Canadian Federalist Party


Foreign Takeovers of Canada's Industrial Sectors

(Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper & Industry Minister Christian Paradis - October 2012)

It is becoming alarmingly disconcerting to see the size and quantity of foreign takeovers within our resource and industrial sectors. Canada is also selling off its competitive giants in the present global competition for industrial dominance by both foreign governments and foreign corporations.

You haven’t asked for my advice, so please forgive me for presuming to press upon you my perspectives. I have had the privilege of working within and for many global sized enterprises throughout my 45 year business career. In many ways I have been a student of business all my life.

We are not a big player in this global battle, yet we are rapidly divesting ourselves of major enterprises that took many years to develop and establish. Canada surely needs to stop the buyout of our major organizations and take stock of our position in the global business community. We cannot replace these internationally competitive enterprises in one or two generations.

With global capital flowing in to oil and resource rich nations, plus major low labour cost consumer products manufacturing nations, Canada is in no position to sell off our future competitiveness to mega rich entities. Even with excellent current selling values, Canada will lose out in the long run as we will not be able to restore our competitiveness. In fact, we will be a buyer nation until our sales revenues dry up.

Of course, this is a complex contemporary phenomenon, but strategically we are on a path that will lose out in the big picture of global development and consumption during this century.

I am sure you have been advised about the absence of ethical integrity and broken promises and commitments experienced by western organizations doing business dealings in the Far East. Even those of us dealing with emigrants to Canada from this area have learned that their business practices are quite different from our values and principles. We must not allow ourselves to be blinded by the glimmer of their wealth.

Similarly, our national security can easily be compromised once we have made commitments to these people- especially if they in-turn come into conflict with our most important allies.

Strategically, Canada must take steps to process and sell our non-renewable and renewable resources independently from foreign ownership. We must apply the value-added locally so that we are not paying exorbitant prices when these resources come back to us in fully manufactured form. Similarly, we must not facilitate long term cheap supplies of raw materials that empower other parties to gain strength commercially or militarily over us.

Adopting effective strategies is critically important for every industrial organization, and governments are no different. Once we define our major strategies, the means to implement them can be readily pursued.

Canada has postponed the creation of our long-term global industrial development strategies too long. We must adopt survival and growth strategies that increase our economic independence and not rush into depleting our resource heritage for short-term material gain. (Quite likely we will need to create our own national enterprise to fund our own development.)

I’m sure you have heard over and over again the cautious warnings against approving large corporate takeovers at this time. I believe these warnings are valid, but I also believe Canada can withstand any criticisms or threatened sanctions from the proposals we reject. Canadians will fully support any government that commits to protecting its’ economic independence and adopts long-term strategic initiatives.

Any government that chooses to sell off our largest assets, like a bankruptcy policy, will surely fail.

Thank you for taking the time to appreciate a few of my concerns, and hopefully you will be able to courageously take the steps to protect our national interests in this large business battlefield.