An in-depth review of shareholder information from Bloomberg shows that 71 per cent of all tar sands production is owned by non-Canadian shareholders. Supposedly Canadian companies (with Canadian headquarters and accounting practices who trade on our stock exchanges) are largely owned by foreign interests, including Suncor (56.8%), Canadian Oil Sands (56.8%), Nexen (69.9%), and Husky Energy (90.9%).
“What foreign funding should Canadians be worried about?”, asks Tzeporah Berman Co-founder of ForestEthics. “With the majority of profits from tar sands operations flowing to foreign companies, we need to ask in whose interest is the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Harper serving?”
According to Statistics Canada, the report briefing points out that the oil and gas sector in Canada has nearly two times the amount of foreign investment compared to the Canadian average. Over half (51.1%) of all oil and gas operating revenue in Canada goes to foreign entities compared to the national average of 28.5%.
“For who’s benefit is the Harper regime governing?”, asked Clayton Ruby, Director of ForestEthics Advocacy. “We need foreign investment and shareholders, but not at the cost of democracy, our economy, our environment and future generations.”
The briefing report, Who benefits? An investigation of foreign investment in the tar sands, also highlights that despite Canada producing 2.8 million barrels of oil per day (2010), more than enough oil to meet Canada’s oil demand, Canada imports 43% of the crude oil used in the country, mostly from Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, the UK and Norway. This is because Canada exports 1.1 million barrels of oil per day to the United States (2010).
“The Conservative Harper government’s cut, gut and shut-up approach to environmental reviews and fisheries legislation is fueled entirely by oil,” said Nikki Skuce, Energy Campaigner with ForestEthics Advocacy. “This federal government is increasingly ruling in favour of oil companies and foreign interests instead of Canadians.”
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