Roundup: A very big decision while a firestorm rages

The government has decided to allow both the CNOOC-Nexen and Petronas-Progress Energy takeovers go through, but with the warning that henceforth, no more state-owned enterprises will really be allowed to invest in the oil sands barring “exceptional circumstances.”  And the fact that Harper himself held a press conference and took questions for thirty minutes – something he never does – means that this was really a Very Big Deal. And yes, the NDP are opposed, in case you were wondering. In advance of the decision, had a Q&A that explains the review process and what it all means. Here’s a look at Nexen’s market share in Canada. Andrew Coyne notes how big of a mess the foreign investment rules are going forward.

As the renewed firestorm over the F-35s continues – John Ivison now reporting that the KPMG report says they’ll cost nearly $46 billion to purchase – word has it that the government will have four independent monitors to vet the process, including the retired RCAF commander of the Libya mission, and University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé – not that this is confirmed yet. Lagassé, incidentally, also wrote an op-ed yesterday that highlights the systemic procurement problems at DND, and concludes that the Canadian Forces won’t be able to fully recapitalise its fleets and assets unless they get a significant budget increase once the deficit is slain. John Geddes notes that a panel is one thing, but the hard work of what plane to get is quite another. Andrew Coyne says that the entire debacle has proved to be a failure for democratic accountability, as every mechanism we have to ensure it has been evaded, subverted or ignored.

In not unrelated news, the Parliamentary Budget Officer is trying to write a report on the national shipbuilding strategy, but Public Works doesn’t want to turn over the data on the shipyard bids because of commercial confidentiality. Rona Ambrose took to the Twitter Machine (as she is doing increasingly these days) to assure everyone that she has offered information briefings to the PBO, but reiterated the point about commercial sensitivity.

We’ll be requiring biometric data and fingerprints from arrivals from 30 countries starting next year.

Nova Scotia officials first claimed that the government gave them a mere three days to comment on protected waterways before the omnibus budget bill was tabled, but the federal government says it was more like three months. Oops.

The tale of Peter Goldring’s failure to produce a breath test charge gets more interesting and the police reports show that he locked himself in his truck and tried to negotiate getting out of a Breathalyzer test.

Here is your recap of last night’s political shows, dominated by Harper’s announcement on the Nexen and Petronas deals, as well as Chris Alexander melting down over the F-35s.

And Preston Manning draws lessons from the new Spielberg Lincoln film.