- Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Karigar Conviction for Bribery of Foreign Public Official
July 12, 2017
On July 6, 2017, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld Nazir Karigar's conviction and three-year prison sentence for agreeing to bribe to a foreign public official contrary to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). Karigar had acted as an agent of Cryptometrics Canada, an Ottawa-area company, in pursuing a contract to supply security screening equipment to Air India. The trial judge determined that Karigar had agreed with other persons to bribe Indian public officials in order to win the contracts and sentenced Karigar to a three-year imprisonment for contravening section 3 of the CFPOA. The trial judge notably did not conclude that Karigar actually paid a bribe.
- Proposed Changes to U.S. Sanctions Against Russia
June 22, 2017
On June 15, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 98-2 in favour of new sanctions against Russia in the face of express opposition from President Trump's administration. The proposed law includes significant changes to the current U.S. sanctions regime against Russia. In view of the overwhelming bi-partisan support in the Senate, the proposed law is likely to be approved by the House of Representatives and, if it attains anything close to the level of support received in the Senate, it would be sufficient to override a Presidential veto.
- El Salvador Makes History and Bans All Mining
April 17, 2017
On March 29, 2017, El Salvador’s legislature unanimously voted to ban all metallic mining, including for gold, in the Central American country. El Salvador is the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on mining activities. The question is, will other countries follow suit? Understanding El Salvador’s political justification for the ban and its claimed experience with mining provides important lessons for mining companies, host states, and home states to mitigate the risk of fractious relationships that could lead others to follow El Salvador’s lead.
- Doing Business in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus
February 24, 2017
On February 16, 2017, Bennett Jones hosted a networking lunch with the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association to discuss recent Canadian project experience in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus.
- Business and Human Rights in Foreign Operations: The Stakes Just Got Bigger
January 30, 2017
Canadian courts took another step in further opening the country’s courts to civil claims by foreign victims of alleged human rights abuses against Canadian corporations for acts committed abroad. In a January 26, 2017, decision in Garcia v. Tahoe Resources Inc., 2017 BCCA 39, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed a lower court decision that ruled Guatemala was a more appropriate forum to hear the plaintiffs’ claim against Tahoe, a British Columbia registered mining company. Following the Hudbay and Nevsun decisions, it marks the third instance where a Canadian court has found that a Canadian mining company may incur liability before Canadian courts for failure to adhere to human rights and corporate social responsibility commitments (CSR).
- Trump, Canada and the Future of NAFTA: Some FAQs
January 12, 2017
As Inauguration Day approaches there are many questions about Donald Trump’s promise to renegotiate or “tear up” the NAFTA, most of them turning on what he can do and what would it mean for Canada-US trade. Here are some answers.
- What Foreign Investors Need to Know About the New National Security Guidelines under the Investment Canada Act
December 20, 2016
On December 19, 2016, the Canadian Government released new Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments under the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”) increasing review transparency in an effort to bolster foreign investment.
- Two Ways Canada Will Attract Large Foreign Investors in 2017
November 04, 2016
Bill Morneau, Canada's Minister of Finance has announced amendments to the Investment Canada Act aimed at attracting private-sector foreign investment. The Minister expressed the government's plans to make things easier for foreign investors in two ways.
- Canada Announces Proposed Changes to Arms Export Controls to Comply with Arms Trade Treaty
July 06, 2016
On June 30, 2016, the Government of Canada announced plans to modify Canada's export control system to comply with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The proposed changes include new regulations on arms brokering, a formalization of the assessment criteria for export permits in a manner that requires balancing potentially conflicting interests, and increased transparency in reporting. Canada's failure to implement the ATT in 2014, alongside the majority of its NATO partners, has complicated the federal government's review of potentially controversial transactions such as the recent sale of light armoured [...]
- U.S. DOJ Announces Pilot Project For Self-Reporting Foreign Corruption Violations - Will Canada Follow Suit?
April 15, 2016
On April 5, 2016, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division announced a one-year pilot project designed to motivate companies to voluntarily self-disclose FCPA-related misconduct. The pilot project is significant, because it marks the formalization of long standing DOJ guidance encouraging voluntary disclosure and full cooperation for corruption violations and is the first time the DOJ has made a commitment as to the value of self-reporting.
The Value of Self-Reporting
A company that properly self-reports under the pilot project [...]
- Panama Papers Leaks: Do You Know Your Exposure?
April 05, 2016
It's Not Just About Tax Evasion
The "Panama Papers" story hit the international press this week. An anonymous source leaked 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian firm believed to be the world's fourth largest provider of offshore legal services. The documents reveal the use of offshore holdings by thousands of entities and individuals around the world, including Canadian companies and residents of Canada. [...]
- RCMP Terminates CFPOA Investigation Following Voluntary Disclosure
March 22, 2016
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has concluded an investigation into matters arising from a voluntary disclosure by Nordion Inc. (Nordion). In 2012, the company disclosed to the RCMP, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) evidence of historical payments made by a non-employee agent of the company to a Russian official. The evidence indicated that the agent had colluded with a former employee of the company who had received kickbacks from the agent, all of which was unbeknownst to the company until shortly before [...]
- Thinking of Developing a Whistleblowing System? New Canadian Guidance Released Today
February 18, 2016
Companies and regulators alike are increasingly recognizing that "whistleblowers", i.e., individuals who report suspected wrongdoing, mismanagement or unethical conduct, are an important resource for managing risk and responding to conduct that can harm companies, their stakeholders and the public at large. The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association) established a diverse working group drawn from the business community, academics, investigators, lawyers and former whistleblowers to develop Whistleblowing Systems “ A Guide. This document provides guidance for organizations [...]
