The federal government has confirmed that an independent verification “process” is underway to examine the participation of a Hong Kong company in the Port of Quebec expansion project.
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“Like any project that requires foreign investment, this project is subject to the Investment Canada Act. It is a process that is politically independent and that will take its course, ”said Liberal Federal Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Thursday.
According to him, “this process is carried out rigorously and independently of any political intervention. […] For reasons of national security, there are rigorous and solid processes ”.
Thursday, The newspaper reported information from a source revealing that Ottawa fears national security issues related to Ports Hutchison’s presence in the $ 775M Laurentia project. This is taking place against a backdrop of tensions between Canada and China.
For his part, Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus demanded that the Trudeau government show “transparency” in this matter.
“We want to have the correct time on this because that [la sécurité nationale] has never been cited as a reason for [expliquer] the deadline. We are talking about several hundred million dollars for Quebec, ”he insisted.
Mr. Paul-Hus believes that “if there is a national security issue with Hutchison, we have a problem. The other problem is the Trudeau government’s relationship with the Port of Montreal. The Liberal ministers of the Montreal region do not want the Quebec project to happen ”.
Thursday, Régis Labeaume first assured to have “never” heard of fears related to national security. He then said that “it feels a bit ‘Trumpist’ that paranoia. It seems to me that this is American political culture ”.
According to him, “Hutchison was founded in 1969. It’s a family business. The Chinese government doesn’t have a cent in there ”.
Satisfied with Mr. Duclos’ explanations, the mayor said he was convinced that “the scud [missile] comes from Montreal […] In my opinion, your anonymous source is not from the federal government […] You have a rat somewhere trying to harm the project, ”he said, referring to the competition between the ports of Montreal and Quebec.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Geneviève Guilbault, repeated “that we are waiting after the federal government in this file for various things, including an evaluation [environnementale]. At first glance, this is a very good project for Quebec ”.