Changes to Emera Inc.'s ownership rules would allow more foreign investment

The Nova Scotia government is proposing legislative changes that would lift foreign ownership restrictions for Nova Scotia Power's parent company, Halifax-based Emera Inc.

Business Minister Geoff MacLellan says the change would remove a provision that restricts non-Canadians from owning more than 25 per cent of the voting shares of the company.

MacLellan says another change would see Emera and Nova Scotia Power commit to keeping their head offices and principal executive officers in Nova Scotia.

The minister says the changes will give Emera more funding flexibility and the access to capital that's needed to help it compete in the global market.

The legislation maintains the current rule that no outside entity can hold or control more than 15 per cent of the company's voting shares.

Bruce Marchand, Emera's chief legal and compliance officer, says the changes will have no effect on the province's ratepayers.