SAGUENAY – Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair called out Stephen Harper’s Conservative government today for their failure to protect Canadian jobs when reviewing and enforcing foreign takeover agreements.
While in Jonquière-Alma in Quebec— an area that has been devastated by recent job losses—Mr. Mulcair called on the Conservatives to stop rubberstamping the kind of foreign takeovers that have killed well-paying, value-added jobs and rocked local communities.
“All across the country we see the result of Mr. Harper’s refusal to draw the line between positive foreign investments and predatory foreign takeovers,” Mr. Mulcair said. “Rio Tinto-Alcan, Vale Inco, Electro-Motive Diesel—all have left lost jobs and struggling communities in their wake.”
Mr. Mulcair pointed to the Conservative failure to enforce “net benefit” rules, which allow foreign takeovers only when they are a benefit to Canada. Since 1985, Conservative and Liberal governments have rubberstamped a whopping 13,800 foreign takeovers—rejecting just two.
In February, New Democrats introduced a motion calling on the Conservatives to amend the Investment Canada Act to ensure foreign buyers are held to “public and enforceable” commitments to protecting Canadian jobs. Conservatives ignored the NDP motion.
“New Democrats are not against foreign investment—as long as it’s positive foreign investment,” Mr. Mulcair said. “How many more high-paying, value-added jobs have to be lost while the Conservatives do nothing but protect the interests of a few foreign companies instead of the public interest? You can’t say you want to create jobs while allowing them to disappear. It’s time to put working people first.”