The secrecy surrounding the approval of Nexen’s takeover by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is of growing concern for Canadians. While the Conservative government has refused to provide clear information about the potential benefits of this foreign takeover, it has been revealed that Conservative insiders acted as lobbyists for the transaction.
“Stephen Harper and his Industry Minister keep saying they will approve the transaction if it benefits Canadians, but all talks are taking place behind closed doors,” said New Democrat Energy and Natural Resources Critic, Peter Julian. “It’s unacceptable. We’re concerned by the eventual repercussions of this takeover, especially now that we know two Nexen lobbyists are former advisors to Stephen Harper.”
Under the Canadian Investment Act, the Conservative government has 45 days to approve the Nexen takeover by the state-owned CNOOC. For weeks the NDP has been calling for public hearings to allow Canadians to review the deal, but Conservatives stubbornly refuse to allow the Standing Committees on Natural Resources and Industry to study it.
A recent Abacus survey reveals that 60% of Canadians are against this $15.1 billion transaction.
“We are talking with workers, business representatives and economists, and all are concerned about the impact of the sale of a significant Canadian energy company to foreign interests,” said NDP Industry Critic Hélène LeBlanc. “The Conservatives must lift the secrecy surrounding this deal and hold a thorough public review.”