Politics on TV: Sunday, Sept. 23 edition

Question not answered: Which foreign takeovers would an NDP government approve or reject?

Message of the day: “Canada’s trade future lies in the Asia-Pacific”

Questions not answered: 

• Is free trade with a state-controlled economy possible?
• What is the line the NDP wants drawn around foreign takeovers?

Free trade with China:

With news that the Chinese smbassador is saying a free trade deal with Canada should be a short-term goal to be reached within 10 years, the West Block spoke with foreign affairs minister John Baird. Baird pointed to the signing of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement two weeks ago, a deal that was 17 years in the making, as a first step, though he noted that a free trade agreement with China would be different than your usual deal of this kind because of the nature of the Chinese economy. Baird said Canada’s trade future lies in the Asia-Pacific, and that our relationship with Beijing is mature enough to handle challenges like the latest CSIS report. Baird also noted that though the Nexen deal is worth $15 billion, the company only has $2 or $3 billion in Canadian assets.

Nexen takeover:

On Question Period, Kevin Newman spoke to Chinese ambassador Zhang Junsai, who treated any Chinese reaction to a rejection of the Nexen deal as a hypothetical. Zhang says that China wants to invest in Canada because of our political stability and established rules and regulations, and that they welcome our government’s efforts to diversify our economy and focus on Asia’s growing markets. Zhang also said that Chinese corporations like CNOOC are state-owned, but not state-run, much like a Crown corporation here in Canada, and that the company bidding to take over Nexen is a subsidiary of CNOOC that is listed on stock exchanges and must thus be accountable to shareholders. Zhang would not comment on the CSIS report.

Newman then spoke to Thomas Mulcair, who was in Edmonton for the provincial NDP convention. The NDP leader said he is very concerned about the possible takeover because there has been no proper consultation over that issue and only vague references to criteria on foreign takeovers have been made. Mulcair said Nexen shareholders agreed to the deal because they stood to “make a pile of money,” and wondered what would be up for grabs next—agricultural land? Mulcair aptly sidestepped efforts by Newman to get him to discuss which takeovers an hypothetical NDP government might accept or reject. Instead Muclair reiterated to the point that there is no definition of what constitutes a strategic asset in the current legislation, and suggested Canada needs to pin that down first.

MP pensions:

Newman asked whether inserting changes to MP pensions into an omnibus budget bill would act “like a noose” for opposition parties. Conservative MP Shelly Glover first let it be known that she tried to waive her pension, but, when pressed, add that the government wants to throw MP pension reform into the budget bill so that the legislation will be passed quickly and avoid being held up in additional unnecessary study. NDP MP Peter Julian repeated his party’s line that they want an independent panel to study the issue. CTV lost the satellite feed before Liberal MP Marc Garneau could say anything.

Army run:

Tom Clark spoke to captain Christian Maranda, a member of the Vandoos, who was wounded by an IED in Afghanistan. Maranda was was competing with a specialised hand-cycle because of the injuries to his legs.




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Politics on TV: Sunday, Sept. 23 edition

  1. Harper needs to stop dicking around with this…..first he was anti-China [snotty about it too] refusing the Olympics…….and then he was pro-China [we'll sell them oil!] with visits and pandas and all.

    Now they’re fussing about Nexen!

    We are either open for business or we’re not…..it’s the global marketplace not a bloody buffet.where making a choice has no consequences.

    And a free trade deal doesn’t need to take 10 years either…..the EU one hasn’t taken that long, even though everyone is complaining about it being dragged out. Get a move on!

    • So we agree that Harper is on the right track. Good to know.

      Now if the useless parties across the aisle would only stop crying about it…

      • Being anti-Nexen?? No!

        Read much?

        • What has given you the impression that Harper is anti-Nexen? The only response from Conservatives that I’m aware of has been that the deal is being reviewed and a decision will be made based upon that review. From a free-market ideological perspective I suspect that the Conservatives (and Harper) are in favor of this deal; however, stating their support would be politically damaging if the review reveals serious concerns with regard to sovereignty that outweigh the benefits. Similarly, stating opposition to the deal would be politically damaging if the review reveals that this deal is in the ‘net-benefit’ of Canada.

          The reality is the Conservatives don’t have the luxury that the opposition has in being able to voice their opinion because they will be responsible for this decision and it must be made only after significant review and consideration of all the factors.

          • News articles in the last couple of days saying cabinet and caucus are split by this plan.

            Harper already ‘decided’ to do business with China…..this is no time to pull up his skirts and scream.

  2. Y’know, if everything we’ve been led to believe about the Communist Chinese is true, they’d probably respect us the most if we let them give us enormous sums of money for most of our natural resource companies, waited a year, nationalized them and gave them back to Canadians.

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