Investment Canada Act


  • A federal law passed in 1985 by the Mulroney led Progressive Conservative government designed to regulate foreign direct investment in Canada. The Investment Canada Act gives the federal government the power to prohibit foreign investments of "significant" size if the investment does not provide a "net benefit to Canada." In 2010, Canadian policy dictates that $299 million is considered a "significant" investment. The act was famously used in 2010 by the Harper government to place conditions for approval on the $38 billion hostile takeover of Potash Corporation by the Australian corporation BHP Billiton. BHP Billiton eventually withdrew their bid, citing the conditions placed on the bid for their withdrawal.

Relevant Locations

Established Year


Related Terms and Acronyms

  • Equity Definition,
    • Ownership in an asset.
    • The value of a property minus outstanding mortgage debt and other liens.
  • Foreign Exchange (F/X, FX, FOREX, FE) Acronym,
    • Various instruments used to settle payments for transactions between individuals or organizations using different currencies (e.g., notes, cheques, etc.).
    Bank account transaction code.
  • Foreign Investment Definition,
    • Investing money into a business in another country.
  • Gross National Product (GNP) Acronym,
    • The value of all goods and services accruing to Canadians in a given year. It equals Gross Domestic Product, plus income of Canadians from foreign production, less income from Canadian production earned by non-residents (such as interest and dividends paid to foreign lenders).
  • Hostile Takeover Definition,
    • When a company purchases another but the target company's management does not approve.
  • Investment Definition,
    • Something you put your money into in order to make money.
  • Specialized Financing Corporation Definition,
    • A term in the Bank Act referring to specialized business-management services such as making investments, negotiating mergers and acquisitions and many other services traditionally offered as merchant-banking services.
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