Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the innovation minister provided inaccurate information to the House. He said that the company buying seniors care facilities in British Columbia would be “owned and operated by Canadians”. He knows that this is not true. If it was being sold to Canadians, he never would have had to approve the sale.
Will the minister now stand up and tell seniors in my riding that their homes are being sold to a Chinese company with unknown ownership?
David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation: Mr. Speaker, our government is open to investments that create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians. The application by Cedar Tree to acquire Retirement Concepts has been approved under the Investment Canada Act precisely because the investment will result in a net economic benefit to Canada.
As a result of this review, Cedar Tree has agreed to maintain full and part-time jobs at the institution. That is good for seniors, that is good for the economy, and it is good for Canada.
Cathy McLeod: Mr. Speaker, the minister has been thrown under the bus by Anbang Insurance Group, which issued a statement last night admitting that it is the owner. We know that Anbang Insurance is Chinese-controlled, but the ownership structure remains a mystery.
The minister claims to have done a thorough review. Has he worked his way through the 37 shells of the company? Will he tell seniors in my riding who owns their homes?
David Lametti: Mr. Speaker, once again, the minister undertook all necessary steps to review the investment according to the law, the Investment Canada Act. As a result of this review, Cedar Tree has agreed to maintain at least the current levels of full and part-time employees, protecting Canadian jobs. It also has agreed to have the current Canadian operator, Retirement Concepts, continue to manage the business. It has agreed to not close or repurpose any of the existing residences, and it has agreed to financially support the expansion of the business.
This is a good deal for seniors in the member’s riding. This is a good deal for Canada. We are going to continue–
Mark Strahl, Chilliwack—Hope, BC: Mr. Speaker, British Columbians are now learning that the Liberal government has approved the sell-off of an important part of our health care system to China. The takeover of one of B.C.’s largest retirement home chains by Anbang Insurance includes no pledge to create new jobs. This Chinese conglomerate, dominated by a few who’s who of the Chinese communist party, should raise red flags. It certainly has among Wall Street firms that have turned down business deals with this Beijing behemoth.
This begs the question: How did we get to a place where the wolves of Wall Street have more integrity than the Liberal government?
David Lametti: Mr. Speaker, once again, it bears repeating that our government is open to investment that creates and maintains jobs, that creates growth, and that assures the long-term prosperity of Canadians.
The application by Cedar Tree to acquire Retirement Concepts was approved under the Investment Canada Act precisely because the investment will result in a net economic benefit to Canada.
As I have just pointed out in the answer to the previous question, there are guarantees for seniors, there are guarantees for the ongoing Canadian management of the enterprise, and it is good for Canada.
— Source: OpenParliament.ca.