Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond to the comments made by my hon. colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith regarding the acquisition of Retirement Concepts by Cedar Tree in 2017.
Let me begin by saying that the safety and well-being of our seniors is of paramount concern to our government. We also recognize that global investment can benefit Canadians and the Canadian economy. Investment flows into this country are important, and Canada has a robust framework in place to promote trade and investment.
The Investment Canada Act is one part of that robust framework and is the primary mechanism for reviewing foreign investments in Canada. Acquisitions of Canadian businesses are subject to a net benefit review. Consequently, they are carefully considered in light of factors set out in the act, and it is only after that act has been consulted that approval is forthcoming. Of course the determination has to be made that the acquisition is of overall economic benefit to our country.
In the course of the review of this specific investment, the minister considered submissions from a number of health care advocacy groups, associations and professionals. The minister also considered submissions from academics and individual Canadians. These parties raised important policy issues regarding the quality and availability of care for seniors in Canada.
The minister also consulted with the relevant provincial regulators of senior care facilities, such as the Government of British Columbia, which further informed the review and the ultimate decision.
I wish to emphasize that existing provincial regulations set out licensing obligations and standards of care for all operators of residential care and assisted living facilities, regardless of ultimate ownership. Retirement Concepts continues to be required to meet or exceed these requirements, and it is also required to work with the Government of British Columbia to remedy any concerns.
Additionally, through the Investment Canada Act review, legally binding commitments were put in place. Federal officials consult their provincial counterparts to actively monitor compliance with the Investment Canada Act.