November 24, 2016
The federal government in a landmark decision has allowed the Federal Court to set aside a Cabinet order directing O-Net Communications Holdings Limited to sell acquired shares in ITF Technologies for national security reasons. This is particularly notable in light of the fact that of the eight national security reviews that have taken place since the launch of the national security process seven years ago, there have been no successful judicial reviews. Lexpert sought co-head of our Competition and Foreign Investment Review Practice, Omar Wakil, for comment. Below is an excerpt of the article.
“I think we’re going to see a bit of a reset in the ICA process, which until now has been extremely opaque,” says Omar Wakil of Torys LLP in Toronto. “If you look at the combination of the promise of new guidelines and the agreement to revisit the O-Net situation, it looks like this government is more committed to transparency than the previous government and also wants to reset the relationship with China.”
“The challenge for both foreign investors and the government has been to balance a need to understand the government’s concerns in order to address them in a meaningful way, while at the same time preserving the integrity of the national security review process,” Wakil says. “This can be a challenge where the information that the government possesses is highly secret and where its ability to disclose that information may be limited. However, even in complex cases there can be some level of disclosure.”
To read the full article, click here.