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Foreign Investment in Canada: Focus on national security and liberalization of the net benefit regime

Author(s): Michelle Lally, Shuli Rodal, Peter Glossop, Kaeleigh Kuzma

Dec 18, 2018

Introduction

It was an eventful 2018 for foreign investment review in Canada. Canada’s national security regime took centre stage as a result of the Canadian government’s decision to block the proposed takeover of construction firm Aecon Group Inc. by a Chinese acquiror under the national security regime. Meanwhile, liberalization of Canada’s long-standing net benefit regime continued.

National security regime

The highlight of 2018 was the Canadian government’s decision to block the proposed takeover of construction firm Aecon Group Inc. (Aecon) by China Communications Construction Company International Holding Limited (CCCI) on the basis that the transaction would be injurious to Canada’s national security. This was only the third transaction formally blocked under Canada’s national security regime and the first transaction blocked by the Liberal government.

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