Chinese influence in the Arctic, but what is the alternative? The concerns Yellowknife MLA Rylund Johnson has about the purchase of a Nunavut mine by a Chinese company are not unique, nor are they unfounded.
In 2005, similar concerns quashed a $6.7 billion deal that would have seen Ontario’s Falconbridge, a nickel miner, acquired by China Metals Corp., a state-owned company. Falconbridge was already an international company, with 15,000 employees in 17 countries, but it was perceived as too important to fall into the hands of an organization ultimately controlled by a communist regime.
The deal fell apart and instead Falconbridge was sold along with its majority shareholder, Quebec-based Noranda, to Swiss Xstrata a year later.
The world has changed in a lot of ways since that dust up. Climate change is a bigger concern, as is the resource extraction industry’s contribution to it. China has added between two and three Torontos to their population each year since, Canada’s population has grown by just five million people the entire time.
Johnson worries about Chinese influence growing in the Arctic and that China is one of Canada’s chief mining competitors.
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