April 16th, 2015

NDP demands a public review of Cirque du Soleil takeover

According to the NDP, the Cirque du Soleil’s takeover by foreign interests must be reviewed publicly.

“This transaction is subject to the Investment Canada Act; and the Conservative government has the obligation to ensure that this foreign takeover will offer a clear advantage to Canada. This review must also be transparent,” said the NDP Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher).

Under the Investment Canada Act, a review process must be launched for all acquisitions of Canadian cultural companies worth more than 5 million dollars by foreign interests. This transaction is valued at $1.5 billion US, according to media reports.

“The Cirque is part of our culture and we must make sure that this cultural gem will continue to make Quebec shine internationally. Let’s not forget that this great company started with a $1.5 million grant from the Lévesque government to Guy Laliberté’s troupe,” added Nantel.

The Cirque du Soleil employs nearly 4,000 people throughout the world, including 1,500 at its Montreal headquarters. The NDP demands a comprehensive review of this transaction and its possible impact on Canadian jobs.

“The new owner says that the headquarters will stay in Montreal, but we need more than promises. The Cirque is a strong creative force and an important vehicle for economic and cultural development in our country,” said Nantel.