The federal government has ordered a review of U.S. retail giant Target Corp. ’s plan to move into Canada, examining whether it would be of net cultural benefit to Canada.
The March 27 decision, which only came to light on Thursday, said cabinet ordered the review under the Investment Canada Act on the recommendation of Heritage Minister James Moore.
The review would involve looking at whether the store’s “cultural” sales, for example books, will contain enough Canadian content.
Target plans open 125 to 135 stores in Canada starting in March or April, 2013, taking over leases from Hudson’s Bay Co.’s Zellers discount banner, a move which Wal-Mart is trying to counter with its own Canadian expansion.
Target Canada spokeswoman Lisa Gibson said such a review “is standard when you want to sell cultural products such as DVDs, books and music.”
Similar cultural cases have in the past been resolved by the company in question agreeing to a minimum amount of Canadian cultural material it sells. Such provisions are there in view of the U.S. dominance of the publishing and entertainment industries.