(August 20, 1999) ‘Corruption has to be tackled head on,’ declared Diane Marleau, Canada’s minister for foreign aid this spring, two months after Canada adopted the OECD’s anti-corruption convention by making bribery of foreign public officials a criminal offence. But on the eve of the world’s first foreign aid-related corruption court case — one involving Canadian engineering giant Acres International — the government agencies concerned mostly appear to be abdicating responsibility.
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.
(June 18, 1999) It is my very great pleasure to be here with debt campaigners from around the world who want to breathe life into this legal principle known as the doctrine of odious debts. As you know, from the introduction, I discovered the doctrine of odious debts years ago when I was writing my book about the Third World’s debt crisis. I was thrilled. Here was a principle, published in 1927 by Alexander Sack, then and still the world’s preeminent legal scholar on the treatment of public debts when governments and territories transform.
Villagers occupy World Bank dam site to demand compensation
(May 10, 1999) A global movement is asking Western nations to forgive ‘odious’ debt extended to despotic regimes. The cause has merit, but opposition is building.
All aboard the EDC money train: The Export Development Corporation uses government money to prop up smokestack industries while discouraging private-sector competition in the credit insurance business
(January 11, 1999) The Export Development Corporation funds environmentally-damaging industries with taxpayer money, writes Patricia Adams.
(December 21, 1998) The Export Development Corporation is unnecessary, costly, and unaccountable. It misleads the Canadian public and is an environmental wrecker. This patronage agency should be shut down.
(December 21, 1998) Export Development Corporation is unnecessary, costly and unaccountable. Misleads the Canadian public is an environmental wrecker. Patronage agency should be shut down. By Patricia Adams.
(Autumn 1998) Uneconomic and outdated, the Three Gorges dam will stunt China;s economic growth
(September 21, 1997) In September, at the urging of the federal government, a group of Canadian companies voluntarily agreed to follow a new International Code of Ethics in their overseas activities.
(April 2, 1997) Probe International’s Executive Director, Patricia Adams, looks at some of the disastrous projects backed by the Canadian Crown corporation, the Export Development Corporation.
Canada’s #1 threat to the global environment is trying to muzzle Probe International and its support
(March 21, 1996) Canada’s Export Development Corporation has quickly become Canada’s #1 threat to the global environment, and it is determined to stop the attention Probe International and its supporters have been giving it.
(March 1, 1996) Letter by Probe International’s Patricia Adams: EDC finances some of the world’s worst environmental disasters.
(November 29, 1995) For 5O years government guarantees have allowed the World Bank and its sister development banks to amass the world’s riskiest loan portfolios. Three months ago, the weakest of these sisters, the African Development Bank, was downgraded. And now for the first time, the World Bank admits that many of its own loans can’t be paid back.
(August 21, 1995) The disaster in Guyana began in the early morning hours of Saturday August 19: at a Canadian-owned gold mine, a red, poisonous sludge erupted through a breach in an earthen dam which was holding back a waste pond.
(May 10, 1995) If the tiny country of Laos had the same population density as the city of Manhattan, we would all be there–the globe’s entire 5.7 billion population, in fact, would have more space per person than do Manhattan residents, who pride themselves on living in one of the world’s most sophisticated cities. The space outside Laos–virtually the entire globe–would then be available for farming, mining, and whatever else our Laotian populace required.