NEW DEMOCRATS DEMAND ACTION ON WHITE BIRCH
January 13th, 2012 - 6:25pm
Conservatives must change Investment Canada Act to better protect jobs: NDP
QUÉBEC — The devastating closure of the White Birch Paper Co. is the latest example of why the Investment Canada Act must be improved to better protect Canadian jobs, according to the NDP.
“Foreign investment in Canadian companies can be a good thing. But companies must establish how this investment will have a net benefit to Canada and local communities,” said Official Opposition Industry Critic, Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques). “The law calls for this, but never defines what this means. The Act must be changed to better protect our communities.”
Currently, when a Canadian company is bought up by foreign interests, this is done in secret and commitments made by the purchasers are often too vague to enforce.
“The consortium Black Diamond Capital Management bought the White Birch Paper Co. in September of 2012, promising to protect jobs. One year later, this plant is closed. That’s unacceptable,” said Caron.
Caron also outlined two other labour disputes involving companies under foreign ownership are going on right now in Quebec and Ontario.
“The evaluation process for foreign investments must be open and transparent. Conservatives must act now to better protect the Canadian economy and workers,” said Caron.
“I can only share the frustration of workers who suffer from the arbitrary decisions of foreign owners,” said Raymond Côté, MP for Beauport–Limoilou. “They didn’t even wait for the union to present a counter-offer. It’s heartless and cavalier.”
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