OTTAWA A top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday denied a newspaper story that Harper would decide whether to approve a hostile bid by BHP Billiton for fertilizer maker Potash Corp.
The National Post said bureaucrats had recommended that the government give the deal conditional approval. The paper said Harper would take the final decision on Tuesday.
"The entire story is wrong. Why? Because there is one fundamental error in it. It says the decision is on the prime minister's desk. That is false. ... This is a decision taken by the industry minister," Harper's chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas told Reuters.
Soudas said no one in Harper's office knew what the bureaucracy's recommendations were. Clement has until the end of November 3 to announce the decision.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Frank McGurty)