Following are direct excerpts from two articles related to conversations currently underway between Chinese Insurance firm Anbang, and the federal government for the purchase of a BC chain of
family-owned Seniors Care facilities.
“The Trudeau government is reviewing a bid by China’s Anbang Insurance Group to buy one of B.C.’s biggest retirement home chains. Anbang is a massive Chinese insurance firm with a murky ownership structure that is seeking a majority stake in Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts, believed to be worth more than $1-billion. It would give the company, which has been on a global buying spree, a significant role in the delivery of taxpayer-funded health care in British Columbia.” (Globe and Mail Dec 3)
(source Globe and Mail : 3 Dec 2016 The Globe and Mail (BC Edition)
ROBERT FIFE STEVEN CHASE OTTAWA
Mr. Pan (spokesperson for Chinese delegation at a fundraiser in a private home in Toronto) said…. Chinese companies’ keen interest to invest in Canadian health care for seniors.
“First of all, we said that in Canada, the government investment for elderly care is not enough,” Mr. Pan said. “We need to receive the investments from Chinese entrepreneurs to provide for the elderly. The Prime Minister was very happy when he heard that.”
Mr. Pan did not mention a specific deal or company, but his entreaties came as Ottawa is reviewing Anbang’s bid to make precisely the kind of investment he said he discussed with the Prime Minister.
Retirement Concepts owns and operates about 24 retirement communities, mostly in British Columbia, except for several properties in Calgary and Montreal. It owns unused or partly developed land that would allow major expansions of facilities.
The company is an important part of British Columbia’s healthcare delivery system. Retirement Concepts is the highest-billing provider of assisted living and residential care services in the province. The B.C. government paid the company $86.5-million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, more than any other of the 130 similar providers.
An investigation by The New York Times earlier this year revealed that 92 per cent of Anbang is currently held by firms either fully or partly owned by relatives of Anbang’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui or his wife, Zhuo Ran, the granddaughter of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, or Chen Xiaolu, the son of a famous People’s Liberation Army leader.
The union representing 250 workers at a Parksville retirement home says it will ask the federal and provincial governments to reject the sale of the facility to a Chinese insurance company.
As reported in The NEWS on Tuesday, Retirement Concepts said it is entering into a “partnership” with a company called Cedar Tree, which is linked Anbang Insurance Group of China. Retirement Concepts owns 24 retirement facilities, mostly in B.C., including Stanford Place in Parksville and The Gardens at Qualicum Beach.
There were reports the sale price could be as high as $1 billion, which means it may require approval from federal and provincial governments.
“Residential care and assisted living services are a critical part of the continuum of care in this province,” Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside said Tuesday. “Selling B.C. seniors’ care facilities to an offshore insurance company is not in the interests of B.C. health care workers, seniors, or our health care system. Allowing this sale to proceed would represent a major loss of accountability and control over the provision of seniors’ care. And it would send a clear signal to global investors that seniors’ care and other health services in this province are for sale to the highest bidder. Unfettered foreign investment in our health care system is the wrong direction for British Columbians.”
Whiteside also said Retirement Concepts currently controls more than 10 per cent of residential care beds contracted by B.C.’s health authorities — more than any other non-profit or for-profit provider.
“At this time, it appears these plans would not affect the day-to-day operations of Retirement Concepts or the collective agreements under which HEU members are working,” said Whiteside. “But clearly, this sale raises serious questions about broader accountability in our health care system.”
Whiteside said the union will be intervening to oppose the sale.
The HEU represents nearly 1,900 members at 12 Retirement Concepts locations in B.C., including about 250 at Stanford Place and 150 at The Gardens.
Whiteside said the B.C. government has the regulatory power to refuse to issue a license to residential care facilities that have been sold. Health authorities may also have the power to review and reject the sale of care facilities under the terms of their commercial contracts with providers like Retirement Concepts, she said.
Whiteside said the HEU will urge federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains to reject the sale.
The Globe and Mail reported Monday the deal is currently under the scrutiny of the federal government’s Investment Review Division. The Globe also reported that Retirement Concepts is the highest-billing provider of assisted living and residential care services in the province. The Globe said B.C. government paid the company $86.5-million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, more than any other of the 130 similar providers.