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Harper government overstepped big time

The carbon belongs to Canada, VO climate change blogger Barry Saxifrage wrote me in an email this morning. 

He said he noticed that David Suzuki quoted a stat from an article saying that 40 per cent of profits from oil in Canada are foreign owned. This was in Suzuki's CBC radio interview about Enbridge this morning.

Since 1989, foreign control of non-financial corporate assets in Canada grew from 25 per cent to more than 30 per cent. Statistics Canada reports that of $240 billion in foreign direct investment in Canada, $212 billion involved ownership of subsidiaries in which non-resident owners held more than half the voting equity.

-- The Vancouver Sun, Jan. 10 

If even The Vancouver Sun is running pieces by Barbara Yaffe and Stephen Hume criticizing the Conservatives' hard-lining stance, it's obvious that radical activists aren't the only ones concerned about the Northern Gateway pipeline.  

Harperites overstepped big time on this one it looks like, Saxifrage said.

Big Tar has worked very hard for years to brand themselves "Canadian" when in reality, they are globo-corporate, he added.

The carbon belongs to Canadians, but once the license deal is struck, the control and profits belong to globo-corporations, according to Saxifrage.

Even the ones nominally based in Canada have global shareholders. Saxifrage writes: 

Now China is grabbing control and profits as well in a major way. "foreign money" is a losing argument for Big Tar that will pop the myth of "Canadian oil".


But, Saxifrage pointed out to me later in the day, Terry Glavin, writing for the Ottawa Citizen really nailed it in his story today entitled "The real foreign interests in the oilsands".

"... if we're seriously supposed to be going all villagers-with-torches about foreign outfits with weird ideologies undermining Canada's national economic interests, let's review what's really going on, shall we?" Glavin writes.

He goes on to say that the "$5.5-billion Enbridge pipeline project is all about sending Alberta bitumen in huge oil tankers to China"

Beijing's own state enterprises are among the project's major backers, and Beijing has been buying up Alberta's oilpatch at such a dizzying pace lately it's hard to keep up.

 Well said, Mr. Glavin.  Read Glavin's story here. And, for more on the tar sands, read Barry's Climate Snapshot blog. 

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