Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to the modernization of the Investment Canada Act.
As many who are following this debate know, this act was last revised in 2008, so this legislation represents the most significant update to the act since that time. It would ensure that we can address changing threats that arise from foreign investment and would do so while our government continues to welcome foreign direct investment.
As my colleague before me stated, we are rising in the ranks of foreign direct investment, but at the same time, we are also facing global threats unlike ones we have ever faced before. This is a really appropriate time for us to get in line with other allies of ours and update our act to make sure we are keeping Canadians safe as a whole.
Speaking of Canadians, the other day, a young adult in my riding wrote to my office. He is a first-year political science student. He wrote to me about concerns with foreign interference, and some of what he said was quite interesting. He proposed three different areas in which the Government of Canada could do better in order to make sure we are safe from foreign interference threats.
He wrote to me about the recent statement made in this House about Hardeep Singh Nijjar's murder. However, he went a lot further than just this instance and talked about our democracy as a whole and what we should do to protect it now. He said that we are seeing very bold covert operations taking place in our country, whether it is disinformation campaigns, hacking, political manipulation or espionage. All of these things are rising, and there are concerns regarding the traditional boundaries of espionage. He says, there is a shift toward more overt and covert interference in international affairs by state players.
Interestingly, he writes that countries like China, Russia, Iran and India are assembling economic blocs and seem to be more open to taking chances to further their geopolitical objectives. He further says that although covert operations on Canadian soil are not new, Canada is a desirable target due to its advanced economy, technology and abundance of natural resources. He says it is concerning that these problems are converging and that foreign actors can profit from Canada's defining characteristics by taking advantage of our society's openness and variety. It is in our communal responsibility to confront these threats, and we must work together to stop foreign meddling from undermining the core values of our country.
He continued to talk about strengthening cybersecurity and safety measures regarding actors who seek to take over our resources, which we have seen. There has been concern when it comes to agriculture and infrastructure as well. I thought it was very interesting that a lot of these things tie in.
It is an important time for us to be taking these types of measures to make sure we continue to protect Canadians, Canadian interests and our economy at the same time, doing it in a transparent way as we continue to have more and more free trade agreements with countries around the world. Since our country has more agreements, especially those signed by this government, than any other country in the world, we need to make sure we also have the safety nets in place to make sure that, through these agreements, we do not increase our chances of risk.
This bill is an extremely good effort, and I was excited to see that, through the committee process, many amendments were made to further strengthen this legislation. The Conservatives and the New Democrats have all had input. From the speeches I have heard in this House, it looks like we may differ slightly, but there is core support to make sure that this legislation passes, keeps Canadians safe in the future and continues to increase the economic prosperity of this country.