Morneau not committing to keeping tougher foreign investment scrutiny post-coronavirus – by Amanda Connolly ( – May 24, 2020)

Despite warnings from national security experts that Canada needs a strategy to deal with hostile foreign takeover attempts post-coronavirus, Finance Minister Bill Morneau won’t say whether the government will consider keeping new rules in place after the economic crisis ends.

In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, Morneau was asked about a warning issued by the federal spy agency CSIS last week on the threat posed by hostile foreign takeovers of key Canadian companies, and what the government is doing to limit that risk.

“We need to make sure we protect our economy for the long term,” Morneau said without offering specifics.

He was also asked about calls from experts for the government to craft a strategy to prevent such takeovers by authoritarian countries seeking influence in a post-pandemic world, and whether the government plans to keep recently expanded scrutiny of proposed takeovers after the crisis ends.

Morneau called the expanded measures “critically important” right now but would not commit to keeping or reviewing them into the future. “We’re not making decisions about long-term structural issues during this time of the economic crisis,” he said.

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