Alberta Politics

canada needs national leadership on energy and natural resource development.

Canada needs national leadership on energy.

If there ever was a time for Canada to show national leadership on the energy file, now is it.

Why Nexen sale can’t be allowed
Diane Francis, Financial Post · Jul. 28, 2012

The proposed takeover of Nexen Inc. by China National Offshore Oil Co., or any other like it, cannot be allowed. If the acquisition of Canada’s resource companies is not banned, then much of Calgary’s skyline will be snapped up by the world’s gigantic state-owned enterprises.

Resource companies are as important as banks or the stock exchange. The same ownership ring fence must be drawn around them, or a limit of 10% foreign ownership imposed. If that policy had not been adopted years ago by Ottawa, Toronto’s skyline would be very different.

The reality is that Canada is a small economy that must be protected, from potash to the TMX, from the foreign governments that have more money than Ottawa and bankroll enterprises and investment portfolios. Read more…

Perhaps it is time to look at how other resource rich western countries, like Norway, are managing their oil wealth.

9 replies on “canada needs national leadership on energy and natural resource development.”

Haha! Yeah, when it comes to battles the FP sure knows how to pick ’em! Eg. contrary to the uncharacteristically protective tone of this article I seem to recall the FP as a cheerleader for London absorbing the TMX; go figure.

For the sake of argument let’s say the Nexen deal goes through and that London had managed to bag the TMX. Now let’s say, hypothetically, that something went horribly wrong and due to foreign financial institutional improprieties Canadians were egregiously defrauded. In that circumstance would it be easier to get China or England to extradite the accused to face trial in Canada?

Perhaps Icelanders could offer at least half the answer to that one.


Norway is so successful both socially and financially because they have a vibrant, reasonably well educated, politically active population that demands transparency from its governing body. Such an environment promotes realistic long-term thinking and responsibility in their elected representatives, rather than enabling slick demagogues or populist charlatans who mostly legislate on behalf of their largest corporate sponsors.

That sort of thing would never be allowed to catch on in Canada.

There are obviously a number of people who have an entirely different opinion regarding foreign investment in Canada. Back in 2008, I found Andrea Mandel-Campbell’s “Why Mexicans Don’t Drink Molson” a worthwhile read. It’s a fascinating debate, not buts about it.

What you’ve written and linked to do little to explain why foreign direct investment in our energy sector is a bad thing.

Why should “no single foreign entity” own more than 10% of any resource related company in Canada?

Why is virtually every National Oil Company from Korea, Norway, France etc. etc. etc. setting up shop in Alberta? The answer is easy – to make money. After they pay the royalties, there is a significant upside in the business. Lougheed realized this when he set up the Alberta Energy Company. Let’s bring it back. Let’s control our own future – let’s make some money not only do things better today but save for the future.

Oh well, I suppose official state control was bound to come to free enterprise Alberta one way or another -even if it’s another country.

Perhaps it is time to look at how other resource rich western countries, like the United States, are managing their oil wealth.

I’m not saying we should be following the U.S. approach, but the above line presents exactly as good of an argument for going the U.S. approach as you presented for the Norway approach.

This is your blog and you can do what you want with it, but it seems like presenting a critique of the Diane Francis argument, and then presenting an argument of your own would be useful in advancing debate on this issue. An 1891 election poster and deferring to what some other country doesn’t provide anyone with any reason to support your position.

– Mustafa Hirji

Mustafa: that may be a fair point, but it is a *really* sweet-looking poster. I’m sure that counts for something.

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