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 thank the member for LaSalle—Émard for her very important speech. She spoke about a key national security issue, which is CNOOC’s takeover of Nexen.

I am particularly concerned that the government of the current Prime Minister chose to reject expert advice that the term “national security” should be defined and that there should be objective criteria within the Investment Canada Act. This was a recommendation that came when the special blue-ribbon panel was put together, following the moment when Minmetals nearly bought a Canadian mining giant.

The advice was objective criteria and an objective definition of national security. The Conservatives chose to ignore that advice, claiming in the 2009 notes to the Investment Canada Act within the Canada Gazette that the term was a fluid concept and impossible to define.

Now we know CSIS has national security concerns about this sale. Why do we not have hearings across the country on the national security impacts?

Hélène LeBlanc: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her very apt comment.

This brings up the need to hold public hearings to clearly define the net benefit to Canada and to address national security issues, especially with respect to Canada’s strategic resources. She confirmed the importance of holding such hearings.