HANSARD: Jenny asks who will support an increased threshold for foreign takeover of a canadian firm

House of Commons Debate
National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act
Government Orders
February 17th, 2023 / 12:30 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Harper government increased the threshold above which a foreign takeover of a Canadian firm is reviewed, from $300 million to a billion.

Does the member stand by that decision or will he support reducing the current threshold to zero, so that every prospective transaction for either state-owned or state-controlled enterprises triggers a review?


Bernard Généreux (Conservative) Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we made that decision several years ago, the reality was that the value of international investments was much higher. We wanted the flexibility to conduct the reviews for contracts within those amounts.

Yes, I agree with the amounts. Given the current cost of living, the cost of building or repairing a home or buying a business has increased spectacularly because of the inflation caused by the current government. Inevitably, greater flexibility was required in conducting these reviews.



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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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