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Paradis leaves BCE-Astral deal in hands of CRTC

Industry Minister Christian Paradis responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, June 21, 2012.


Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis isn't taking a position on BCE Inc.'s proposed takeover of Astral Inc., despite a new initiative from a group opposed to the deal encouraging Canadians to write the minister in protest.

He is leaving all judgment to the Canadian Telecommuinications Radio-television Commission and the Competition Bureau, which, as arms-length institutions, "will do what they have to do according to the law."

Mr. Paradis gave a brief media scrum Tuesday morning after a 10-minute speech before the Economic Club of Canada at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel. He also shied away from commenting on the federal government's stance on China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd.'s proposed takeover of Nexen Inc., a Calgary-based oil and gas company.

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"I cannot be drawn into specifics," Mr. Paradis said, noting he was prohibited by law to do so. "My department was told by CNOOC that there will be a proposal tabled soon."

His speech before the Economic Club of Canada focused largely on the relationship between government and industry, with a repeated focus the role of technology in Canada's economic future. "I want to launch a Canadian-made digital economic strategy by the end of the year," he said.

Mr. Paradis emphasized the role of the private sector in helping Canada weather the economic storm that has battered much of the rest of the world. "Growth and job creation in today's modern economy starts with business, not government," he said.

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About the Author

Josh O’Kane is a reporter with The Globe and Mail's Report on Business. Since joining the paper in 2011, he has told stories from New Brunswick to Nairobi. More


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