June 15, 2017
Within Canada’s Fall Economic Statement 2016, the Liberal government announced their newfound prioritization of global investment and its associated jobs. As a result, in 2016 Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union and the economic statement proposed to raise the “net benefit” review under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) to $1 billion. These are strong signs that the stated focus on global investment is taking action, therefore revisiting and clarifying the national security review process is needed.
An article in Lexpert’s 2017 Guide to the Leading Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada says “any investment in a Canadian business by a non-Canadian is notifiable and subject to a national security review.” The publishing of the guidelines used to examine investments under national security provisions in Canada’s Fall Economic Statement 2016 marks a major change from the previous process which was “criticized for its lack of transparency.” The purpose of publishing the guidelines was to help investors more readily grasp and “navigate” the review process.
Torys partner and competition law expert Omar Wakil commented on the national security review process and the telling actions of the Liberal government as they have not rejected any applications for review. Wakil said, “it looks like this government is more committed to transparency than the previous government and also wants to reset the relationship with China.”
To read the full report, click here.
To read our insight on the future of foreign investment reviews within Canada, click here.