Opposition Motion — Nexen

That, in the opinion of the House, the government: (a) should not make a decision on the proposed takeover of Nexen by CNOOC without conducting thorough public consultations; (b) should immediately undertake transparent and accessible public hearings into the issue of foreign ownership in the Canadian energy sector with particular reference to the impact of state-owned enterprises; and (c) must respect its 2010 promise to clarify in legislation the concept of “net benefit” within the Investment Canada Act.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I commend my colleague from Ottawa South for a very cogent presentation on the number of issues that we are looking at. I am surprised I have not heard anyone in the House today give us the words of the CEO of CNOOC so we know what kind of people will be taking over Nexen.

The CEO of CNOOC, Wang Yilin, is quoted in the August 29 Wall Street Journal as referring to his offshore resources as “our national territory and a strategic weapon”. I know CSIS is concerned about national security concerns, yet they do not seem to be troubling the Prime Minister.

I want to emphasize again that if the Canada-China investment treaty goes through, questions such as the one that I heard from the member for Ottawa South will be answered for us.

Article 7 of that treaty says, “A Contracting Party may not require that an enterprise of that Party…appoint individuals of any particular nationality to senior management positions”.

We are discussing something today that is inextricably linked to something we are not discussing, which is the Canada-China investment treaty. I invite my friend’s comments on that.

David McGuinty: Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that the government is proceeding surreptitiously.

These are major changes. These are risky propositions that we have not even had a chance to examine, not only in the House but in committee as well. Canadians have not been engaged. I do not know if the major industrial sectors in our country have been engaged. They may have been. They may not have been. I do not know whether other groups in Canadian society have been asked to comment on the merits of this proposed treaty.

What we are seeing is a kind of underhandedness that is disrespectful of Parliament and disrespectful of Canadians. Under the guise of promoting trade, running around the world and saying that we are the only ones open for business, carries with it a certain amount of risk because it actually weakens Canada’s negotiation position, I think, with different foreign entities like China.

The comments that were referred to earlier are precisely the kind of comments we should be examining in committee. In fact, we should be calling for the president and CEO of CNOOC to appear before committee to explain those kind of comments so we have a better understanding of what is at stake.

However, once again, there will be transaction after transaction coming forward. Until we flesh out the net benefit test appropriate for Canadians, we will go from crisis to crisis. There are many deals in the pipeline ready to be negotiated right now in the oil patch, and people are watching very carefully as to how Parliament is going to proceed.