The Root Word: ForestEthics Blog

Harper Approves CNOOC/Nexen Deal, But in Whose Interest?

Dec 8, 2012

Photo credit: Flick/alexindigo

The Harper government has ignored opposition and polls against foreign take-overs of national resources and approved the Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation's take over of Nexen today.

Remember that Nexen is one of the backers of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project? Now the government of China directly is. Is it no wonder that British Columbians were polled opposing the takeover by a 7-to-1 margin (69% to 7%)?

While Harper and his Conservative government approved these two energy take-over deals today (the other being Petronas of Progress Energy), he said that these “are not the beginning of a trend”.

But as we revealed in May from data earlier in the year, the tar sands already have 71% foreign-ownership. The question must be asked again of these take-overs: Who benefits?

The Conservative Harper government increasingly rules in favour of foreign-oil companies while simultaneously cutting the environmental safeguards in Canada. We need foreign investment and shareholders in this country, but it does not need to be at the cost of democracy, our environment, and future generations.

Given this tar sands take-over by the Chinese government, the repercussions of the China-Canada investor protection deal (FIPA) could be greater. The public outcry has created delays in its ratification. Let’s hope that we all don’t end up with the gift of FIPA for the holidays...

Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics Advocacy

By Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner, ForestEthics Advocacy

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