Foreign Control of Canadian Mining

This morning, Statistics Canada released Corporations Returns Act data for 2007:

Foreign acquisitions of Canadian-controlled firms, particularly in manufacturing and oil and gas, drove a 10.6% increase in Canadian assets under foreign control in 2007. Canadian assets under Canadian control rose 9.9%, led by the depository credit intermediation industry.

As a result of these movements, foreign-controlled firms accounted for 21.3% of corporate assets in 2007, up slightly from 21.1% the year before.

Foreign investors took over substantial chunks of manufacturing and the oil patch. On the other hand, the banks (which are Canadian-controlled) greatly increased their assets prior to the financial crisis. Therefore, the overall proportion of corporate assets under foreign control did not change much.

Given the controversy around certain foreign-controlled mining companies, I was interested in the data on that industry. Unfortunately, Statistics Canada deems the mining data for 2007 “too unreliable to be published.”

However, the major foreign takeovers in mining occurred during 2006. The Corporations Returns Act publication for 2006 had indicated that foreign-controlled mining assets jumped from $10 billion in 2005 to $39 billion in 2006. In other words, foreign control of Canadian mining rose from 12% to 40%.

Today’s publication for 2007 does include revised figures for 2006, which reveal an even more dramatic story. In fact, foreign-controlled mining assets jumped from $10 billion in 2005 to $54 billion in 2006. So, foreign control of Canadian mining actually rose from 12% to 48%.


  • F- stands for too unreliable to be published.

    It seems like they are sampling business enterprises, I am not sure why for such an important industry, they could not come up for an estimate.

    You may be able to get a count and conduct a do it yourself guideline, as it states within the methods section that:

    “that the corporate structure information collected under the Corporations Returns Act is not confidential in nature. It becomes confidential when linked to the financial data collected under the Statistics Act.”

    So you should be able to obtain a framework on the corporate structures that they collect.

    Not sure if that helps.


  • J. Simpson had a good article on this today in the G&M.

    Although he takes a shot a bit of a shot a unions- but I guess that was his attempt at balanced reporting. Canadian mainstream reporters must have a checklist or something they go by- okay- opening to take shot at unions- done- my job is safe for today.

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