Wednesday, June 14, 2017

the dollar bill yo!----------So why the rush? Why did the Trudeau government so signally fail to do its due diligence? Is it simply oblivious to security concerns when it comes to China, or is it prepared to sell them out, as Stephen Harper once said, for the “almighty dollar”?

Just like the situation in AB we have amateurs in charge at the federal government and in the case of the relationship with China we appear to have fast forward approvals of major takeovers in at least two cases. In the case of Retirement Concepts to Anbang we have a deal for three years and then what? Even worse this deal involves the care of our most vulnerable seniors in BC by a human rights abusing country's business. It's disturbing.
Then there is the takeover of Norsat Intenational to Hytera Communications. The company deals in "portable satellite communications" and does business with the USA. Isn't it kind of an oxymoronic situation to approve a takeover of a company which does business with the USA to the Chinese? The folks in the USA have concerns and so do I. What the heck is going on with Team Trudeau? Is it all about the dollar, the dollar bill yo?
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Troubling that Mr. Trudeau is allowing the China takeover of Canadian properties and no one is yapping about this matter.
This particular sale does not look like a good transaction.
I'm curious why Mr. Trudeau isn't getting the media attention that this sale warrants; if this had been Mr. Harper I am sure we would have had a feeding frenzy over this sort of sale to a human rights abusing nation such as China.
Mistake to have hired this crew.


Are the Liberals simply oblivious to security concerns when it comes to China, or are they prepared to sell them out, as Harper once said, for the ‘almighty dollar’?
NEWS.NATIONALPOST.COM

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http://news.nationalpost.com/opinion/andrew-coyne-rush-to-sell-norsat-raises-troubling-questions-about-trudeaus-approach-to-china

Andrew Coyne: Rush to sell Norsat raises troubling questions about Trudeau’s approach to China

Andrew Coyne | June 14, 2017 9:42 PM ET
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at a business luncheon in September 2016 in Montreal.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan RemiorzPrime Minister Justin Trudeau with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at a business luncheon in September 2016 in Montreal.
Since coming to power, the Trudeau Liberals have made a point of seeking closer relations with the People’s Republic of China. It would be hard to be more distant, certainly, than the relations that sometimes prevailed during the Harper era. But the Liberals seem determined to err in the other direction.
It’s a difficult balance, admittedly, to get right. More than a dictatorship, China is rated by Amnesty International and other human rights groups as one of the world’s most brutal and repressive regimes, the kind we would usually shun. It is, moreover, a strategic rival to the democracies, if not a threat, one that has not been shy about using its vast espionage network to infiltrate and spy upon Canada and its allies.
On the other hand, it’s China: a power we cannot avoid and a market, as the world’s most populous country, we cannot ignore. If we don’t sell to them, others will. Maybe trade will even encourage them to liberalize, we tell ourselves, uncertainly.
So some level of hypocrisy and moral equivocation is inevitable. All we can really do, as we try to balance principles and self-interest, is ensure it remains a trade-off, keeping any concessions as grudging as possible. Maybe we can’t change China, that is, but we can at least keep China from changing us.
Contrast that with the Liberals’ pell-mell rush into China’s embrace. It is one thing to be more open to Chinese trade and investment — even the Harper government signed the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). But the Liberals, in their eagerness to court Beijing, have expressed interest in, inter alia, an extradition treaty — with a country without an independent judiciary, where the use of forced confessions, often obtained through torture, is widespread — and even a full-blown free trade agreement.

