Author Archives

Patricia Adams

Patricia Adams is an economist and the Executive Director of Probe International, an independent think-tank and watchdog over the environmental consequences of Canadian government and corporate activities around the world. Her books include In the Name of Progress: The Underside of Foreign Aid, (Doubleday 1985), and Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption and the Third World”s Environmental Legacy (Earthscan 1991), which exposes the jeopardy of years of loose lending for both the Third World’s environment and their economies, and proposes a legal remedy to place responsibility for the Third World’s debt crisis on the parties involved, instead of on First and Third World taxpayers. Pat also edited the English language translation of Yangtze! Yangtze!, the extraordinary critique by Chinese experts of the Three Gorges dam that inspired the democracy movement when it was first published in 1989, led to the postponement of the dam, and was subsequently banned by Chinese authorities. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia.

China Three Gorges Corp bosses replaced after graft probe

(March 26, 2014) China’s central government replaces leadership at state-owned Three Gorges Corp. following graft probe. Signals suggest “it is probable there will be further investigations into corruption inside the corporation,” says Probe International’s Patricia Adams.

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Chinese dam builders rush to Latin America

(January 7, 2014) China’s growing involvement in hydropower development in the region boosts clout but also leads to allegations of poor corporate responsibility. “There is great resistance to dam-building in Latin America and special worry about Chinese dams because of the opaque nature of China’s decision-making and poor quality in these dams,” says Pat Adams of Probe International.

SNC-Lavalin executive reveals illegal political donations before corruption inquiry

(March 15, 2013) A vice-president from SNC-Lavalin, Canada’s largest engineering company, admitted yesterday before Quebec’s Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in public-works contracts, that it organized its employees to make more than $1 million in illegal political donations. While there was no direct link between the donations and a quarter-billion dollars in contracts the firm was awarded by the provincial government, Yves Cadotte insisted, the company did not want to take any chances.

Cyberwar and secrecy threaten China’s dams

(March 12, 2013) China may be the world’s biggest cyberspace aggressor, but security specialists say China’s computer-controlled infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and to malfunctioning domestic software than are Western systems. Read Patricia Adams’ piece in the Huffington Post on why China’s dams are vulnerable to both.

Corruption, bribery, baksheesh! Rooted in government

(February 6, 2013) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced get-tough-on-corruption amendments to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). Pat Adams, head of Probe International in Toronto, sees the announcement as Canada’s response to pressure from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Canada is supposed to report back on deficiencies in its anti-corruption laws by March of this year. This appears to fix the deficiencies,” she says.

Why we should say no to CNOOC

(November 23, 2012) The proposed takeover of Calgary-based oil and gas producer Nexen by China’s state-owned oil giant CNOOC should be nixed by the Canadian government, says Probe International’s Patricia Adams. As instruments of the Communist Party, China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are undisciplined by markets or the rule of law. Without subsidies, their rate of return on equity is negative. It would be impossible to stop them from distorting the Canadian economy, so Canada should just say no to CNOOC.