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Majority of Canadians Polled Oppose Chinese SOE Investment, Real Estate Investment

According to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s 2016 National Opinion Poll: Canadian Views on Asia, 80% of Canadians polled were opposed to Chinese state-owned enterprises buying controlling stakes in major Canadian companies. Additionally, 62% of those surveyed thought the Canadian government is allowing too much investment in Canadian residential real estate from China.

The three countries with the least public support as sources of SOE investment were India, with 20%; Malaysia, with 13%; and China, with just 11%. Conversely, fewer than half (47%) were opposed to SOE investment from Australia. Saskatchewan had the largest opposition to investment by Chinese SOEs, at 87%, while Atlantic Canada had the smallest, but still at 72%. Notably, Manitoba’s 16% in favour of Chinese SOE investment was the highest among all provinces. However, there is still growing support for economic ties with Asia in general, as demonstrated by the increase, from 47% of respondents in 2014 to 60% in 2015, in those who believe that the Canadian government should step up efforts to increase trade and investment missions to Asian countries.

In terms of residential real estate, the strongest opposition came from Canada’s North, where 73% thought that there is too much Chinese investment, and British Columbia, where 72% were opposed in the province which recently launched its 15% tax on foreign buyers. People in Ontario and Quebec were more likely than other regions to think the Canadian government is letting in the right amount of Chinese investment, with both at 28%, while Saskatchewan was the least likely, at 15%. Alberta’s 4% saying they believe that there is not enough Chinese investment in real estate was the highest across the country.

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