- Changes to Canada's Iran Sanctions - Your Questions Answered (and a Flowchart)
February 11, 2016
On February 5, 2016, the Government of Canada amended its economic sanctions on Iran to significantly ease restrictions on doing business. The changes were in response to Iran's compliance with its the commitments to restrict its nuclear proliferation activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the P5+1 countries and the consequential easing of UN Security Council sanctions and economic sanctions imposed by the EU, the United States and other countries. The changes to Canada's sanctions are designed to allow for what the government called a "controlled economic re-engagement" [...]
- Canada Eases Iran Sanctions and Opens Trade for Key Industrial Sectors
February 05, 2016
The Government of Canada today announced important amendments that loosen its economic sanctions against Iran. The amendments follow on the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on January 16 by the P5+1 and Iran. (See Implementation Day for the P5+1 Iran Nuclear Agreement: What It Means for Canadian and International Businesses for more details.) The amendments will create market openings for key industrial sectors in Canada, including oil and gas services, exploration and production, aerospace, engineering and construction, automotive parts and technology, and financial services. [...]
- Implementation Day for the P5+1 Iran Nuclear Agreement: What It Means for Canadian and International Businesses
January 18, 2016
January 16, 2016, marked "Implementation Day" for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the historic nuclear non-proliferation and sanctions reduction agreement reached between the "P5+1" countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, France and Germany), the European Union (EU), and the Government of Iran on July 14, 2015. Canada was not party to the JCPOA agreement. [...]
- NAFTA Chapter Eleven: Can TransCanada Break the U.S. Shutout?
January 12, 2016
US investors have successfully used investor-state arbitration under the NAFTA when they have thought themselves wronged by the actions of governments in Canada or Mexico. But the United States itself has never lost a NAFTA investment arbitration. The United States' record in NAFTA claims decided on the merits or on jurisdictional grounds is a perfect 9 wins and 0 losses. A number of those claims were ill-conceived, but others featured credible or even compelling claims (e.g., Loewen and Apotex). [...]
- Canada Expands Sanctions on Russia and the Crimea Region of the Ukraine
July 03, 2015
On Monday, June 29, 2015, the Canadian government expanded its economic sanctions against Russia and the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Three additional individuals and 14 entities were added to the list under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations of designated persons with whom most business dealings are prohibited. In addition, four notable energy sector companies, OJSC Gazprom, OJSC Gazprom Neft, OJSC Surgutneftegas, and Transneft OAO, were added to Schedule 3 of the Russia Regulations, which imposes significant restrictions on the provision of debt financing to these entities. [...]
- Canada Lays Corruption and Fraud Charges Against SNC-Lavalin
February 19, 2015
On February 19, 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) laid corruption and fraud charges against the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., its division SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc., and its subsidiary SNC-Lavalin International Inc. under section 3(1)(b) of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and paragraph 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. [...]
- Canada Imposes Additional Sanctions, Including Against Rosneft
February 18, 2015
On February 17, 2015, the Government of Canada announced a new round of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities, including leading Russian oil firm NK Rosneft OAO. [...]
- Canada Invokes Extraterritorial Measures Law Against US Buy America
January 19, 2015
The Government of Canada today invoked a rarely used law to prohibit compliance with the U.S. Buy America legislation in relation to a proposed ferry terminal to be built by the State of Alaska in Prince Rupert, B.C. In order to qualify for U.S. federal funding, the bidding documents published by the Alaska Department of Transportation require that the steel used in the construction of the terminal (leased to the Alaska Marine Highway System) must be of U.S. origin. Canada has repeatedly objected to the Buy America legislation. [...]
- Canada and the EU Complete Trade Treaty Negotiations
August 06, 2014
Canada and the European Union today announced that they have completed negotiation of their Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The announcement puts to rest extended speculation about whether a deal was still possible, speculation fuelled by the nearly ten months that has elapsed since the parties announced an "agreement-in-principle" last October. [...]
- Canada's Economic Sanctions Against Ukraine and Russia Extended to Additional Individuals and Entities; Oil & Gas Technology Sanctions Expected Soon
August 06, 2014
On August 6, 2014, Canada amended the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations and Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations to further expand the list of "designated persons", both individuals and entities, with whom Canadians are prohibited from engaging in business and financial dealings. [...]
- Update on Canada's Economic Sanctions Against Ukraine and Russia
July 25, 2014
On July 24, 2014, Canada amended the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations and Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations to expand the list of "designated persons" with whom Canadians are prohibited from engaging in business and financial dealings. The sanctions were also amended to prohibit new debt and equity financing transactions with designated entities in Russia. [...]
- First Prison Sentence Handed Down Under Canada's Foreign Corruption Legislation (R. v. Karigar)
May 23, 2014
Nazim Karigar was sentenced to three years imprisonment today by the Ontario Superior Court for his part in a conspiracy to bribe an Indian government Minister and other officials of a state-owned airline. Karigar was working as an agent of Cryptometrics Canada, an Ottawa area company, in relation to a bid to supply security software to Air India. Karigar's conviction in August 2013 under Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act was the fourth under that Act since it was adopted to implement the CD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999. Three prior convictions involved corporate accused. [...]