Most Canadians Would Block Proposed Takeover of Nexen

Canadians are not particularly supportive of the proposed takeover of Calgary-based oil and gas company Nexen Inc. by China’s state-owned CNOOC Ltd., a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,000 Canadians, one-in-four respondents (26%) say they have followed news stories related to the proposed purchase “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

People in Alberta (41%) and British Columbia (35%) are paying more attention to this issue than those in Eastern Canada.

Under the Investment Canada Act, federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis is expected to pass judgment on the proposed takeover of Nexen by CNOOC on the basis of whether it provides a net benefit to Canada. A majority of Canadians (58%) believe the federal government should block the takeover, while only 12 per cent think it should be allowed.

British Columbians oppose the Nexen takeover by a 7-to-1 margin (69% to 7%). While one-in-five Albertans would prefer to allow the takeover (22%), three-in-five (63%) are against it.

Opposition to the proposed takeover is high across party lines, encompassing 65 per cent of Canadians who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2011 federal election, 59 per cent of Liberal Party voters and 57 per cent of Conservative Party voters.

Practically half of Canadians (48%) believe that, as a state-owned enterprise, CNOOC would have a competitive advantage over public companies. A sizeable majority of respondents (78%) think that foreign governments should not be able to control resources on Canadian soil.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From October 10 to October 11, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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