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Harper is not Chinese puppet

December 31, 2012 · 11:24 AM
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Dear editor,

One grows weary of the divisive politics espoused by letter writers such as Ms. Susanna Kaljur whose Dec. 26 letter claims Prime Minister Harper has become a Chinese puppet and sold out Canada by approving the recent China National Offshore Oil Company Nexen purchase. Such views are nonsensical and polarizing. Mr Harper would no more sell out Canada than would Mr. Mulcair of the NDP or Mr. Rae of the Liberals.

The Nexen takeover is not a sell out of Canada. A few minutes of honest research using your Google engine will confirm this assertion. It was simply the approval of a business takeover which will mean an investment in the Canadian energy sector of $15.1 billion which represents about 3% of the Alberta energy sector. Such investment is good for the Canadian economy and that fact was quickly acknowledged by the Canadian business community when stocks rose in our energy sector following the announcement.

The CNOOC Nexen takeover is not "one sided." It provides a series of guarantees to the Canadian government on job creation, head office location and governance. I believe the government in approving Nexen was loathe to send an alternative message to the world that Canada's business sector was risky terrain for investment, but it has updated the rules on future foreign takeovers so everyone will understand the government's position prior to launching future takeover bids.

State-owned enterprises in particular seeking to buy large Canadian companies will face greater scrutiny about how they operate and how much control their home governments would have. Under the new rules the Nexen takeover would have faced much greater scrutiny, but the door remains open to foreign investment in our energy sector and we should welcome it.

Those who condemn foreign investment in the oil sands seem to not understand we are blessed with the third largest oil reserve on the planet and like it or not fossil fuel happens to be central to all global economies for the foreseeable future.

The profits coming from the exploitation of the oil sands significantly help to preserve our social programs, health care, educational institutions, pensions and our very way of life which without Alberta oil would be much less sustainable. We cannot have it both ways. A sustainable "greener" future is possible, but let's get the oil to market to pay for it.

As for you misguided folks who advocate against getting the oil ("tar" in your vernacular) to market via Northern Gateway, Keystone or Transmountain pipelines, I just wish you would spend as much time condemning cities like Victoria which continue to dump tons of raw affluent into the ocean each day. It's fascinating how that environmental travesty is never on your radar.

Win Hunter

 

Courtenay