A question to be asked and answered

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Friday, June 25, 2004
by: Joe Hueglin
  Conservative finance critic Monte Solberg is quoted as saying
  "Ottawa should allow higher levels of foreign investment in sectors of the economy like telecommunications. . . . "In general, we're in favour of a more open border for foreign investment " (1)
  Stephen Harper's  statement that
  "The Conservatives would scrap the Air Canada Public Participation Act" (2)
  raises a question as yet unasked.  What is his position in regard to maintaining Section 6. (3) of the Act that place limitations on non-resident ownership?  And, as extension of that, on removing restrictions not only on telecommunications and airlines but media and banks?
  His intentions in these regards are most certainly of equal consequence to that of knowing his position on airlines operating in both official languages.



Joe Hueglin

1. LeGras, Gilbert, Conservatives Vow Balanced Budgets (pdf) June 17, 2004, Reuters
2. Moore, Dene, Harper on defensive in final election week as he defends plans for Air Canada (pdf) June 20, 2004, CP
3. Air Canada Public Participation Act August 18, 1985, Government of Canada
6. Mandatory provisions in articles of continuance
        (1) The articles of continuance of the Corporation shall contain

        (a) [Repealed, 2001, c. 35, s. 1]

        (b) provisions imposing constraints on the issue, transfer and ownership, including joint ownership, of voting shares of the    Corporation to prevent non-residents from holding, beneficially owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, otherwise than by        way of security only, in the aggregate voting shares to which are attached more than 25%, or any higher percentage that the     Governor in Council may by regulation specify, of the votes that may ordinarily be cast to elect directors of the Corporation,  other than votes that may be so cast by or on behalf of the Minister;

        (c) provisions respecting the counting or prorating of votes cast at any meeting of shareholders of the Corporation and         attached to voting shares of the Corporation that are held, beneficially owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by non-   residents so as to limit the counting of those votes to not more than 25%, or any higher percentage specified for the purposes  of paragraph (b), of the total number of votes cast by shareholders at that meeting;


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