Madam Speaker, I sit on the industry committee with the hon. member, and I appreciate his intervention. We will always talk about the Investment Canada Act and how foreign companies are investing into Canada and creating good-paying, middle-class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That is what I am doing in my speech this morning.
Tools such as the Investment Canada Act must also be modernized to offer additional protections in light of changing geopolitical and technological advancements and to prevent hostile actors from exploiting Canada's expertise and capacity for innovation. We must all be aware of geopolitical risks, and that they and instability are now fixtures in our operating environment, especially for businesses. Hostile state and non-state actors pursue deliberate strategies to acquire goods, technologies and intellectual property. They do so in ways that are fundamentally incompatible with Canada's interests and principles. We also know that foreign investments can be used as a conduit for foreign influence activities that seek to weaken our norms, values and institutions.
Members will recall that the Investment Canada Act played an important role in Canada's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As early as March 2022, we issued a policy statement saying that any investment, controls or influence by the Russian State will also support a determination by the minister that there are reasonable grounds to believe that such an investment could be injurious to Canada's national security, regardless of its value. The statement sends a clear message about our commitment to protecting Canada's economic security from unwanted investment. Moreover, Canada's Indo-Pacific strategy is clear that the region will play a critical role in Canada's future over the next half-century. The significant opportunities for economic growth in the region are also accompanied by challenges related to the objectives of certain world powers that do not share our democratic and liberal principles.
We must respond to this reality in a number of ways, including in the way foreign investment is assessed and examined. In short, the Investment Canada Act plays a key role in protecting Canada's economic interests from hostile foreign actors. It is broad in scope and allows Canada to respond to changing threats that may arise from foreign investment, while protecting Canada's openness to beneficial international investment.
Again, I would like to say that this morning, the OECD stated its numbers for foreign direct investment in Canada, which OSFI operates through the Investment Canada Act to a large degree. Canada, for the first half of this year, came in third place behind the United States and Brazil. That is all the OECD rankings of over 30 countries. We are on the right path of continuing to grow the economy, attracting foreign investment from all over the world, along with our domestic companies investing. The act is broad in scope and allows Canada to respond to changing threats that may arise from foreign investment, while protecting Canada's openness to beneficial international investment.
The package of amendments proposed in this bill is designed to assure businesses and investors that Canada has a clear, predictable and stable regulatory regime. The nexus between technology and national security is clear and is here to stay. Rapid technological innovation has provided Canada with new opportunities for economic growth, but it has also given rise to new and difficult policy challenges.
More and more, Canada is being targeted by hostile actors. That threatens both our national security and our prosperity. Our government must therefore adapt our tools to more effectively defend us against current and future threats.
All around the world, foreign investments are now coming under much closer scrutiny from a national security standpoint, also considering various factors such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the repercussions of climate change on security, global supply chain disruptions and changing geopolitical considerations.
We are equipping ourselves today to face the threats of tomorrow. Canada will remain a destination of choice for foreign investment.
Now, more than ever, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to foster an innovative, healthy and growing economy. The guidance and decisions issued over the past several years make clear that some transactions, particularly those by state-owned or state-influenced investors, may be motivated by non-commercial interests and imperatives that could harm Canada's national security.
I will repeat that these types of investments in sectors deemed sensitive currently face enhanced scrutiny under the Investment Canada Act. Our government believes that an effective review regime must be robust, transparent and flexible to adapt to a changing world and now is the time to make these changes. I believe the last changes were made in 2009. That is why we stand today to vote in favour of this bill, which represents the most significant amendments to the ICA since 2009.
We are making important moves now to review and modernize key aspects of the act while ensuring that the overreaching framework to support foreign investment to grow our economy remains strong, open and, I would add, flexible. Our record as a government makes it abundantly clear that where national security is concerned, we will not shy away from decisive action. Our assessment of risk keeps pace with evolving economic and geopolitical circumstances.
The ICA already gives us much of the authority we need to intercede and address national security risks that can arise from foreign investments. These amendments build on a strong foundation and will improve the mechanics around national security review of investment. Now is the time to act decisively so that we can make sure that Canada will continue to gain the economic benefits of investment while strengthening our ability to address threats to our country and ensure its future prosperity.
We recognize that Bill C-34 has undergone a rigorous, robust study spanning across 11 meetings. I applaud the members of the industry committee on this process. During those meetings, we heard from a variety of legal and subject-matter experts, who testified about the benefits that foreign direct investment has on Canadian businesses, the importance of protecting Canada's intellectual property and the need to ensure a regime that is capable of tackling the emerging national security challenges that Canada and our security partners are facing in the liberal democracies of the world.
We have engaged meaningfully with opposition members to discuss their perspectives and concerns and have worked collaboratively to bring new amendments that will further strengthen the bill. We have worked together to ensure that Canada's foreign investment regime continues to be the gold standard.
Bill C-34 will provide us with better tools to protect our national security. It will also help to bring Canada into greater alignment with our international partners and allies. My colleagues heard from witnesses at INDU about how important it is for Canada to have a regime comparable to its allies. Having a comparable regime helps to address common threats and maximize our collective effectiveness.
We all know that the amendments proposed in Bill C‑34 will contribute to that important balance. We have to protect Canadians and Canadian businesses while ensuring that investors continue to see Canada as a destination of choice.
Yes, Canada is the first destination of choice for foreign investment.
We know that Canada and our allies share similar national and economic security concerns. Our allies are concerned with threat actors operating in multiple jurisdictions to secure a monopoly in critical access in technology. We see that with critical minerals. It is becoming increasingly more important to share information with allies to support national security assessments to prevent these threats from happening.
This new information-sharing authority strengthens co-operation between Canada and other like-minded countries to defend against an investor that may be active in several jurisdictions seeking the same technology, for example, and having motives ill toward. That said, Canada would not be obligated to share such information where there are confidentiality or other concerns.
I want to thank my esteemed colleagues for their attention today. I can assure members that our approach is pragmatic, principled and collaborative. It provides a solid framework to address evolving geopolitical threats while allowing Canada's review regime to be more aligned with our international allies and in the interests of Canadians. The collaborative efforts during the INDU committee ensure that we meet these goals, which is why I believe that this bill, as amended, should be adopted and referred to the Senate.
We are confident that with Bill C-34, Canada will continue to encourage positive investment that will grow our economy and create good jobs in all ridings across Canada. I do not think there is a riding in Canada that does not have some form of foreign direct investment in it or that is not affected by foreign direct investment. It should always be done in a positive, long-term and sustainable manner without having to compromise on national security. We know that in today's world there are actors, foreign-state actors and non-state actors, who have ill intentions towards the liberal democracies of the world, including our blessed home here in Canada, and so we need the best of both worlds.
I hope all of us can work together to stand for Bill C-34 to get it to the Senate for further study and make this bill law to strengthen Canada's economic and national security.
It has been a pleasure to speak to this bill this morning. It was great to see the OECD comment with respect to Canada's reputation for foreign direct investment and coming into third place for the first half of the year. We have seen flows in foreign direct investment via countries across the world, with Canada being increasingly the destination of choice. There are the Volkswagen investment and the Stellantis investment, as well as Honda, Toyota and other entities. There are investments in Kingston, investments in Northvolt in Quebec and investments in B.C. that are happening. Across the board, we see foreign companies choosing Canada to invest their dollars for their shareholders to create wealth here in Canada. It is something that is great to see. We need to encourage it from all sides of the House.
I thank hon. members for their attention this morning. I look forward to hearing their questions and comments.