Smarten Up Stephen!
by Wendy Holm - Holm on Policy
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent bleating about protecting Canada's resources from takeover by foreign state investors (Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation's $15 billion-dollar takeover of Nexen) is not only disingenuous; it is also hypocritical.
Disingenuous because FIPA, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, will give existing investors - be they state or private - the right to expand. And Canada is powerless to stop that.
Hypocritical because foreign investors are presently buying up Canadian farmland at an alarming rate, state funds are a major player in the global farmland grab, and all of it is happening silently. For more see my column appearing on front page of Ontario Farmer
Given public priorities concerning food security, food safety and sovereignty, sustainable farming practices and community economic development, foreign ownership of Canada's farmland is a greater threat to public policy than foreign ownership in the oil patch.
THE HARPER GOVERNMENT - WHICH HAS BEEN TREATING OUR FARMERS LIKE DIRT SINCE 2006, is SIMPLY LOOKING THE OTHER WAY AS FARMERS SELL OFF THEIR LAND TO PAY THE BILLS.Smarten up Stephen. In the wise words of William Jennings Bryant:
"Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country."