Who Owns Canadian Business?

Canadianbusinesses are being bought lock stock and barrel.

From 1985to 2005, 11,380 companies in Canada have been taken overby foreign-controlled corporations. The total value of the takeovers wasapproximately $548.494 billion.
Foreign investment for new businesses during thesame period was a paltry $18.040 billion – less than 3.2% of the total foreigninvestment.

What does this mean?  It means that Canada’s “open for business”policies (e.g. puttingno restrictions on the repatriation of capital or profit by foreign investors)leave foreign corporations free to take the highest performing Canadiancompanies and suck the money out of Canada.

Despitepublic opposition not a single takeover has beenrejected by the Review Division. Perhaps that will change with the review of U.S. energy giant Kinder Morgan’sproposed $6.9-billion takeover of Terasen. The Review Board promises to ensurethat the takeover will be of “net benefit” to Canada.

Terasen shareholders overwhelmingly approved the controversial takeover byKinder Morgan, a Houston-based pipeline operator, at a meeting in Vancouver in October. However, public outragehas sparked at the idea of a U.S. firm gaining control of a Canadiancompany that supplies natural gas to 870,000 BC residents. The BC UtilitiesCommission reputedly received 5,000 emails in opposition to the takeover.

“We do not want the possibility that the U.S.A. Patriot Act will give theAmerican government access to our billing records via Kinder Morgan,” saidDavid Askew, a member of the Vancouver chapter of the Council ofCanadians.

Access tothe billing records may be the least of our worries – as oil and gas run out doesit make sense for us to be handing control of an increasingly scarce resourceto our power-hungry neighbour?

I don’tthink so, and neither do many Canadians.  Let’s keep the pressure on.

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