IN THE HOUSE – ‘Is it appropriate our senior care homes are owned by China?’

Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains.

Debate in the House during Question Period on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

Cathy McLeod, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, last February, we warned the government that putting our senior care facilities in the hands of Anbang, a company with murky Chinese ownership, was dangerously naive. Wall Street even had concerns about it but the government just blindly went ahead and did it. What has happened? Anbang has collapsed, the chairman was arrested, and our senior care facilities are now in the hands of communist China. We warned the Prime Minister and our fears have come true.

Does the minister believe that it is appropriate that our senior care homes across British Columbia are owned by communist China?

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the Cedar Tree acquisition, the legally binding commitments remain in place with regard to jobs, not to close or repurpose any of the existing residences, to support expansion, which is very important, and also to abide by provincial and health regulations. We are going to make sure that these commitments are honoured.

Alice Wong, Richmond Centre (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, last year, the Liberals approved the sale of dozens of B.C. retirement homes to the China-based Anbang Insurance Group. On Friday, we learned that officials in Beijing had assumed control of Anbang’s assets, including Canadian seniors’ homes.

Does the minister really think that this is an acceptable situation?

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, any decision we make goes through a rigorous and robust process under the Investment Canada Act.

We have been very clear that the legally binding commitments remain in place around jobs and making sure that we maintain a high number of jobs in Canada, not to close or repurpose any of the existing residences, and to support expansion. I also want to take this opportunity to highlight that the particular acquisition must abide by provincial and health regulations, which is very important for the senior residents.

Don Davies, Vancouver Kingsway (NDP)

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Chinese government took over insurance giant Anbang, citing serious corruption and incompetence. This is the same company that the Liberal government allowed to take over British Columbia’s largest retirement home provider.

Decisions about the care of Canadian seniors are now being made offshore by a foreign government. When the Canada Health Act calls for public administration of our health care system, it does not mean from Beijing.

What is the Minister of Health doing to address this unacceptable situation?

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that the specific, legally binding commitments around the health regulations will remain intact.

This is something that we took precision around in terms of the Investment Canada Act process. We understand the important concerns raised by the members opposite, but I can assure the member and the House that we always have and always will continue to advance our national interest and do what is in the best interests of all Canadians.

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3 Comments on IN THE HOUSE – ‘Is it appropriate our senior care homes are owned by China?’

  1. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against selling control of anything to a foreign power, but wasn’t it the Conservatives that started this nonsense ? And now , suddenly, it’s wrong when someone else does it ?

  2. Where are the assets Tony, can you move them? Where does the income to operate the facility come from, can this be changed, where are the employees from and daily management from?
    If the offshore owner acts responsibility, can the governments in Canada do anything about, yes they can.
    China knows they are entitled to a return on investment, they also know the importance of operating the asset successfully in order to obtain that return.

  3. How do you know if a politician is lying ??? If his/her lips are moving. Translate !!! I don’t trust you Mr Bains. With the president of China taking complete power (maybe permanently) you must be smoking a lot of your potentially legal pot if you believe their promises.
    STOP selling our seniors future to foreign totalitarian governments.

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