MASSE PUSHES MINISTER TO REJECT SALE OF POTASH CORPORTATION

Exchange between NDP Industry Critic, Brian Masse (Windsor West) and Industry Minister, Tony Clement.

In the House…
October 26, 10

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the criticism just keeps piling up for the government's handling of potash.
Potash Corporation has even taken out a full page ad in the National Post to get the record straight about the Prime Minister's campaign to discredit the company. It says the government's claims simply do not stand up to scrutiny.
How can the government continue to side with foreign interests over a proud Canadian company and the people of Saskatchewan?
What will it take for the government to finally act in the interest of Canada?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is not right what the hon. member has said. We are following the process that is delineated in the Investment Canada Act. I am actively researching the situation, seeking more and more information to make the most capable and able decision I can possibly make on behalf of the people of Canada using the net benefit to Canada test.
The hon. member serves in a caucus that actively goes against the interests of Canada and Canadians by constantly voting against our budgets and constantly advocating higher taxes. Its members have no right to criticize.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it was the NDP and Tommy Douglas that set up Potash to start with. So we will take no lessons from the Conservatives.
The Premier of Saskatchewan has made his position clear and the Saskatchewan NDP has written to all party leaders asking them to respect the wishes of the people of Saskatchewan and reject the takeover bid.
The former BHP chairman, as recently as 2009, warned that too much foreign control could turn Australia into a “branch office--just like Canada”. That is the respect they get from their business partners.
The only people who think this is a good idea is the Conservative government. When will the industry minister admit there is no net benefit and this is about the sell-out of Saskatchewan.

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned we are in the middle of a process. We are researching the situation. We will be applying the net benefit to Canada test which is found in the legislation.
I just ask the hon. member to look within his own heart. Why does he continue to be part of a caucus that continually votes against Canada's interests, votes against the budgets that are putting jobs and opportunity for Canadians first?
That is what he should be doing. Spending his time researching his own position and then taking another position which is to the net benefit of Canada.

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