11.20.2012 04:19 PM

Nationhood and Trudeau

The irrepressible Terrence Watson asked me, on Twitter, what I thought about Justin Trudeau’s piece on CNOOC-Nexen.  I told him I hadn’t read it, so I went and read it.

Me? I agree with Trudeau, and not just because Trudeau said it.  When I was in Vancouver on the Fight The Right book tour, a journalist at the Observer asked me about the deal.  She seemed to be a bit hostile towards it.  My question to her, therefore, was this: if we satisfy ourselves that all of the relevant undertaking have been met, why is it acceptable to do such a deal in the case of, say, the Americans, but not now the Chinese?

If there’s an allegation to be made about the Chinese, someone should have the courage to make it directly, I said, with evidence.  In the absence of that, we can hardly style ourselves as free traders with some nations with which we already trade, but not others.

Oh, and the Harper crew continue to be full of shit on China.  Don’t forget that, either.


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    smelter rat says:

    The Harper crew is full of shit period. BTW finally found a copy of Fight The Right. Half way through it. Good read!

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      Warren says:

      Thank you!

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        Neil says:

        He said “Found” did not say bought!

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    Ottawa Civil Servant says:

    Read your tantrum:
    “… Harper was almost alone in the Western world for his eagerness to disparage the world’s largest economic superpower.
    WRONG: That would be the free people to our south. Unless you want to use the term Hyperpower for the USA.

    “He refused to attend the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympic Games. He awarded an honorary citizenship to the Dalai Lama, and courted Taiwan. He accused China of industrial espionage and attacked it over human rights issues.”
    Ummm, So? The US gets derided as such and worse, and they don’t get spiteful. But I guess the PRC does and always will, because of its horrendous human rights record, slave labour, industrial espionage, threatening of Taiwan and annexation of the Dalai Lama’s homeland.

    Harper has grudgingly accepted that business with the Chinese is inevitable, but unlike Chretien he doesn’t trumpet deals as though he personally negotiated them.

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      Jason King says:

      someone’s bitter

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    Jason King says:

    Holy speculation and generalizations Batman!

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      Jason King says:

      All I said was holy generalizations Batman. You did a more than adequate job filling that gap with examples. You are right I dont know you, and you dont know me, yet you made assumptions. Also, while we’re at it you use a lot of quotes. Are those quotes citations from any public figure that you can name? Id appreciate it if you could.

      For the record Les, holy generalizations Batman referred to your statements and yours alone. You were the one that brought up all those Albertan generalizations and “you guys” stuff. You’ve accused me of being partisan when all I did was note that you were making a statement based on generalizations that you cannot prove empirically. Sorry but “the gist” doesnt pass the smell test in a court nor a school paper.

      Just as an observation, you seem quite angry and as a result are lashing out at blog commenters: accusing them of once again, generalizations that you cannot prove. Maybe the problem is you and not “us”. And by you I mean you not some group of people you may hide yourself behind to further perpetuate the us vs them myth your comments seem to indicate.

      Proudly Canadian here, and objective enough to know we still have a long way to go to get the country we want rather than the country we’re left with. I live in the West and have lived pretty much all over the country. People are people, there are jerks and nice people everywhere. Its when you allow the jerks to make you bitter is when you’ve lost the argument.

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    Brad says:

    Powercorp of Montreal has a financial interest in CITIC China, so why shouldn’t CNOOC be allowed to own Nexen in Canada?

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    e.a.f. says:

    I am not in favour of any foreign country owning our assets, companies, land, etc. I wouldn’t be happy if the U.S.A. were the country trying to buy in. China is an extra problem because it isn’t a corporation which is trying to buy in, its a government controlled corporation. Then of course there is the small problem of the industrial esponiage China has engaged in for the past 20 or so years. We do not want to do business with China & we don’t need them messing up our country.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Agreed. That’s what Alison Redford told Peter Mansbridge. I’m now a free-trader with much added comfort!

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    Steve T says:

    Yet Trudeau is opposed to the Northern Gateway project, which would be the primary method by which the company would transport its product and generate revenue.

    Is it any wonder many of us still see Trudeau as a naive child, who latches on to issues without really considering the broader picture?

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      Tim Sullivan says:

      Naive child? When you realize your facts are wrong, he opposed the route and not the pipeline, will that change your mind about him, or will you stick to your ignorance and find some other fault with the guy?

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    Riaz Khan says:

    Mr. Kinsella:

    If you recall, it was here I had said what Mr. Trudeau needed to do in order to be a serious contender and show the West he is passionate about the energy resources and one of the things I had said that: embrace Canada’s natural resources.. I guess he read it here:)

    R. Khan

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    JM says:

    The Nexen deal doesn’t concern me, but the FIPPA does immensely.

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    jack says:

    The idea of foreign investment in the oilpatch is fine. People would be surprised just how much has already been sold while you were sleeping. this only becomes an issue when the company wants to uy the whole thing rather than just an interest.

    The devil here is ion the details:

    1. CNOOC is not a corporation. It IS the Chinese government. That said they do have unlimited resources potentially at hand that create a unfair marketplace for others. Detailed rules must be crafted to address this.

    2. A good question, raised earlier, is why did we lambaste and say no to our own national oil and gas companies and yet are now wanting to sell our resources to teh Chinese government’s oil and gas department. A recent areticle by a knowledgeable person at Statoil explained that Canada is handling its investment all wrong. he pointed at Norway and Statoil as the best way to reap the benefits (Long term) of these natural resources. Essentially he made the case that there should be a national oil and gas company for strategic and financial reasons. Foreign corporations simply get the profits out of the country through any available means, leaving us with some job creation but few long term benefits. Harper needs to address this also. How do you bless one while lambasting the other. What is really the long term net benefit to Canada of either scenario.

    3. What are the details of the secret Chinese trade agreement. Those could also have a significant impact here.

    Start with these. the details must be presented to canadians, openly and transparently.

    I don’t think they will be.

    And that is why I oppose this deal until we get some rules and answers. And I believe Trudeau should have answered this the same way. “He supports if………..”

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