(April 21, 2013) The strong earthquake that struck China’s mountainous Sichuan province Saturday morning may have been an aftershock, says prominent Chinese geologist, Fan Xiao. The accumulation of stress had not yet been fully released, making this region a more dangerous area after the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
(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.
(February 13, 2013) EDC environmental decisions virtually immune from judicial review. Crown corporation sets standards and can exempt projects on its own say so.
(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.
(January 28, 2013) India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told its special court last month that two of the accused in the notorious SNC-Lavalin hydro-dam graft case were “interfering” with the court’s decision to secure the presence of Klaus Triendl, the former vice-president of Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and the sixth accused in the case. The two accused in question had requested the charge sheet be divided in order to facilitate the speedy trial of those who had already answered the summons of the court in connection with the case. The court has since dismissed their plea, however, saying there was no reason to think that the presence of Triendl could not be obtained within a reasonable time and set April 24, 2013 as the new date to hear the corruption case.
(January 7, 2013) Canada’s Access to Information Act perversely gives Export Development Canada (EDC) the legal power to keep records of its operations secret, charges Probe International. In its submission to the Office of the Information Commissioner’s review of Canada’s 30-year-old Access to Information Act, Probe International declares it is time to reform the Act and remove EDC’s extraordinary privileges.
(July 4, 2012) Chile’s HidroAysén mega-dam scheme is suddenly on hold as one of the owners of the controversial dam scheme suspends its support for the risky project.
(January 5, 2012) Yang Yong on the future of river management in China and the issues currently facing the country’s more controversial dam projects.
(December 8, 2011) The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada held an online conversation on the question: is there a “best way” for Canada to promote human rights in Asia? Patricia Adams of Probe International says that there is: by “getting its own house in order and ensuring that Canada does not aid and abet abuses abroad.”
EDC releases internal documents to Probe International under Access to Information, but reveals little: UPDATE
(February 27, 2009) Heavily censored data keeps tight lip on Canadian investments in Chile.
(May 10, 2011) Activists fear ecological haven will be destroyed but government says project is vital for economic growth
(May 10, 2011) Dam projects are drawing increased criticism in South America, which boasts three of the world’s four biggest hydroelectric dam complexes. Chile is pushing forward with a $7 billion dam project.
(May 9, 2011) The HidroAysen dam project in Patagonia is awaiting government signoff.
(April 15, 2011) Patricia Adams writes: Chinese authorities will invent crimes, if need be, to silence dissidents for exercising their right to freedom of speech. However, renewed efforts to curb criticism and protest reveal an entrenched public distrust towards the government: the people of China, and the world, are done listening.
(January 23, 2011) It was touch-and-go for Export Development Canada last October when Bill C-300, which would have cut off EDC funding of Canadian mining companies that violate human and environmental rights in Third World countries, was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons.