Federal government blocks Chinese takeover of Site C contractor

Lawrence Kim
May 25, 2018

But by February of this year, the government said it wanted to review the deal by CCCI, the overseas arm of CCCC, under the Canada's National Security Review of Investments Act.

"This is really about following the advice and the feedback given to me by the national security agencies", he said in an interview.

According to the news release, Aecon remains a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange and its headquarters remain in Toronto, with offices in Calgary and Vancouver.

On Thursday, Trudeau offered few details when asked about his government's confidential decision-making process behind the rejection of the Aecon takeover, which followed a lengthy review by Canada's security agencies.

Beck said that while the sale of Aecon is now dead, his company has "secured numerous large-scale projects" and has "a significant pipeline of opportunities ahead of it".

David Lametti, parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation, said he believes the deal is now dead.

The proposed deal had been mired in criticism from then-Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, who had pushed for the federal government to "stand up for Canada and Canada's national strategic investments" by denying the bid, which the province complained would wreak havoc on its economy because of potash's prominent role in Saskatchewan's food production.

Conservative MP Tony Clement - a vocal critic of the takeover deal - welcomed the decision, telling reporters he is glad the federal government listened to its national security advisers.

Lu Shaye, China's ambassador to Canada, has said it is "immoral" to criticize the takeover of Canadian firms by Chinese state-owned enterprises because the critics are attempting "to weaken the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises by defamation".

In December 2013, Chinese state-owned entity China National Offshore Oil Co. But this was delayed after Canada extended a national security review.

Update 2.18pm: President, Aecon Concessions Steve Nackan said, "Following the Canadian Government's decision to decline CCC International's proposed acquisition of Aecon, it is business as usual for Aecon".

In addition to major infrastructure projects both domestic and global Aecon has been involved in contracts to build and or maintain buildings and equipment on military bases, nuclear facilities, airports, telecommunications lines and other projects which may be deemed as "sensitive".

“When Bangladesh is sounding alarm bells, why is Canada staying silent and not calling for a full national-security review of the takeover of Aecon?”.

Aecon provides construction services to private and public-sector clients in the infrastructure, energy and mining sectors and provides project management, financing and development services through its concessions segment.

"The Aecon deal going through would confirm suspicions in Washington that Canada is soft on China", Burton said.

Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is the national voice for the construction industry in Canada representing over 20,000 member firms in an integrated structure of some 63 local and provincial construction associations.

State Grid Corp., owned by the Chinese government, has sizable power assets in Australia.

The World Bank in 2009 banned CCCI from bidding on construction projects for eight years due to a bid-rigging scandal in the Philippines.

If Ottawa's refusal was based on the fact it was a state-owned company, Lu said he would consider it a move made under "measures of prejudice".

Trudeau failed to kick off official trade talks with China during a recent trip to Beijing, after trying to include various social, environmental and gender-based stipulations into the talks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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