Tag: Corruption

Talk about following a bad example

(December 24, 2013) As Europe’s carbon market crumbles, China decides it’s time to set one up. On a side note, this has crazy corruption written all over it!

Civil disobedience in Sodom – A letter to Xu Zhiyong

(September 18, 2013) Guo Yushan, a longtime friend and colleague of high-profile Chinese human rights activist Xu Zhiyong, penned a grand and robust entreaty to Xu in late July (translated here into English), urging Xu to stand his ground as he awaits trial for “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” In reality, Xu, a well-known lawyer and founder of China’s fledgling “New Citizens’ Movement”, had called on officials to disclose their financial assets as it is thought assets disclosure will reveal the true level of corruption among government officials who exploit their political power for personal gain. In his letter, Guo likens Xu to Socrates facing the wrath of Athens and China to the disgraced biblical city of Sodom, and exhorts Xu to rise to his fate as an idealist, unrepentant — “let them charge you, let them torture you”.

Indian high court splits trial charge sheet in SNC-Lavalin graft case

(June 27, 2013) The Kerala High Court has directed India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to divide the SNC-Lavalin trial charge sheet so the trial can begin. Two of the nine accused, SNC-Lavalin VP Klaus Triendl and SNC-Lavalin itself, have failed to appear in court despite several summons. According to press reports, Indian authorities are now seeking the extradition of Mr. Triendl, but Canada’s Department of Justice won’t confirm or deny the existence of the extradition request “due to the confidential nature of state-to-state communications.”

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.

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.

Immunity from scrutiny: Canada’s Access to Information Act hobbles democracy

(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.

Show us the dam money: Fights over post-Three Gorges subsidies

(December 28, 2012) The fight for a slice of the central government’s subsidy pie continues in the Three Gorges Dam region as local governments compete for funding to address the economic and environmental problems caused by the mega-dam’s construction. This impact update by Taiwan-based news site, Want China Times, reports that these problems remain unresolved and that residents, forced to relocate for the dam, continue to be dogged by an economic malaise. With or without subsidies, local governments are ploughing ahead with projects to build infrastructure and industrial parks. Meanwhile, usurped residents say the government should give them the subsidy money in cash, directly. Cash pay-outs that bypass local government officials would likely be money better spent: Probe International has published scores of reports over the years detailing the ways in which compensation funds for relocated residents, and past projects designed to support their transition, have proved useless at best or have disappeared into corrupt officials’ pockets at worst. For so many reasons, Probe International has concluded the Three Gorges Dam project represents a money drain that will never be plugged.