Canadian Initiatives Against Bribery by Foreign Investors
This report builds on the broad recognition that corruption—with bribery as a particularly significant manifestation—is a grave threat to sustainable development.
It focuses on Canadian legal initiatives against bribery by Canadian businesses investing abroad. By digging into both domestic and international law, the policy brief identifies four key points of interest to sustainable development stakeholders: (1) a spike in enforcement of Canada’s Foreign Bribery Prohibition; (2) the recent expansion of firm-level anti-bribery compliance requirements; (3) the adoption of mandatory payment transparency rules for extractive industry firms; and (4) the Canadian government’s stated goal to move to a “progressive” trade (and investment) agenda.
The first key development pertains to Canada’s prohibition of foreign bribery, as mandated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Officials (OECD Convention). The paper begins by examining Canada’s mixed record in implementing this prohibition approach and the recent focus on enforcement.
The second and third developments aim at shifting away from simple prohibition toward reducing the risk of bribery. To date, this has taken two general forms. Canadian corporations are expected, in an increasingly wide range of circumstances, to implement risk-mitigation best practices through accounting protocols and compliance systems. Furthermore, in the case of extractive sector firms, industry-specific concerns are now addressed through mandatory payment transparency.
The fourth key development is Canada’s stated goal for adopting a “progressive” trade and investment policy. This should include a path towards global leadership for Canada in combatting corruption through international investment law. Global Affairs Canada has recently conducted a public consultation on its international investment agreements. There is a need for a new model Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) that will address issues beyond investment protection, including the tackling of corruption.
You might also be interested in
Liberals are betting electric vehicles can recharge the economy. But a vision is not a plan
Canada is jumping into the electric vehicle market with both feet, and that sure seems like it will be a great thing for labour, investment and the environment.
Young Canadians eye basic income, climate action in throne speech
Young people are eager for universal basic income and an ambitious green recovery when the Liberal government unveils its reworked COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan.
A Fair Shake: How investment policy can support sustainable development
IISD experts are pushing for reform and offering their expertise to ensure good policy isn't held back by the threat of arbitration.
Task force crosses partisan lines to call for $55 billion for climate, clean energy
A new report from an independent task force says Canada’s economic recovery needs investments in clean energy, climate-resilient buildings and electric cars to keep up with a greener world.