CNOOC and Nexen lobbyists had dozens of meetings with federal government before buyout approved

Registered lobbyists for CNOOC and Nexen met frequently with federal MPs and cabinet ministers prior to Harper's announcement approving the Chinese state-owned corporation's bid for Canada oil giant, according to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying Canada website. 

Lobbyists from Hill and Knowlton Canada, as well as Earnscliffe Strategy Group, met with a wide range of MPs, as well as representatives from Industry Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) as well as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver met with a lobbyist for CNOOC just once, in November 2011. There were 24 meetings in total with CNOOC lobbyists and 20 meetings with Nexen, though not all of the latter were related to the takeover bid. 

"The federal lobbying registry is full of oil and pipeline companies over the last few years (eg. Enbridge 145 times since July 2008) that push to 'streamline the environmental assessment act' (according to the registry)," ForestEthics senior energy campaigner Nikki Skuce wrote in an e-mail.

Skuce brought up the implications of this CNOOC-Nexen deal for FIPA, the China-Canada investors' deal that was delayed in November due to significant public outcry. 

"I think the complications are two-fold with CNOOC – one is how much appetite will our governments have to impose infractions on the Chinese government if they commit any on the environment, and secondly, and with more dire consequences to our environment and democracy, is if the China/Canada FIPA agreement goes ahead."

"Should this investor protection agreement go through, any decisions, policies, regulations to improve environmental protection can be challenged in a secret arbitration by the Chinese government. If BC decides that Northern Gateway will not be built because of environmental concerns, CNOOC (given Nexen’s support) and Sinopec can sue the provincial government for loss of profits to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars."  

CNOOC lobbyists have been meeting with federal government to discuss issues including the following: 

Details Regarding the Identified Subject Matter
CategoriesDescription
RegulationInvestment Canada Act as it relates to the proposed acquisition of Nexen
Legislative Proposal, Bill or ResolutionNew Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) as it relates to the approval process for energy projects.

 

While not specifically related to the CNOOC bid, below is a list of subject matter that Nexen lobbyists' meetings: 

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