Canada to crack down on foreign corruption, bribery by Susana Mas, February 5, 2013, CBC News
The federal government is redoubling its efforts to combat corruption and bribery by tabling amendments to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday. In its pursuit of “an aggressive, pro-trade agenda,” the federal government wants to make clear that Canadian businesses are expected to “play by the rules.” … Griffiths Energy International Inc., based in Calgary, pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 to a charge under the CFPOA related to securing an oil and gas contract in Chad. Griffiths will pay a total penalty of $10.35 million. Niko Resources Ltd., a publicly traded company based in Calgary, entered a guilty plea for one count of bribery on June 24, 2011. It was fined $9.5 million and placed under a probation order. Hydro-Kleen Group Inc., based out of Red Deer, entered a guilty plea on Jan. 10, 2005, to one count of bribery and was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.
Government cracks down on Canadian companies bribing foreign officials by Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News, February 5, 2013, Calgary Herald
The federal government is moving to crack down on Canadian companies involved in corruption abroad following reports in recent months of firms bribing foreign officials to secure lucrative deals in places such as Chad and Libya. The proposed changes to Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act would make it easier for the RCMP to charge a Canadian individual or company involved in bribery, no matter where it took place. It would also close a loophole that lets companies pay a foreign official to rush a file, or otherwise do their job, and another that ensures the law applies to all Canadian companies, not just those that are “for profit.” The maximum penalty for bribing an official would be increased from five years in prison to 14 years. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the move is designed to help end corruption around the world and ensure Canada’s reputation as a fair and honest business partner doesn’t get sullied by the actions of a few miscreants.
Canada has been criticized for not doing enough to clamp down on Canadian companies and individuals involved in corruption and bribery, with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) releasing a report in March 2011 citing a failure to prosecute offenders. NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said other countries, such as the U.S., have stronger regulations than Canada, and it’s about time Canadian laws caught up.
The government’s decision to tighten Canada’s anti-corruption law coincides with scrutiny of a number of Canadian companies for their activities abroad. … Officials at Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin are under investigation. It is alleged payments of $160 million were made to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime to secure contracts in the North African country. [Emphasis added]
Hoping for happy endings by Elizabeth James, Special to North Shore News February 6, 2013
ALL evidence to the contrary, I am an optimist. Common sense and justice can prevail and, with a fully-informed electorate, future elections can result in ethical administrations that will place integrity and accountability at the forefront of every decision they make. The answer as to whether or not this will be so may be signalled as several stories currently in motion play out to their respective ends. …
On Oct. 19, 2011, the federal government awarded what has been referred to as an $8-billion shipbuilding contract to North Vancouver-based Seaspan Marine Corporation.Premier Christy Clark was buoyant that day as she predicted the project would provide around 4,000 jobs – a feather in the cap for her much-touted jobs plan. Exactly one year later a press release announced that Seaspan will invest approximately $200 million to upgrade the Vancouver and Victoria shipyard infrastructure.It is unclear whether those dollars are corporate dollars or whether they are part of the federal $8 billion. The answer is important because, if the latter is the case then we should expect the new facilities will be publicly owned assets. Also of interest will be the breakdown of jobs and direct and indirect spin-off benefits North Vancouver and Vancouver Island communities should expect from the project. Will the non-combat ships actually be built in British Columbia? Or are they to be largely constructed offshore for assembly in North Vancouver and Victoria? What exactly is the timeline and has it already been extended? What will be the relationship between Seaspan and SNC-Lavalin and will it involve Lavalin’s Upper Lakes Group and the Davie/Daewoo shipyards?
That still-evolving story leads to another question, the answer to which is relevant to nearly every major construction project in this province – notably the Evergreen Line and BC Hydro’s proposed Site C Dam – and it concerns SNC-Lavalin. … When Christy Clark won the leadership race and became our unelected premier, she chose Lavalin chairman Gwyn Morgan as one of her transition advisers. Apparently, British Columbians of the day were willing to accept the risks posed when large corporations get too close to politicians and public regulators. But today, in view of the current investigations and charges swirling around SNC-Lavalin, surely we have a right to a statement from the premier as to the wisdom of awarding so many B.C. contracts to a corporation facing allegations of bribery of foreign officials and of mysterious dealings with the son of Libyan dictator Moammar al-Gadhafi. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
HSBC is expected to pay US authorities a record $1.9bn (£1.18bn) to settle allegations that its failure to enforce anti-money laundering rules, Swiss Probe $139M SNC-Lavalin Laundering Case, Gwyn Morgan SNC-Lavalin Chair says company aiming at improving compliance
Swiss Probe $139M SNC-Lavalin Laundering Case, Gwyn Morgan SNC-Lavalin Chair says company aiming at improving compliance, but won’t comment on allegation $22.5M payment linked to MUHC superhospital project