Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Harper's free market principles may have their limits

BHP's bid for Potash Corporation has put our "fearless" leader in a bit of a bind:

Weighty political opposition to the Potash Corp. takeover from Stephen Harper's hometown of Calgary is complicating the task of reviewing BHP Billiton's bid, Conservative insiders say.

As one senior Tory tells The Globe, this Alberta-based backlash to the BHP deal has ended up broadening the political calculations for Ottawa beyond Saskatchewan.

Richard Haskayne, a veteran of Canadian boardrooms who's helmed several of this country's biggest companies, is one Calgary businessman who's been pressing Tory MPs and cabinet ministers to reject the takeover.

“My neighbour, two doors down, is Jim Prentice and he knows where I stand,” said Mr. Haskayne, after whom the University of Calgary's business school is named.

The Harper government has set itself a deadline of November 3 to rule on the acquisition. It must decide whether the deal is what foreign-takeover legislation calls a “net benefit” to Canada.

From the Globe. Now for what it's worth, I agree with those who say the government should intervene; however this must create a certain amount of cognitive dissonance for Harper...

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