Mr. Speaker, with respect to the government’s decision on the matter of the takeover bid by BHP Billiton for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, in response to: (a)(i) under the Investment Canada Act, ICA, the minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.
In response to (a)(ii), the relationship under the ICA is established between the investor and the minister. Information provided during the review process is obtained from the investor and is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.
In response to (a)(iii), the information obtained from the investor during the review process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA unless it is made public by the investor or the investor consents to its publication.
In response to (a)(iv), where third-party representations are received that could have an adverse bearing on the determination of net benefit, investors are advised of the substance of those representations and given an opportunity to respond to them.
The representations made by a third party are confidential under section 36 of the ICA.
In response to (a)(v), under the ICA, the Minister may consult with any province that is significantly affected by a proposed investment. However, the information exchanged during the consultation process is confidential under section 36 of the ICA.
In response to (a)(vi), on November 29, 2010, there was a late show motion number 121 in the House of Commons. Also, on November 4, 2010, there was an opposition day motion by the NDP regarding BHP’s proposed acquisition of Potash Corp. The Hansard text for these debates can be seen at: www.parl.gc.ca.
In response to (a)(vii), on November 3, 2010, the Minister of Industry issued a statement indicating that, at that time, he was not satisfied that the proposed transaction was likely to be of net benefit to Canada. On November 14, 2010, the minister issued a statement confirming that BHP Billiton had withdrawn its application for review, thereby terminating the review process.
In response to (b), as mentioned above, the Minister of Industry issued statements on November 3 and 14, 2010, regarding the proposed investment. BHP withdrew its application for review, thereby terminating the review process under the ICA. No decision was therefore made by theminister.
In response to (c), section 20 of the Investment Canada Act lists the factors that the minister must consider in a net benefit determination. They are as follows: (a) the effect of the investment on the level and nature of economic activity in Canada, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the effect on employment, on resource processing, on the utilization of parts, components and services produced in Canada and on exports from Canada; (b) the degree and significance of participation by Canadians in the Canadian business or new Canadian business and in any industry or industries in Canada of which the Canadian business or new Canadian business forms or would form a part; (c) the effect of the investment on productivity, industrial efficiency, technological development, product innovation and product variety in Canada; (d) the effect of the investment on competition within any industry or industries in Canada; (e) the compatibility of the investment with national industrial, economic and cultural policies, taking into consideration industrial, economic and cultural policy objectives enunciated by the government or legislature of any province likely to be significantly affected by the investment; and (f) the contribution of the investment to Canada's ability to compete in world markets.
In reaching a decision on net benefit, the minister considers the investor’s plans and undertakings, other representations from affected provinces, and the results of the consultations held with other federal government departments.
The minister’s net benefit determination is made on a case-by-case basis, based on the merits of each investment proposal.