'The decision is mine and mine alone'

Industry Minister Tony Clement turned up at a waiting podium just now and, after taking a few moments to build the drama, announced that BHP Billiton bid for PotashCorp does not constitute a “net benefit” for Canada. Seems BHP Billiton will have 30 days to resubmit, should it so desire.

Official statement after the jump.

“I can confirm that I have sent a notice to BHP Billiton indicating that, at this time, I am not satisfied that the proposed transaction is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.

“I came to this decision after a careful and rigorous review of the proposed transaction. BHP Billiton has 30 days to make any additional representations and submit any undertakings.

“At the end of that period, I will make a final decision.

“The confidentiality provisions of the Investment Canada Act prohibit me from discussing specifics of an ongoing case.

“I can assure Canadians, however, that I will provide an explanation of the reasons behind my final decision at the time that decision is made, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

“Canada has a long-standing reputation for welcoming foreign investment. The Government of Canada remains committed to maintaining an open climate for investment.”