Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Global Impact: Canada to Toughen Penalties Against Bribery at Home, Abroad

According to Reuters, Canada will toughen its laws to be better able to combat corruption by Canadian businesses at home and abroad, Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement earlier today (February 5) following the recent bribery conviction of a Calgary oil company.

"Our government...expects Canadian business to play by the rules. Canadian companies can compete with the best and win fairly," Baird emphasized.

FM Baird said existing laws on the bribery of foreign officials would be amended to grant the government jurisdiction over all Canadian nationals and Canadian companies, regardless of where alleged crimes take place.

COMMENT: Canada will also raise the maximum penalty for bribing a foreign official to 14 years from the current five years.

In January, a Calgary-based oil company that admitted to bribing the wife of a Chadian diplomat in Canada to secure an oil and gas contract agreed to pay a C$10.35 million (US$10.35 million) fine.

The preferred protocol in all nations is to have a universally accepted standard in punishing business entities everywhere for bribery for business at home and abroad. Until such a model is established, the ethical playing field will not be level.