Manitoba's Strategic Advantages: Business Development

Sectoral Limitations on Foreign Ownership of Canadian Businesses

Various federal and provincial statutes place additional restrictions on foreign ownership in specific industries.

  • Under the federal Bank Act no individual investor may hold more than 10% of the shares of a bank listed in Schedule 1 and the aggregate holdings of non-residents and their associates may not exceed 25% of all shares. A similar rule applies to federally incorporated trust companies and loan companies under The Trust and Loan Companies Act (Canada).

  • The federal Broadcasting Act provides that broadcasting licences may not be issued to non-Canadians or to companies that are effectively owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by non-Canadians.

  • The federal Telecommunications Act restricts foreign ownership to 20% of the shares of a telecommunications common carrier.

  • The Insurance Companies Act (Canada) limits foreign ownership in an existing Canadian-owned life insurance company to 25% in the aggregate, and 10% for any individual non-resident; provincial legislation also places restrictions on foreign investment in the insurance industry.

  • Other industries where foreign investment is currently affected by federal or provincial regulation include oil and gas, farming, book publishing and selling, aviation, fisheries, liquor sales, mining, collection agencies, engineering, optometry, pharmacies, and securities dealers.

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