Foreign Ownership, Task Force on

The Task Force on Foreign Ownership (Gray Report) was established (1970) under Herb GRAY. Its purpose was to analyse the impact of the high degree of foreign control on the Canadian economy. It also examined policies that would enable Canadians to exercise greater control over their own economic development and to retain and increase Canadian ownership of business where feasible or desirable for economic, social, cultural or other reasons. In the 1960s, foreign control had reached nearly 60% of total Canadian manufacturing, and 90% of industries such as rubber and petroleum.

In 1972 the task force concluded that, in a highly qualified way, FOREIGN INVESTMENT had had a moderately favourable effect overall but that problems did exist, eg, "truncated firms" which performed only a narrow range of activities in Canada and were dependent on foreign technology and management. It suggested that some problems could be handled through general economic policies, eg, tariffs, taxes and patents. It concluded that others would be better solved through administrative intervention on all new foreign investment, case by case, and it rejected a major policy shift, such as a "buy-back" strategy, towards increased Canadian ownership.