Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Ed Fast, Conservative Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, issued the following statement after the first meeting of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) on its review of the takeover of Canadian lithium company, Neo Lithium Corp., without the Liberal government subjecting the transaction to a national security review:

“Following compelling testimony by experts, it is clear the Trudeau government failed to take Canada’s national security seriously. Critical minerals such as lithium are essential to Canada’s future prosperity and our strategic interest with our allies. 

“Under Article 25 of the Canada Investment Act, the Minister of Industry had the power to conduct a formal security review and chose not to do it. It is clear that no proper national security risk assessment of a billion-dollar transaction by a Chinese state-owned enterprise in our critical mineral sector could have been completed within 45 days.

“During the testimony, experts were clear that the government had not followed its own guidelines issued in April 2020 and March 2021, which call for review of stated-owned enterprises in a sector as strategic as critical minerals. Lithium is listed in the Government of Canada’s list of critical minerals.

“Canada can be a leader in the ethical and environmental mining of critical minerals, but only if we take this issue seriously, work with our allies, and protect North American supply chains. Canada’s Conservatives will continue to be the voice for those who are concerned about the impacts that critical mineral supply chains will have on the Canadian economy.”