MASSE QUESTIONS THE MINISTER ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Hansard – Foreign Investment
March 4, 2010

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government is rushing to tear up rules that have ensured Canadian innovation built world-class Canadian companies employing thousands across this country. It wants to strip foreign ownership restrictions in key strategic sectors essential for future growth such as satellite, telecom and mining.

However, instead of supporting made in Canada technologies and jobs, the government is selling out our economic jewels to foreign speculators whose only purpose is profiteering alone. The minister has botched this file so badly that Canadians companies are suing their own government to protect themselves.

What does the minister have against Canadian corporate leadership?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, absolutely nothing. Indeed, the fact of the matter is that Canadians can compete anywhere in the world against any competition and win that battle.

That is what Canadian companies can do and they are doing it right now. They are competing in open markets and we must open our markets as well. If we want more jobs, more innovation, more competitiveness, better prices and more choice for consumers, that requires Canadians and foreign direct investment in measures.

That is what this government is for. We are for the consumer. We are for more jobs, not only for today but also for tomorrow.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, he should tell that to the people of Timmins, Hamilton and Sudbury who are paying the price for the minister's failures. We have already seen the results of the Conservatives' ill-conceived approach to foreign capital.

It is this ideology that allowed Inco and Falconbridge, Canada's leading mining giants, to be picked off and stripped by foreign mining firms. The Conservatives welcome Vale and Xstrata into our country and have done nothing when they have attacked workers and shipped Canadian profits to other jurisdictions. They never stand up for workers.

Why is the government so eager to make the rest of Canada's communities and economic sectors suffer the same fate?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, over the course of this Parliament and the previous Parliament, we have seen their record when it comes to protecting workers and Canadians. They vote for higher taxes. They vote against the economic measures that are increasing growth and opportunity for Canadians.

They vote against those things because they have their own ideology and nothing to say to the workers and Canadians across this country.