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On March 29, 2012, the Government released its 2012 Budget (Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity: Economic Action Plan 2012).  In its new Budget, the Government signals that it wants to continue to encourage foreign investment in Canada:

“Foreign investment provides significant benefits to Canada through knowledge, capital, access to new markets and the creation of high-value jobs across the country. The Government is committed to an open investment framework that encourages foreign investment in Canada as well as Canadian business investment abroad, while safeguarding Canada’s interests. The Investment Canada Act requires the review of significant foreign investments in Canada in order to ensure that the investments bring a net benefit to our country.”

In the Budget, the Government announced that it would be making targeted improvements to the administration of the Investment Canada Act “in the interests of greater transparency while preserving investor confidentiality” (although what specific steps the Government intends to make to the Investment Canada Act process is not yet clear).

The Government also confirmed that it would be amending the Telecommunications Act to lift foreign investment restrictions for telecom companies with less than a 10% share of the total Canadian telecommunications market.  According to the Government, this targeted action will “remove a barrier to investment for the companies that need it most, a key consideration as the upcoming wireless auction planned for 2013 is expected to be highly competitive and capital-intensive.”

The Government first announced that it would be easing foreign ownership restrictions for telecom companies with less than a 10% market share on March 14 (and applying caps in the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction in 2013) (see: Federal Government Announces Plans to Ease Foreign Ownership Restrictions on Telecom Companies).

For a copy of the 2012 Budget see:

Budget 2012

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