In 2009, the Government introduced legislation to amend the Investment Canada Act. One of the amendments was a national security review mechanism, which allows the Government to review foreign investments that could be injurious to Canada's interests and take any measures it considers necessary to protect national security.
Potential threats to national security are identified through the ongoing activities of Canada's security and intelligence community. Where the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that an investment could be injurious to national security, he or she may recommend to the Governor in Council (GiC) that a review be ordered.
Following the review, if the Minister believes, or is unable to determine whether the investment would be injurious to national security, he or she must refer the investment to the GiC, together with a report of his or her findings and with recommendations on the review.
Once the Minister has done so, the GiC has the authority to take a decision in which it may, by order, take any measure it considers advisable to protect national security. The Minister is required to send a copy of the order to the investor or the Canadian business.
Reviews for national security can be complex and require careful consideration. The proposed amendments will give the Minister of Industry the flexibility, when necessary, to extend the time available to conduct national security reviews of proposed foreign investments. This new flexibility will allow the Government to conduct careful and thorough reviews to ensure it is protecting Canadian interests. The extensions will only be used in exceptional circumstances.
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