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  • Could skyrocketing private sector debt spell economic crisis? June 21, 2017
    Our latest report finds that Canada is racking up private sector debt faster than any other advanced economy in the world, putting the country at risk of serious economic consequences. The report, Addicted to Debt, reveals that Canada has added $1 trillion in private sector debt over the past five years, with the corporate sector […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The energy industry’s insatiable thirst for water threatens First Nations’ treaty-protected rights June 21, 2017
    Our latest report looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations. Titled Fracking, First Nations and Water: Respecting Indigenous rights and better protecting our shared resources, it describes what steps should be taken to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Betting on Bitumen: Alberta's energy policies from Lougheed to Klein June 8, 2017
    The role of government in Alberta, both involvement and funding, has been critical in ensuring that more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  A new report contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods.  The Lougheed government invested […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Canada-China FTA will leave workers worse off June 2, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is currently consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement. In CCPA’s submission to this process, CCPA senior researcher Scott Sinclair argues that an FTA based on Canada’s standard template would almost certainly reinforce rather than improve upon Canada’s imbalanced and deleterious trade with China. It can also be expected to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Faulty assumptions about pipelines and tidewater access May 30, 2017
    The federal and Alberta governments and the oil industry argue that pipelines to tidewater will unlock new markets where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported. Both governments have approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, but a new report finds that […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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M&A 2012

We knew that the takeover of Nexen by CNOOC was big but I at least didn’t realize how big it was till I saw the Wall Street Journal’s list (Jan.2, 2013) of the 25 biggest M&A deals world-wide in 2012 where it ranked 5th and was the largest deal made by a Chinese company.

Canada made the list one more time with the takeover of Viterra by Glencore International of Switzerland (actually Anglo-Swiss) in the 25th spot. Viterra has its origins – as Canadian as they get – in the wheat pools and coops of western Caada. Prairie farmers were notoriously distrustful of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange and of commodity traders in general. So its ironic, and just a bit sad, that Glencore is a multinational commodity trading company – and mining company, which is pretty problematic these days – and is said to be the world’s largest commodity trader, no less. Also in 2012, in the 2nd largest M&A, Glencore acquired another Swiss multinational mining company, Xstrata, in what was called the biggest mining takeover ever.

While presumably of slight interest and consequence to Investment Canada, Glencore indeed has a chequered history. It was created in 1994 by billionaire commodity trader Marc Rich “who was charged with tax evasion and illegal dealings with Iran, but pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001” as he left office. Glencore is “now owned and runh by Marc Rich’s secretive inner circle of ‘lieutenants’.” (Wikopedia)

RepRisk, a business service that advises stakeholders on the environmental and social risks associated with individual companies, lists on is website “The Most Controversial Mining Companies of 2011.” In a race no-one should want to win, Glencore is ranked 3rd in the world, beating out Canada’s own Barrick Gold in 8th place.

So goes the relentless march of monopoly capital with all its baggage and collateral damage, cannibalizing Canada in the process.

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