Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 10, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
MonJuy, April 10, 1972 _ IKE IETHBRIDGE HERAID 9 Government report on foreign ownership unlikely before May OTTAWA (ITi 11 unlikely that Hie ggvcTiimcnl's long-awuilcd rcporl tin foreign ownership will be made public before May. Tho often delayed report was, In' Ilic latest uf several sched- ules, to have liccii tabled in Ihe Commons in the second half o( April. But it is understood now that Ihe final proofs have come hack from the printers with a raft of technical errors-plus somo missing pages. licvenue Minister Herb Gray, government overseer of the re- port, is personally editing the final version. While Ihe mara- thon project is edging close to completion, officials still decline lo predict when it, and all Ihe supporting background papers, mil be ready lo issue. "I could say a couple of; said one cabinet source, "bul it seems to me borne one said that last fall." Ttic report has been billed as the definitive Canadian slate- metil on rcgulaling ownership of the Canadian economy, now heavily lilted toward American investment in resource indus- tries and others such as auto- making plants in Ontario. A well-leaked component of the proposed federal program is so-called screening device lo channel foreign invcslmenl into I certain industries and areas. I MAJOH PROBLEM A major problem In shaping the report has been the fact that generally Quebec, Western Can- ada and the Maritimcs want all the foreign investment they can get. Last September, Prime Minis- ter Tnidcau said Mr. Gray's re- port, then under preparation for sis months, would he ready soon." In October, he said it would be ready "soou." Early In December ho said he expected it "very soon." Later In December, he said he ex- pected it lo be public before Ihc end of the year. Tim reasons for the delay were variously attributed lo translation holdups, the prepa- ralion of background papers and accompanying legislation. And in the meantime, the cabi- net was reviewing Ihe whole mailer, revising decisions and listening lo outside viewpoints. Through it all, Ihc govern- ment has been kept busy ex- plaining and investigating leaks. Alleged excerpts from the re- port were published in the Ca- nadian Forum publication last summer. Related cabinet docu- ments later were made public on (lie subject. CANCELLED MEETING Within the last fcwT days, the government has cancelled a planned meeting with a group of inlr-rnalional business execu- tives. They were told by the promoting United Slales man- agement firm that Ihey would have "an unparalleled opporlu- nity" to suggest modifications In the foreign ownership policy. While the government had nothing to do wilh the invitation angry officials said it grossly misrepresented the pur- pose of Ihe was another embarrassment In connection with the foreign ownership issue. Mr. Trudeau is said lo be im- patient with the delays and anx- ious to have the enlire package made public. Although Mr. Gray has been responsible for the preparation of the rcporl, Mr. Tnidcau has been handling most of the Com- mons' queslions on Hie subject. There have been a lot of Ihem and more are coming. Smashed ears arc fewer deaths EDMONTON'