When it comes to Canada-China relations, it is time to look North – by Jessica Shadian and Erica Wallis (Policy Options – July 7, 2020)

Policy Options – Institute for Research on Public Policy

Canada could chart a new course for its relationship with China, and protect our interests, by thinking more strategically about the North.

If there is one thing that the COVID-19 crisis has not brought to a halt, it is China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global network of land and maritime infrastructure projects. In fact, while businesses around the world fold or face bankruptcies, China is taking this opportunity to make the most of the global liquidation sale, including in Canada.

During May’s chaotic lockdown, China entered a bid to buy a struggling Northern mining company, TMAC Resources. TMAC operates the Doris North gold mine at its Hope Bay property in Nunavut. The property up until very recently was labelled as “Canada’s next gold mining district,” but TMAC encountered operational challenges.

In late June, TMAC’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the company’s sale to the second-largest gold mine company in China, state-owned Shandong Gold Mining Co. (“SD Gold”). Only five years ago, TMAC had successfully raised several hundred million dollars and began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

It signed a landmark 20-year land tenure and socio-economic agreement with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (the regional development corporation for the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut) and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (the organization that represents Nunavut Inuit and oversees land claim issues).

The potential sale of the company to a foreign state-owned company, however, goes well beyond the case of one firm’s struggle to cover its operational costs in the Canadian North. The potential takeover is part of a much broader set of interconnected issues that require national discussion.

For the rest of this article: https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/july-2020/when-it-comes-to-canada-china-relations-it-is-time-to-look-north/