Sunday, October 24
"Given our rapid economic growth, we're facing an acute shortage of natural resources," the Foreign Minister told The Globe.
"No matter how plentiful our natural resources, when you divide them by our population of 1.3 billion, the figure will be very small," he said.
"The Chinese government is encouraging Chinese enterprises to make investments in Canada, particularly in the field of resources exploitation."
It is the first public comment on the Noranda issue by a senior Chinese leader since the controversy over the planned takeover erupted last month.
Though the minister did not identify any specific targets for future Chinese buyers, it is known that two of China's biggest state-controlled oil companies are considering major investments in Alberta's oil sands. In other potential billion-dollar deals, Chinese oil and mining companies are looking at lucrative assets held by Canadian companies in Ecuador and Mongolia.
The proposed takeover of Noranda by state-owned China Minmetals Corp. has shocked many Canadian observers, but it is a potent symbol of China's sudden emergence as a powerful global investor and a massive consumer of commodities. China is hungry for supplies and expertise in the natural resources sector, and Canada has both.
The Noranda takeover -- which is expected to be finalized by mid-November, becoming the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese corporation -- has sparked questions by several MPs who have raised human-rights concerns. Some say the deal should be blocked because of reports that China Minmetals has been linked to the use of forced labour in the Chinese prison gulag."
The logic here is ludicrous. If China wants Canadian resources, it doesn't have to buy Canadian companies to do that. It can buy products in the market. No,no,no. China wants to check-mate US Oil interests in the Oil Sands because it is locked out of Midlle-East Oil. That pipeline from Iraq to China seems a little slow in coming.
The Operative word here is gulag - now that the Alberta Government has a memo of understanding with respect to the import of foreign workers, Union work in Alberta is likely to go the way of the dodo.
The formal name of the agreement is Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for the Entry of Temporary Foreign Workers for Projects in the Alberta Oilsands.
Which employers will benefit from this agreement?
The largest employers and developers of the Fort McMurray oil sands projects, who anticipate needing to hire foreign workers to meet investment and project development requirements, will be able to use the streamlined process.
What is Alberta's labour force strategy?
Alberta's labour force strategy, Prepared for Growth highlights a three-pronged approach to meeting Alberta's skilled labour needs:
- training Albertans;
- enhancing labour mobility across the country to encourage the employment of available and qualified Canadians; and,
- increasing immigration and the flow of temporary skilled foreign workers.
I thought Alberta was violating Human Rights through mandatory Piss-testing of employees. Turns out, as the Chinese Government says, it's only the beginning.