New rules scaring away needed foreign investment, warns former minister Prentice
Oct 1, 2013 / 3:02 am
OTTAWA - A former Harper government minister is warning that new rules against state-owned firms may be working too well â€” they are scaring off needed investment in Canada's oil patch.
Jim Prentice, a former industry minister who is now a senior executive with CIBC, says investment in Canada's energy sector has fallen off the map since the rules were announced late last year.
Prentice made the comments in a speech to a business audience in London, England, and in an interview with The Canadian Press.
He says foreign investment in energy projects is 92 per cent lower this year than during the same period last year, while once-robust investments from Chinese state-owned enterprises are now practically non-existent.
Prentice says he supports the policy of limiting oilsands ownership by state-owned enterprises, but warns the government's tone on the issue has scared off potential investors.
He says some companies believe that Canada is no longer open for business, which is hurting the country's economy.
Prentice says Ottawa also needs to do more to firm up trading relations in Asia so it can secure markets for its energy exports.
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