Canada has recently passed a new Investment Canada Act which gives the Cabinet the power to block a foreign corporate takeover in the interests of national security. While it may not be clear what constitutes “national security,” the Nortel auction is a clear example of where this act can be applied.
In RIM’s most recent press release, they outlined that they are on board with the Investment Canada Act and wish it to be applied. “RIM believes that the loss of Canadian ownership of Nortel’s CDMA and Long Term Evolution Access businesses may significantly, adversely affect national interests, with potential national security implications, and that the Government of Canada should review the situation closely.”
The Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement doesn’t seem to be showing any interest in the matter and has publicly said he “cannot interfere” in Nortel’s legal court-managed U. S. Chapter 11 corporate reorganization.
Major bids for the CDMA and LTE techonlogy are coming from Finland’s Nokia. While Finland doesn’t pose a national security threat in the traditional sense, the lose of this technology will almost certainly have an adverse economic impact.
Implementing LTE technology on Canadian BlackBerry devices is going to give our economy a much needed boost of wireless infrastructure and pushing this technology forward is going to create jobs. The Canadian government is in a position to help a company that is creating jobs at home, rather than shipping our home grown technology abroad.