Regulation of foreign investment

The Canadian government is anxious to foster a business climate that is receptive to investment from outside the country. At the same time, it is determined to monitor the level of new foreign investment in Canada and to screen a limited number of larger investments, as well as investments in certain sectors such as cultural businesses. When such screening occurs, government officials will consider the plans for the Canadian business to determine whether the investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada. The screening process may also involve meetings with government officials, as well the requirement to provide undertakings. The government also has the power to screen investments of all sizes for impacts on national security. The Investment Canada Act provides the statutory framework for the monitoring and review processes. While it remains rare for Canada’s government to block foreign investments, it has exercised that power in a number of cases in recent history.

More in this section:

  • The Investment Canada Act
  • Restrictive federal policies and statutes for special business sectors
  • Provincial legislation
  • Exchange controls

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