Patrick MacDonald suggests that citizens should use “Google” and rely on internet “experts” as a source of information on agreements such as the recently proposed Canada China FIPA. Rather than relying on internet “experts” who frequently circulate false and misleading information, I would suggest that citizens instead view the FIPA agreement directly and decide for themselves what this agreement is really all about. Contrary to what you may have heard from the “experts,” this 31-page agreement is not in any way secret (as has been frequently incorrectly stated) and can be viewed publicly online and I am also happy to provide written copies.
Directly viewing the FIPA agreement will also dispel many of the other frequent myths being circulated online and elsewhere. For example, the FIPA agreement does not in any way “give away” Canadian resources. The acquisitions of Canadian resources by foreign investors are subject to the Investment Canada Act and cannot be overridden by a FIPA agreement. This point is actually stated clearly in the Canada-China FIPA agreement that decisions made under the Investment Canada Act cannot be subject to the dispute settlement provisions outlined in the proposed FIPA agreement.
Mr. MacDonald also takes issue with the proposed CNOOC/Nexen transaction. As mentioned previously, an approval for this proposal is subject to the Investment Canada Act and not a FIPA agreement. The government of Canada will make a determination that will be made based on the six clear factors that are laid out in detail in section 20 of the Investment Canada Act. This decision will only be made after very careful review and extensive scrutiny.
What is also interesting is what individuals like Mr. MacDonald don’t tell you. As noted recently by B.C. NDP MP Peter Julian, there were 10,000 foreign investment applications approved when the Liberals were in power, all of them rubber stamped. They never rejected a single one and never attached conditions. It is our Conservative government that is the first in modern day history to reject foreign ownership of Canadian-owned resources as was recently done with the rejection of the Malaysian Petronas proposal and was also done with the rejection of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan in 2010.
Personal insults from Mr. MacDonald aside, our government will continue to make decisions that build on our track record of encouraging economic growth, job creation and prosperity in Canada.
Dan Albas, MP