The Alberta government is considering a private rail project connecting Edmonton and Calgary that has secured investment from a Chinese state-owned company.
The Alberta government has partnered with Toronto-based transpod A 1,000 km/h, all-electric train linking Edmonton and Calgary cuts travel times from about three hours by car to 45 minutes.the transpod is Memorandum Although we signed an MOU with the Alberta Government for the project in August 2020, this is a pretext for a contract, not a binding contract.
In March 2022, TransPod announced that UK-based Broughton Capital Group, in collaboration with China-East Resources Import & Export Co. (CERIECO), will raise a combined $550 million in funding and a master EPC contract. announced that it had agreed in principle to provide Developing a multi-billion dollar hyperloop. serieco It is a Chinese state-owned enterprise with independent legal status.
The Alberta government is not a partner in TransPod’s arrangement with Broughton Capital Group and CERIECO, said Hadyn Place, a spokesman for Alberta’s Minister of Transport Prasad Panda.
“The TransPod proposal is a private sector proposal and the Alberta government has not committed to funding the TransPod project,” he said in an email to The Epoch Times.
When TransPod announced the investment in March, then Transport Minister Rajan Sawhney (now a candidate in the leadership race to replace Prime Minister Jason Kenney) congratulated the company on securing private investment.
“The Alberta government is always encouraged to see innovative private sector ideas that have the potential to grow our economy and create jobs,” Sawhney said in a statement.
TransPod co-founder and CEO Sebastien Gendron said in March that the investment would fund the first phase of the project, which will consist of connecting the Edmonton airport. global newsGendron also said this initial investment was a key step in the overall project.
The project’s proposed funding and its ties to Chinese state-owned enterprises were first reported by rebellion news.
The presence of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Canada has recently become a controversial issue as China has taken an increasingly aggressive stance on the international stage, including its aggression in the South China Sea and military exercises near Taiwan. It is Beijing has taken a more hostile stance toward Canada in recent years after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou over a U.S. extradition request. After warning Canada of the consequences, China detained two Canadians and blocked imports from Canada.
In a high-profile case, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper approved China’s SOE’s acquisition of Alberta-based energy company Nexen Inc. in 2012, but expressed its displeasure with SOE and has strengthened its rules regarding such acquisitions.
The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has allowed a number of acquisitions by Chinese companies in sensitive sectors in recent years, following criticism from Conservatives and, in some cases, US politicians. acquired Vancouver-based satellite communications company Norsat, and in the same year a Hong Kong-based company acquired Montreal-based laser technology company ITF Technologies. Year.
Ottawa has also blocked a takeover by a Chinese company in recent years. This includes banning the acquisition of Canadian construction giant Aecon by a Chinese state-owned company in 2018 for security reasons.
Earlier this year, Ottawa banned Chinese telecom company Huawei from participating in Canada’s 4G and 5G networks amid security concerns by Canadian allies.
Charles Burton, a senior fellow at the McDonald’s Laurier Institute and a former counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, told a congressional committee in 2020 that China’s state-owned enterprises will play an important role in increasing the administration’s strategic influence. said it is looking to invest in Canada in a variety of areas.
Burton told lawmakers on June 8, 2020, “Many of the things we think of as commercial enterprises are actually designed to further the interests of China’s strategic and military apparatus. Actor with a main mission.