June 10, 2021 – There are a number of reasons why Canada would seem an unlikely country to champion a groundbreaking international effort to rein in the global scourge of big-money corruption that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres adds up to an annual worldwide cost of roughly $3.6 trillion in bribes, tax dodging, embezzlement and payoffs.
For one thing, the Trudeau government’s international reputation didn’t exactly emerge unscathed from the SNC-Lavalin affair, which resulted in two cabinet resignations and an ethics commissioner finding that Trudeau had improperly interfered with a massive corruption case in an effort to substitute criminal proceedings against a Liberal-friendly firm with a deferred-prosecution deal.
For a while there, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had Canada on a watch list. SNC-Lavalin eventually plea-bargained its charge sheet down from six counts to a guilty plea on a single count of fraud, $280 million in fines and three years’ probation. The case involved $47 million in payoffs to Saadi Gadhafi, son of the Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, in exchange for lucrative construction contracts in that blighted country. Maclean’s reports. | READ MORE