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All of which may help to explain the Trudeau government’s bizarre and inexplicable handling of the proposed sale of Vancouver-based Norsat International to China’s Hytera Communications. The facts are by now well-known. Norsat is described as “a world leader in portable satellite communications,” with a roster of clients including the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, as well as NATO. Hytera is, like any large Chinese technology company, an instrument of the Chinese state: indeed the government owns a small share.
The security implications are obvious. Yet the takeover was approved earlier this month with only a routine security screening, not the kind of formal security review by defence and security experts that cabinet can order in cases like this. Two former directors of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Richard Fadden and Ward Elcock, have said they would have recommended such a review. For its part, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which reports to the U.S. Congress, has expressed its alarm, saying the deal “raises significant national-security concerns for the United States as the company is a supplier to our military.”
Worse than the Trudeau government’s apparent complacency in the face of such concerns has been its dissembling. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who approved the deal, told Parliament that it had in fact been the subject of a full security review, while the prime minister went so far as to claim that every foreign takeover is given the same scrutiny. Neither statement was true.
The whole issue may blow over, if a rival bid for Norsat by a U.S.-based investor, Privet Fund Management, is accepted in place of Hytera’s. But it still raises troubling questions about the Trudeau government’s approach to China, and the lens through which it views the regime.
All we can really do, as we try to balance principles and self-interest, is ensure it remains a trade-off
It’s too crude to say it had something to do with the prime minister’s notorious series of “cash-for-access” dinners with Chinese billionaires. But it may well have something to do with his patented mix of deep cynicism and flower-child naiveté — the kind that led him to name China’s “basic dictatorship” as the system of government he most admires, the kind that emerged in that embarrassing encomium to the late Fidel Castro that never managed to mention political prisoners or mass executions.
The issues raised here are not the usual protectionist concerns about Canada’s “crown jewels” being snapped up by foreigners. If that were all, the government would be right to slap them aside: the domestic owners of Canadian assets are quite able to assess for themselves whether the sale price is worth the discounted sum of expected future returns.
That remains the case, even where the buyer is a state-owned enterprise, and thus, as it is often argued, not subject to the usual commercial imperatives. The only way in which it can “distort” the market for a given asset is by overpaying for it, in which case we should be glad to relieve them of their money.
It’s true, as the Chinese government complains, that national security concerns can sometimes be used as a smokescreen for protectionist interests. But national security fears here appear entirely legitimate — enough, certainly, to warrant a proper review and, if necessary, for conditions to be attached to the sale (such as the United Kingdom imposed in a similar case involving Hytera), if not an outright ban.
So why the rush? Why did the Trudeau government so signally fail to do its due diligence? Is it simply oblivious to security concerns when it comes to China, or is it prepared to sell them out, as Stephen Harper once said, for the “almighty dollar”?



Julie Ali · 

This is the second major property sale that I've read about. The first one was the sale of Retirement Concepts to a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance in BC. It's puzzling to me why the federal government would let a country with human rights abuses come in and buy up a business that is responsible for the care of seniors in BC.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/.../bc.../article34181624/
B.C. health officials have granted all the required licences to allow the sale of Retirement Concepts to a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance in a deal believed to have exceeded $1-billion. The giant firm has faced questions in the United States over its ownership and possible ties to the Chinese state.

It took a little more than a week after Ottawa approved the sale for the province to complete its “due diligence” reviews and issue the new licences for 20 seniors’ care facilities across the province.
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Now I read about a sale of Norsat International to China’s Hytera Communications. You would think that the security problems of such a sale would be obvious and deter the federal government from approving this sale.

The approval of both these takeovers is disturbing and seems to indicate a lack of judgement on the part of Mr. Trudeau and his team. The lack of scrutiny is very puzzling. China is a human rights abuser and we should not (in my opinion) be approving of such transactions without scrutiny. Very poor governance.
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Troubling that BC simply approves of the rushed approval for this takeover. Seniors are now going to be serviced by a human rights abusing country's business.
Unfortunate that the only thing that seems to matter to the Liberals is the dollar, the dollar bill yo!

