Will your party take steps to make sure the foreign purchase of Canadian companies does not cost Canadian jobs? If so, what will you do? If not, why not?

Responses to the question: "Will your party take steps to make sure the foreign purchase of Canadian companies does not cost Canadian jobs? If so, what will you do? If not, why not?"

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2 Candidate Responses (top)

Hamilton Centre
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Lisa Nussey Yes Changes to the Investment Canada Act (ICA) are urgently required. Discussion on these changes is important to the working class and its allies. Rules regarding foreign investment are a significant element in asserting Canada's sovereignty. Sovereignty centres on control over the economy, politics and way of life. Fulfilling Canada's sovereign duty towards foreign investment means in part exercising effective control over that investment throughout its entire lifespan.

The global monopolies invest in Canada to make money. They do not invest in Canada to develop the economy or enhance the well-being of Canadians. This is not a subjective critique; it is recognition of the objective world in which we live. Monopolies invest in Canada for their own benefit. The social responsibility of the government is to ensure that those investments benefit Canadians and their economy. The global monopolies are not going to ensure that their investments benefit Canadians; that is not their aim, in fact, the two "benefits" express contradictory aspects of a social relation. The responsibility of monopolies is to their owners of capital, to ensure the investment benefits those investors. This could be characterised as a narrow aim and benefit. The responsibility of the Canadian government is to the people and their society, to ensure the investment benefits Canadians, their economy and the general interests of society. This could be characterised as a broad aim and benefit. The two benefits are not necessarily mutually exclusive under current conditions, if that were the case, what would be the use of any foreign investment. The unity of the aspects within the social relation demands that arrangements be worked out for mutual benefit. The opposition of the aspects within the social relation demands that the social relation be resolved into a new condition that does not require foreign investment.

Reform of the ICA requires setting up a legal framework, an authority that allows the government to take up its social responsibility to guarantee that the investment benefits Canadians and their economy, that both the broad and narrow aims and benefits of foreign investment find some unity of purpose within a legal arrangement. Otherwise, the broad benefit of public right will be constantly overwhelmed by the narrow benefit of monopoly right because the dominance of power of the monopolies crushes everything in its path if not restricted through the legal will and authority of public right and an organised and effective Workers' Opposition.

Broad benefit of public right versus narrow benefit of monopoly right

The tendency under neoliberal globalisation is for governments not to act on behalf of their constituents to ensure that the sovereign country receives a broad benefit from foreign investment. Industry Minister Tony Clement made this perfectly clear when he said in Hamilton regarding the takeover of Stelco by U.S. Steel that once the three year period under the ICA finished, U.S. Steel was free to do whatever it wants with Stelco. A Cabinet Minister by law should not be allowed to say such a thing, as it denies the government's social responsibility to defend Canadians and their economy and ensure that the U.S. Steel foreign investment bestows a broad benefit on Canada in an arrangement with the narrow benefit of monopoly right.

The government is abrogating its social responsibility to uphold public right. A reform of the ICA should publicly force governments to uphold their social responsibility to ensure Canadians receive a broad benefit from foreign investment during its life within the country, which includes importantly its windup. Left to their own devices, global monopolies do not allow a broad benefit to accrue to the host country. Neoliberalism is very clear on this point: monopoly right and its narrow benefit to investors trump public right and its broad benefit to Canadians, their economy and society.

What are some of the features necessary for a sovereign Canada to receive a broad benefit from foreign investment at this time in history?

First, a sovereign country needs wages, benefits and pensions to be high enough to satisfy an established standard of living (a rising standard of living in developing countries) and to allow the local economy to function and successfully circulate goods and services. The workers' claim on what they produce or the service they provide comes into direct conflict with the claim of the global monopolies, which is generally taken out of the economy and distributed to its foreign investors. The conflict of claims on the added-value Canadians produce or make available from providing services underscores the necessity for public good faith negotiations between the collective of workers and the monopoly to find an acceptable arrangement that could be said to be mutually beneficial. If the monopolies use their position of dominance to force an arrangement that serves only
Michael James Baldasaro Yes Yes. Neither I nor my Party will form the government, that much is obvious. However, I can promise everyone one thing and that is, that I will urge that every purchase of Canada be combined with an agreement thereto which would be rigorously prosecuted. The so-called-big parties that talk the talk but, in the end, have to walk the Party Line and as history evidenced. Few will cross the line to think Independently.

Response Summary (top)

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3 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Hamilton Centre
Annie Tennier
David Christopherson
James W. Byron