Alarm bells are being sounded by Canadians concerned over the pending acquisition of Canadian construction company Aecon Group Inc., by a massive Chinese state-owned enterprise.
That is why our Conservative team in Ottawa is calling on the Trudeau Liberals to hold a full and proper national security review on this take-over.
According to a Canadian researcher who studies Chinese direct foreign investment, “every foreign company they buy is a stepping stone for the Chinese government,” who is seen as “an increasingly aggressive foreign power.”
In the Financial Post, “Australia, which has seen the most acute signs of bribery and intellectual suasion by Chinese firms among developed nations, is crafting new laws to better defend against ‘unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated’ efforts by the Chinese to sway public opinion.”
The Foreign Lobbyist Transparency Act
It is time for Canada to do the same thing and craft new law.
Canadians have a right to know who is being paid and how much, to lobby on behalf of foreigners who want to take jobs from Canadians.
On May 30th, 2016 I introduced the Foreign Lobbyist Transparency Act.
The Foreign Lobbyist Transparency Act would achieve financial transparency and improved accountability through the public reporting of payments made by foreigners to lobbyists.
I had this legislation prepared in response to the growing concern that social media campaigns were being used to trick Canadians into supporting foreign interests.
With the Trudeau Liberals throwing open the doors to welcome in lobbyists; the need for transparency has never been greater.
Who Opposes Transparency?
Whether it is Russian Twitter Troll farms targeting NATO, Chinese State Owned Enterprises buying Canadian technology, or wealthy American environmentalists opposed to forestry, the need for transparency in lobbying by foreign interests has never been more urgent.
Canadians want to know who is paying whom and for what.
This enactment amends the Lobbying Act to:
“require lobbyists to disclose whether they are funded by a foreign national, a non-resident corporation or a non-resident organization; and whether they use, or expect to use, grass-roots communication to seek to persuade organizations or members of the public to take measures to obstruct, delay or otherwise negatively affect any process that requires the Government of Canada to consult with the public before embarking on a specific course of action, in an attempt to place pressure on a public office holder to endorse a particular opinion.”
Protecting Canadian Jobs & Canadian Sovereignty
When I first introduced this legislation, my goal was to bring transparency to who was paying for lobbying campaigns that targeted important local industries, and tried to have them shut down.
Since then, foreign lobbying and public influence campaigns have only become more aggressive and more sophisticated. This is no longer just an attack on local jobs, but a threat to our democracy.
My bill has been scheduled for debate in this session of Parliament and the pushback by the global lobbying firms has already begun.
I know where the lobbyists stand, but what about you?