Harper goes laissez faire on Nortel after supporting auto industry

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George Victor


From a Canadian Press story today out of Panama City, the PM says the Nortel sales "will be examined under the Investment Canada Act...but we will certainly not be bringing forward any kind of legislation to increase protectionism in terms of foreign investment in Canada."

Liberals and New Democrats have been asking government to scrap the deal, and keep technology developed in Canada with Canadian dollars, from landing in foreign factories. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has also appealed for retention of the technology.

The Liberal and New Democrats will likely continue to ask. Would really like to be a fly on the wall in Duceppe's office when this is discussed.


[url=http://www.ndp.ca/press/harper-conservatives-are-facilitating-foreign-ta... Conservatives are facilitating foreign takeovers of Canadian industry[/color][/url]

The Harper government is bending over backwards to facilitate the sale of Canadian industry to foreign nationals. The sell-off of Stelco and now Nortel are only recent examples. In fact, the Harper government is going so far as to allow the Export Development Corporation (EDC), a crown corporation, to provide Nokia or Ericsson with $300 million to finance their takeover bids.

"New Democrats are demanding that the Harper government get behind Canadian companies wanting to build and grow in our own backyard with the same vigour as they devote to supporting foreign takeovers," said Allen. "New Democrats are committed to stopping the cycle of selling off the manufacturing future of Canada."


Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

...that's only a couple of decades late.

When the EDC isn't financing takeovers, our federally-chartered banks are actively engaged in pedalling Canadian industry internationally, rather than helping to finance their growth here in Canada.

George Victor


A Canadian Press story today:

"Canadians want and expect the federal government to prevent the $1.1 billion US sale of Nortel Network's coveted wireless assets to Ericsson of Sweden, Research in Motion said Wednesday." The sale "must be reviewed to ensure that Canada's national interests are met."

[And in another RIM-related story, its co-CEO Jim Balsillie says the duel with the NHL is getting personal, according to a story in The Waterloo Region Record. He has sent a "barrage of court filings that blast holes in the league argument that Balsillie lack the necessary 'good character and integrity' to join the league's ranks." Examples of Balsillie's philanthropy, including contributions to a cnacer care center and a children's museum, are compared with the absence of NHL comment on "Nashville owner William Del Biaggio, who pleaded guiltyto fraud, and former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served 70 months in federal prison. 'The NHL may not 'like' Mr. Balsillie but that is not a basis for rejecting him as being morally unfit to become an NHL owner', the brief concludes."]

Canada fights back.Wink

George Victor

A survey of 1200 Canadians by Strategic Counsel commissioned by Research in Motion has found 73 per cent of Canadians - and 83 per cent of Kitchener-Waterloo residents - believe Nortel's technology should stay in Canada rather than being sold abroad, according to a story in the Waterloo Region Record today. 

Peter Donolo of Strategic Counsel said "'You're seeing a concern that we've noticed for some time about the hollowing out of corporate Canada, with iconic names like Inco and Alcan now foreign-owned.

"Usually 'Canadians are very middle-of-theo-road people,' he said. "Support for RIM's vies is highest in Ontario, where 75 per cent want to keep Canadian control of Nortel, and Atlantic Canada at 78  per cent. 'It's as close to unanimous as you can get in a poll,' said Donato. ' You couldn't get eight out of 10 people to say the sky is blue.' "


There is a good article in Maclean's Magazine recently about Canada's universities needing to become world class incubators of research and innovation. In the article it's mentioned that BCE and Nortel have invested more in Canadian r&d than the next eight largest corporations combined over some period.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture
George Victor

Thanks LTJ.. That's a Reuters (THOMSON) piece; another Canadian success story. Must see where the Globe carried it.