Various quarters have called on Ottawa to reject a bid by Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group on a majority stake in a major British Columbian retirement housing chain.
Estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, the deal to acquire the Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts assisted living firm should be dismissed by the federal government as the company is the highest-billing provider of senior home services in the province, according to New Democratic Party MP Nathan Cullen.
“You would think any government would reject this proposal.” Cullen stated, as quoted by The Globe and Mail
As a “critical asset”, Retirement Concepts was paid by the provincial government to the tune of $86.5-million in fiscal year 2015-16, a significantly greater sum than was granted to 130 other providers.
BC Health Coalition co-chair Rick Turner expressed bafflement at the willingness of provincial and federal authorities to sell these retirement homes to a foreign entity that has a mysterious ownership structure.
“We don’t know about the particulars of this deal or this company, but ownership does matter when it comes to seniors’ care,” Turner told reporters.
“The provincial and federal governments need to look very carefully at this plan,” he added. “I wish they were more concerned. Often times when a for-profit takes over a seniors’ home, the quality of care suffers in the drive to increase profit.”
Already involved in billions of dollars in real estate deals worldwide, Anbang remains an enigmatic quantity. According to a New York Times
investigation a few months back, approximately 92 per cent of the group is under firms fully or partially owned by relatives of: Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui; his spouse, granddaughter of former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping; or Chen Xiaolu, the youngest son of People’s Liberation Army leader Marshal Chen Yi.
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