Province draws criticism for granting licenses to Anbang Insurance just more than a week after Ottawa green…
THEGLOBEANDMAIL.COM

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https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-grants-final-approval-in-sale-of-retirement-homes-to-chinese-conglomerate/article34181624/

B.C. grants final approval in sale of retirement homes to Chinese conglomerate

VICTORIA — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2017 9:28PM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2017 9:28PM EST
The sale of British Columbia’s largest provider of seniors’ care to a Chinese insurance conglomerate has cleared the last hurdles, sidestepping concerns about the company’s murky ownership.
B.C. health officials have granted all the required licences to allow the sale of Retirement Concepts to a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance in a deal believed to have exceeded $1-billion. The giant firm has faced questions in the United States over its ownership and possible ties to the Chinese state.
It took a little more than a week after Ottawa approved the sale for the province to complete its “due diligence” reviews and issue the new licences for 20 seniors’ care facilities across the province.
That timeline has raised concerns from public-health-care advocates.
We are talking about the largest provider of residential care and assisted living in B.C. being handed over to a major offshore corporation. The province has a duty to look into it carefully,” Adam Lynes-Ford of the BC Health Coalition said.
“It’s not just money and business. It’s about inherent values in the way we provide care, it’s about taking care of the elders of our society, and providing the best possible care for their well-being – not profit. Handing that over to a multinational of which we know very little, with the province unconcerned about learning their ownership and their intentions, raises serious questions,” Mr. Lynes-Ford said.
The province received a commitment that the company will continue delivering existing services for a minimum of three years under the new ownership. That goes beyond existing provincial regulations which would have only demanded a one-year guarantee, but details of that agreement are shrouded in secrecy.
Retirement Concepts was paid close to $90-million by the province in the last fiscal year to provide more than 1,200 publicly funded beds for seniors in residential care and assisted living services.
Health Minister Terry Lake said he is not privy to details of the sale of Retirement Concepts; that decision was made exclusively by Investment Canada. Navdeep Bains, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said the deal, first revealed by The Globe in November, was approved “because the acquisition will result in a net economic benefit to Canada.”
The B.C. Health Minister blasted critics of the deal, telling reporters in Victoria that there is no reason for seniors at Retirement Concepts facilities to be concerned about the change in ownership.
“I think there is a level of fear-mongering that is going on with seniors and their families around this issue. They can be assured that we have strong protections in place through legislation, through our medical health officers. … I’m confident seniors are very well protected.”
Anbang, one of China’s top insurers, has been buying up real estate in Canada and the United States. The federal government has provided scarce information on its decision to approve the company’s entry into the Canadian health sector, identifying the new owners only as Cedar Tree Investment Canada Inc.
The New York Times last year reported that 92 per cent of Anbang was held by firms fully or partly owned by relatives of Anbang’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui; or his wife, Zhuo Ran, the granddaughter of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping; or Chen Xiaolu, son of a famous People’s Liberation Army general.
Lack of transparency has been an issue for the company in the past. Reuters has reported that last year, Anbang withdrew an application for regulatory approval to purchase Iowa-based Fidelity & Guaranty Life after the New York Department of Financial Services sought more details about the Beijing firm’s funding and shareholder structure. Anbang did not provide the information.
Mr. Lake said he does not have details of how Canada arrived at its decision to approve the sale, and maintained it is not relevant to the province’s duty to oversee seniors’ care.
“For us, the decision about ownership was made by the federal government,” he said. “That’s a confidential process.”
As the minister responsible for approving the sale, Mr. Bains stressed in a statement that the operation will not change. “Cedar Tree has agreed to maintain at least the current levels of full-time and part-time employees at facilities operated by Retirement Concepts; ensure a significant ongoing role for Canadians in the business; have the current Canadian operator, Retirement Concepts, continue to manage the business; not close or re-purpose any of the existing residences.”
However, it is not clear how the three-year commitment was negotiated or what might happen after that. The province deferred questions about the agreement to maintain services to Azim Jamal, president of Retirement Concepts. Mr. Jamal, in a written statement on Wednesday, said the details of that agreement also are confidential.
“Our agreements are with various partners and governmental bodies. As such, we are unable to release these agreements for confidentiality reasons,” the statement read. Retirement Concepts has 20 facilities in British Columbia, as well as two facilities in Alberta and one in Quebec.
Mr. Jamal stated: “I can confirm that Retirement Concepts is contractually obligated to manage the day-to-day operations at each of the 23 properties forming the partnership between Retirement Concepts and Cedar Tree for a minimum of three years from the closing date of the partnership transaction.”
Follow Justine Hunter on Twitter: @justine_hunter

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