Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on behalf of the residents of Davenport in support of Bill C-34, an act to amend the Investment Canada Act.
The Investment Canada Act, for those who may not know, is designed to encourage investment, economic growth and employment in Canada. It is a very important act for our federal government, because as we continue to try to create a stronger culture of innovation in Canada, as our economy moves increasingly from tangible to intangible or non-physical assets, as intellectual property becomes more important, and as we work to define the freedom to operate rules in Canada, acts like the Investment Canada Act are very important.
It is also an act that provides mechanisms to review foreign investments in Canada to ensure that foreign investment is a net benefit to Canada and does not harm national security. The rules in the act are established to provide investor certainty while giving Canada the ability to block individual investments under specific circumstances. This act is critical to ensuring a prosperous economic future for Canada and to guiding the right type of investments in our country.
Let us review some of the key changes to the Investment Canada Act that are being proposed by Bill C-34. It is not first time we have made changes to this act, but it is probably the largest set of amendments we have proposed since 2009.
The first thing the bill would do is to introduce a preimplementation filing requirement for specific investments. This would give the Canadian government more tools to review any proposed investments in sensitive business sectors.
It would also give authority to our Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in consultation with our Minister of Public Safety, to order further national security reviews of investments.
It would update penalties to strengthen deterrence of any behaviours we may not want.
It would introduce the authority for the Minister of Industry, again in consultation with the Minister of Public Safety, to impose interim conditions on an investment to reduce the risk of national security injury taking place during the course of the review itself, such as through the possible transfer of assets, intellectual property or trade secrets before the review is complete.
The bill would provide greater flexibility in mitigating national security risks by allowing the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in collaboration with the Minister of Public Safety, to impose binding undertakings on investors. These undertakings would have to demonstrate that they adequately mitigate the national security risk that would arise from the investment in question.
Finally, the bill would allow Canada to share case-specific information with international counterparts to help protect common security interests.
The Investment Canada Act not only sets out the rules that would encourage more investment and trade in Canada, but also includes a number of measures that would serve to protect any foreign-made investments in Canada as well.
The economy is changing, the global trade and investment environment is changing, and so must our rules, legislation and regulations change. This would ensure that Canada is able to attract the best foreign investments and trade that would encourage economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities in Canada while also protecting Canada's national security and interests as they relate to trade and foreign investments.
As I mentioned earlier, this is not the first time that our Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry has updated the Investment Canada Act. He has done so at least three times in the last couple of years. The first time, in March 2021, he updated the national security guidelines in light of the then-evolving national security concerns to include investments involving sensitive personal data, sensitive technologies and critical minerals, as well as investments by state-owned or state-influenced investors.
The second time, we adjusted our federal government act to begin in February 2022, when Russia began its unprovoked and illegal attacks against Ukraine, creating an environment of heightened national security and economic risk. At that time, we put out a policy advising clearly that any investment with ties to Russia would only be found to be of net benefit to Canada on an exceptional basis. Moreover, any foreign investments with ties to the Russian state would also be viewed as potentially harmful to Canada's national security.
Finally, the third time we updated the Investment Canada Act was when the federal government announced a new policy related to foreign investment in Canadian critical mineral sectors. The policy advised that any investment in the critical mineral sector by state-influenced investors would only be approved as being a net benefit to Canada on an exceptional basis. Then we took quick action to block transactions that would be injurious to Canada's national security, and the government ordered the divestiture of investments by three foreign companies in Canadian critical mineral companies.
This announcement was a change in procedure, and it is also part of our efforts to modernize and improve the administration of Canada's investment review regime. Despite previously having the authority to announce decisions of this nature, the Government of Canada had traditionally not done so.
Again, it is not the first time updating the Investment Canada Act. Indeed, this bill is the latest in a series of actions our government has taken to ensure that we have the right tools and flexibility to protect Canada's national security interests. In turn, I believe that this would ensure an investment climate in Canada that is positive for economic growth both now and in the future.
Let me take a moment to relay some of the great investments we have already made in the area of innovation, science and technology with an eye to the future. For me, these are the types of investments that absolutely set Canada up for success both now and in the future.
In late January, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced an investment of $100 million through the strategic—