As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Canadian control

B.C. has no restrictions on foreign ownership of our land or resources

Son No. 3 recently had a thyroid operation.

The surgical wound left an ear to ear track on his throat. His four-year-old grandson, who came to visit and check things out after the operation, listened to the conversation regarding the operation and noted the incision site and number of staples.

The next day at daycare he announced his grandpa had an operation to get a ball taken from inside his neck, and to get it out they had to cut grandpa’s head off, then sew it back on. This news certainly startled the daycare supervisor, and everyone else, including grandpa.

***

Some billionaires in the news last week. Jim Pattison ($9.6 billion) says environmentalist David Suzuki has convinced him the climate really is changing. He didn’t say what action he might take. According to reports, Bill Gates, the world’s third richest person ($129 billion) owns the most farmland in the U.S. A spokesperson said Gates’ companies are “dedicated to sustainability.”

Given the impact droughts, wildfires, etc. (climate change?) are having on agricultural land, Mr. Gates no doubt has made a wise investment.

B.C. has no restrictions on foreign ownership of our land or resources and it’s hard to track who owns what. We’re used to U.S. investment, but what about other countries? It would be nice to know what we control and what we don’t.

For instance, FIPA, a 30-year-long contract negotiated by the Harper government, lets Chinese companies with heavy investments in Canadian energy resources seek billions of dollars in compensation if their projects are hampered by provincial laws, i.e. environmental concerns or First Nations rights. That’s Canadian control?

***

A correction to a typo in last week’s column. We were No. 3 Best Country in the World in 2019. No. 2 in 2020. No. 1 in 2021?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.


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