Canada OK's foreign energy takeovers, but slams door on any more
In a fierce defense of a tough, new foreign investment framework, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada would not deliver control of the oil sands – the world's third-largest proven reserves of crude - to a foreign government.
The ruling, anxiously awaited by investors and politicians alike, followed months of heated debate about how much of Canada's energy sector could and should be absorbed by companies run by other nations.
The bid triggered unusually open dissent among legislators in the ruling right-of- center Conservatives, many of whom were particularly nervous about the idea of allowing China to gain control of the oil sands.
Canada said yes to this deal, but will not do so next time.
"To be blunt, Canadians have not spent years reducing the ownership of sectors of the economy by our own governments, only to see them bought and controlled by foreign governments instead," Harper told reporters after Ottawa gave the deal the green light, along with approval for the less controversial takeover of gas company Progress Energy Resources Corp by another state-owned energy company, Petronas of Malaysia.
"Foreign state control of oil sands development has reached the point at which further such foreign state control would not be of net benefit to Canada," he added.
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