Many Canadians whose slings and arrows are squarely aimed at Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government over foreign investment, fail to see the big picture. PM Harper’s election promise was to get Canadians to work and improve the economy. He is currently in India doing just that!
Prime Minister Harper is courting China, India and other countries for investment and business opportunities for Canada, as Prime Minister Harper is selling, what Canadians aren’t buying or investing in, that is Canadian companies. Foreign investment, including buying Canadian owned companies in Canada has many Canadians wary, especially when labour issues, jobs and environment regulatory laws need to be addressed to any foreign investor who wishes to establish roots in Canada.
I am not a fan of foreign investors buying up Canadian companies, but if Canadians are reluctant to buy or invest in these companies, including companies in danger of closing down, then selling these companies to foreign investors is the alternative, if it puts Canadians to work.
It’s a shame Canadian Pride in Company ownership, once a flagship of our Canadian industry and birthright is left to the wayside as many Canadian companies lack Canadian investment to ensure their viability.
Just last week Merritt, BC, a small town in the British Columbia interior had two Canadian owned mines recently close down, putting 80 of it’s townspeople out of work. One can bet these recently unemployed miners would welcome foreign investment and takeover of these two mines, now closed.
Small towns which relied on resource based economies saw their small town resource industries close down, resulting in large scale unemployment of their townsfolk. While some left for greener pastures elsewhere, some with families stayed, went on social assistance, thus draining the town resources and economy further. Since Canadian investors were not interested in investing in these Canadian companies, foreign investment picked up the slack. Canadians are back to work, providing for their families, versus the alternative when unable to find work resorted to the Canadian taxpayer for Social assistance. Unemployment has other costs, besides financial; the emotional stress, depression, abject poverty, stigma, loss of pride not being able to provide for one’s family is fear factor far worse compared to the social assistance costs borne by the Canadian taxpayer.
Protectionist forces (NDP and Labour Unions for all their good intentions ) are against selling our raw resources instead wanting countries to buy a finished product. While a great idea in theory, if Canadians won’t buy Canadian made products, seems hypocritical to demand other countries buy Canadian products, when they see Canadians patronize Walmart and other stores whose manufactured cheaply made products are made in foreign countries. This continued practice spells the death knell for Canadian manufacturers who just cannot compete as Canadians prefer price over quality goods.
We may not like having to be reduced to selling resources we hold dear, but until Canadians can up with a bullet proof solution that works it would be nice for all political parties for once to put Canadians interests at heart, infighting and feigning outrage at policies they too, if elected would impose serves no one, but serves them politically come election time.
Foreign countries want what we have, and yes, selling our resources as fast as we can get them out of the ground e.g. Oil-sands, lumber and minerals for example, sucks.
Buying and selling our resources are the prime reasons the world looks at Canada with envy, and can only dream they had our current economic standard of living.
Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) look to each other for trade opportunities and their economies are improving, when compared to the European economies. Canada must do the same if we are to ensure our economic survival as well, one of the reasons why Prime Minister Harper is doing to ensure we don’t end up as a statistic of another failed world economy.
Yes, we’re far from perfect, but were a damn sight better economically than most troubled countries.