Canadian government now "open" to Chinese investment
Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr spent the week in China trying to sell investors on Alberta's energy sector. Carr says the government "would welcome investment from any nation that's interested in the oil sands."
The minister acknowledged many oil-majors have recently divested their oil sands assets to "spread out their resources" but says there are plenty of opportunities for Chinese investors.
That sentiment is in complete contrast to Harper's Conservative government that was less than thrilled with Chinese ownership of Canada's natural resources.
During Harper's first few years in office, Canada's largest mining companies were sold to foreign entities, including Falconbridge, Inco and Alcan. The federal government blocked the sale of Potash Corp to BHP in 2010 after Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall pleaded with the government to "stand up for Canada and defend Canada's national strategic interests."
Attention later shifted to the energy sector as Harvest Energy, Progress Energy, Nexen and a portion of Syncrude were acquired by various Asian national oil companies.
Repsol's takeover of Talisman Energy in 2014 was one of the last major foreign takeovers in the energy sector.