Brian Masse and Charlie Angus Question Minister of Industry on Hostile Mining Bid

Mining Industry

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, regulatory delays in Europe and the U.S. are blocking an Inco-Falconbridge merger proposal, putting many Canadian miners at risk and their families in a status of limbo. Three weeks ago the industry committee put forth a unanimous recommendation calling upon the industry minister to actually delay the Xstrata hostile takeover of Falconbridge until at least the foreign bodies have ruled on the Inco favourable takeover.

Will the Minister of Industry commit to the House today to protect Canadian jobs, the industry and fair due process by ensuring that this hostile takeover does not take place because of bureaucrats in Brussels holding up the process?

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows, the provisions under the Investment Canada Act do not allow me to comment on any questions like that. As usual, we will act in the best interests of all Canadians.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear the only thing more toothless than our foreign investment review act is the minister when it comes to standing up for Canadian mining and smelting jobs.

Let us paint a picture here. These are national resources and the government is sitting back while they are picked off by some company set up in an unaccountable Swiss canton. Meanwhile the futures of Sudbury, Timmins, Rouyn-Noranda and Bathurst are being traded away like chips in a card game.

When is the minister going to stand up for the rights of our communities and put them ahead of the interests of the financiers, the money-changers and the speculators?

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, this government is standing up for Canadians. Also, we are going to act according to the Investment Canada Act.

There is a test and the test is when we have an investment like that, it is to act on a balance of net benefits for Canada. We will do that for the net benefit for Canada and all Canadians. That is what we are going to follow.

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