Harper says Canada not for sale, as Conservatives approve CNOOC Nexen buy-out

First graphic by Beth Hong.  Second graphic by Craig Fleisch (craigfleisch.ca) for The Vancouver Observer

Following the Conservative government's approval of a $15 billion sale of Calgary-based Nexen Inc. by a state-owned Chinese enterprise, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that "Canada is not for sale". 

Harper said foreign companies would still be able to acquire minority interests in Canadian companies, but "when we say Canada is open for business we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments."

The Canadian Pension Fund owns $62 million worth of stock in Nexen.  China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)'s business with Iran came under fire on The Rachel Maddow Show in late September.  Maddow  highlighted CNOOC's $16 billion natural gas development deal with Iran in 2006.

The CNOOC $15.1-billion U.S. bid will be the largest Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) takeover of a Canadian natural resource firm in history, Beth Hong reported for the Vancouver Observer earlier this fall.  The deal will have implications for both countries' foreign and domestic policies.

Charles Burton, a political scientist at Brock University who specializes in China-Canada relations, told Hong that recent developments called for a substantive discussion -- particularly about Chinese ownership of Canadian natural resources.
"Given the scale of potential Chinese investment in Canada's natural resources, a major question that should be on many Canadians' minds is what percentage of ownership by the Chinese state is acceptable to Canadians in natural resources? Canadians are not happy about profits of their natural resources going out the state," Burton said.

Canada's Green Party leader Elizabeth May has joined the NDP in the last months in vehemently opposing the CNOOC-Nexen deal for national sovereignty reasons.

 “The Chinese state-owned enterprises are an extension of the Communist Party of China and threaten to erode sovereignty in different ways than other foreign investors,” May has said.

Get award-winning reporting from the Vancouver Observer in a book. Read "Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge". Buy it here.

More in World

Game of Thrones Season 5 preview: Everything you need to know about Dorne

Oberyn Martell's spectacularly violent death will have a huge impact on Game of Thrones Season 5.

Cambodian journalist shot dead while investigating illegal logging

Taing Try was with five other journalists looking into illegal logging research when he was shot in his car.

Imperial Metals wanted to detoxify Mount Polley tailings, but overlooked underlying problems

The mine was actively trying to find methods to make its tailings safer for the environment. Why didn't it deal with the issue of finding a place to safely discharge its water?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.

Harper: demagogue and traitor

What a liar. The entire administration of this regime is treasonous and bad for our health. Just goes to show how many of us are really ignorant of what is happening, especially with the recent deep erosions to standards through omnibus bills C-38 and C-45. Only those who are 'invested' in rapacious exploitation and the ignorant (one and the same) would be disregarding the impacts on the Canadian quality of life from these bills and this CNOOC approval. End corporate control of public resources.


When it looked like Harper would stop the deals, the media screeched that he was turning his back on foreign investment, closing the country for business.


Canadian Energy Policy (CEP)

Canada needs a Canadian Energy Policy. Harper is Canada's George Bush.

sellout PM

After Harper OKing this really really bad deal, Jason Kenney announced a new program which would allow foreign tradespeople easier access to jobs, and with the 15% discount an employer can pay these people, the race to the bottom has begun in earnest.Harper is not the only one to blame for this happening.  He is simply taking advantage of the disease called voter apathy, and I blame those who didn't vote as much as I blame those who voted for these traitors.

Forget trying to get an apprenticeship under these circumstances.  Any young person who put his or herself into heavy debt in trade school is going to have a really tough time.  Wages will go down, down, down, and now there's nothing anyone can do about it.

I curse the day Harper got into power.

some of the facts

It is very clear in reading the hysterical comments that many of the readers of this paper have no idea and probably little interest in any of the facts about Nexen and this deal.  For those few who do I'd suggest going to their website and reading about them.   Most of their operations are not in Canada so the wild claim that our government is selling our resources is way off the mark.


Interesting that Harper is

Interesting that Harper is satisfied that the Chinese will obey all laws and regulations in Canada. Will this be like the way they complied in Tumbler Ridge? Will they sod all they can to skirt the law as they did? Will the Harper government be as negligent about ensuring Canadian standards and rules are obeyed like they did in Tumbler Ridge?  I shudder to see how this take over actually plays out.

CNOOC Nexen buy-out

Prime Minister Harper did not china / canada trade agreement not been ratified no guarantee on income for CNOOC.

So I suggest we Canadians unify and do this to eliminate the market for the tar sand oil !

Dennis Baker

In my opinion
We need to replace the fossil fuel power plants, the primary source of GHG. Now!

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option

All Human and Agricultural Organic Waste can be converted to hydrogen, through exposure intense radiation!


The Radioactive Materials exist now, and the Organic waste is renewable daily.

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

Air, Water, Food and Energy issues, receive significant positive impacts .

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !

Dennis Baker
106 - 998 Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9
cell phone 250-462-3796 
Phone / Fax 778-476-2633 

Canada for Sale, HARDLY

Get the facts right boys only 25% of the assets Nexen holds are in Canada. After Exxon, Mobile and Standard Oil pulled their investments out of the oil sands for what ever reason, it is only fair to have other interested parties invited in. China will pump another $20 BILLION DOLLARS INTO THE SANDS AND UNLIKE OUR MOST FAVOURED FRIENDS WON'T BACK OUT. We can't do business on one level with the Chinese and refuse them on another, it isn't okay to get just a little smelly when you have to hold your nose because we don't see the world as others do, you are either all in or all out, not a little of both..

Nexon buyout by CNOOC

This is the worse news coming out of Canadian politics in quite some time. This a war between the 'Environmentalists' and Crony Capitalists. I oppose this deal because as a Canadian I want no foreign government to own any of our natural resources because this is the first step in China having a say in our political, economic and cultural policies. I voted for Harper the last time and believe me that is the last time. This is not Free Market Capitalism. This is Harper rewarding his buddies who helped him get elected. Welcome to the new reality where truth and integrity count for nothing. Power is absolute! The public will be damned!

Harper sells out Canada, then promises to never do it again

Stephen Harper, fresh from selling out Canadian sovereignty in a trade deal with China, piously declares that such a thing will never happen again. This suggests one of two scenarios: 1) Harper was extraordinarily naïve, and formally committed Canada to this deal behind closed doors before it came out into the public arena – meaning he couldn't back out of it, even after it made many many people angry; or 2) Harper cynically completed this deal, as a closet climate change denier and corporatist, knowing that it would be extremely unpopular in many quarters, but planning to make a pious declaration about future protection of Canada's interests as soon as the ink was dry. Either way, it is clear that our Prime Minister never met a corporate lobby group he could learn to love!


"Harper never met a corporate lobby group he COULDN'T learn to love!"

Harper says Canada not for sale

Readers need to be reminded that 97% of shareholders voted in favour of this deal. The shareholders consist of individuals, pension fund and mutual fund managers. If you are a contibutor to any pension fund including CPP, or hold mutual funds invested in Canadian Securities, did you make a call to your fund manager to inform yourself as to whether the funds held Nexen shares and did you express disapproval of this deal? Your fund manager's mandate is to maximize returns. Prime Minister Harper didn't "sell you out". This was a public company and the shareholder voted to sell.