The Conservatives accuse the Liberals of not taking Canada’s national security seriously, while the Liberals say there was no need for a security review
Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne will appear at a parliamentary committee Thursday to defend the government’s decision not to hold a national security review of the acquisition of a Canadian lithium mining company by a Chinese enterprise.
The Conservatives have charged that means the Liberals aren’t taking Canada’s national security seriously, while the Liberals say there was no need for a security review. The National Post’s Anja Karadeglija examines the issues.
SO WHAT’S THE CONTROVERSY?
Last October, the Canadian company Neo-Lithium, which has a lithium mine in Argentina, announced it would be acquired by the Zijin Mining Group. After the federal government chose not to launch a national security review of the $960-million acquisition, the Conservatives called for an emergency meeting of the House of Commons industry committee.
At issue is that lithium is classified as a critical mineral by the Canadian government. It’s important because it’s used in batteries, especially as we move to electrify industries that previously used fuels like oil or natural gas – such as electric cars.