NEWS

Nexen sale to Chinese goes against public opinion, NDP says

10/02/2012 01:46 EDT | Updated 12/02/2012 05:12 EST
The NDP says public opinion is crystallizing against the Nexen Inc. deal and is asking the government to hold public consultations before it makes a decision.

The Opposition has been conducting it own consultations with the public and interest groups and says it's hearing many objections against the sale of the Calgary-based oil producer to a company owned by the Chinese government.

The House of Commons is debating a motion from the NDP today calling for public consultations. Critic Peter Julian says Canadians have voiced concerns about national security, the environment as well whether jobs will be protected.

The NDP will make its judgment known on the deal soon, likely before the 45-day review by Industry Canada is concluded in mid-October. The government has the option of extending the review another 30 days after the initial period expires.

Public opinion polls have shown stiff opposition to the $15.1-billion takeover bid from the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company, and even some Conservative MPs have voiced opposition.

But supporters believe a rejection would set back the Harper government's full-press to expand trade and investment links with the world's emerging economic super-power.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that public opinion would play a role in the decision the government makes.

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