There might be perfectly legitimate reasons why Ottawa may decide to block the proposed acquisition of Nexen Inc. of Calgary by CNOOC Limited, the state owned energy giant from China. But the notion that "foreigners are taking over Canada's natural resources" is not one of them. That argument is factually and demonstrably false. Our governments own the vast majority of these natural resources. That isn't about to change any time soon. Canadians should be aware that there is no risk whatsoever that we would lose ownership or control of them.
In the same week that China's National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) applied for federal approval for its takeover of Canadian oil company, Nexen, Kuwait's state-owned company was reported to have signed a deal with Canada's Athabasca Oil Corp. That's two countries, known for poor ethics, buying a piece of the Canadian oil patch. And yet, our oil remains as ethical as ever.
In the debate as to whether Canada should sell Nexen oil company to to China National ignores one important factor: CNOOC is state-owned. The "company overview" on CNOOC's website clearly states that its top executives are members of China's ruling Communist Party. Therefore, in effect, Nexen would become a "crown" corporation, but one controlled by the government of China instead of Canada. While government should stay out of the way of true market transactions, takeovers by state-owned companies are simply not in the best interest of Canadians, given the long sorry record of such companies.