Protection of organized crime interests in Haïti by Canadian government officials
As a result of an initiative by former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark acting on behalf of the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), a conference was convened on 09-10 September 2005 at Wilson House on Meech Lake (Gatineau Hills in Québec near Ottawa) that was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with additional support from Export Development Canada (EDC).1
The meeting chaired by Mr. Clark (FOCAL Board Member) brought together 18 delegates of the Haitian private sector "selected for their abilities and representation of different sectors of the economy." Also in attendance (52 participants in all) were:
This meeting represented "a unique opportunity to harness some of the ideas and energy of the one sector in Haiti with the skills and capacity to reduce impoverishment from within and to help with human infrastructure."
It was clear that the private sector (or many parts thereof) still retained "the leadership and entrepreneurial skills indispensable for growth" — but that potential could not be realized without well-targeted "support from donor institutions." The group dynamic impressed International Financial Institution (IFI) leaders present (including CIDA President Robert Greenhill). That perception was also "enlarged by the quality, acumen and social responsibility of the Haitian participants."
Education being an area where the private sector felt it could play an enhanced and productive role — participants shared a series of revealing statistics:
Given that remarkable success enjoyed by the minority ruling-class in keeping most of Haiti's population uneducated (thereby conveniently maintaining a majority of ordinary citizens in a state of near-serfdom), it was recommended that donors should adopt an "expedited project consideration and disbursement mechanism for private sector proposals" (a "consensus that donors be asked to consider a way to rapidly evaluate and fund them" was attained).
Ethics and corruption
Participants reported "significant distrust between the government and private sector" (many described it as deep-seated), in part by "unethical behavior on both sides." While most admitted that the private sector should improve its commitment to ethics, one participant insisted that business "cannot afford to play fair until the laws that affect them are applied equally — without favoritism." Another noted that "mistrust permeates within as well as between sectors."
Procurement officials rewarded family and associates with state contracts — while customs officials smuggled contraband. Business owners avoided paying taxes, engaged in illegal trade and bribed functionaries. These lucrative practices "excluded Haitians without government jobs or sizable assets from any share of the country's wealth."
Public services management
It was therefore suggested that private sector entities could assist the public sector in co-managing delivery of social/public services. This approach presented such an ideal solution for efficient and transparent management, that other areas of cooperation were identified — including the collection of "customs and income taxes" (a more equitable redistribution of Haiti's national revenue amongst themselves as we understand it).
Participants cited corruption as the principal reason why large amounts of customs taxes were not collected — and stressed that international donors would have to strongly back the private sector if public-private partnerships were to survive Haiti's turbulent politics (presumably the same method used by organized crime to settle family disputes).
Private sector participants expressed frustration with what they perceived as "sluggish aid delivery." Many of them attributed disbursement delays principally to "the lack of absorptive capacity by, and incompetence of, the Haitian government." In their view, "public institutions were so fraught with corruption, politicization and instability" — that they needed to be thoroughly rebuilt; in the meantime, they "could not be expected to administer hundreds of millions of dollars in aid."
Some participants expressed confidence that private sector institutions and organizations could more effectively manage much of the international aid!
The business leaders who make up Haiti's private sector foundations believed that their record of management, stability and transparency was clear and far surpassed that of the Haitian government. It was noted that multilateral funds are designed to offer large loans to sovereign (corrupt) governments — which have the (legal) authority to receive credit that the population at large will have to repay later (although Haiti never does because the foreign aid it receives is always stolen and ultimately a write-off).
Private sector representatives underlined that funding made available for short-term projects "must be channeled through the private sector, and not through the government" (the panel did recognize politely that many industries in Haiti were monopolized or dominated by a few families, creating inefficiencies and higher costs for consumers).
Manipulating the truth with disinformation
The Haitian private sector in conjunction with civil society leaders recommended targeting "media distortions and over-generalized consular advisories" that inhibited investment/donor engagement. "Blanket 'don't travel' advice needlessly discouraged many business visitors." Foreign investment had been discouraged by "exaggerated security warnings" from embassies — notwithstanding "international news that portrayed Haiti as bleak and untenable."
International media and travel advisories harmed the business environment by creating a "negative public perception that went beyond real security concerns." Haitian private sector leaders reminded other participants that Haiti did not "compare that badly" with some countries in the region with regard to crime and violence — voicing frustration at the consequences of disproportionately negative press on travel inflows and investment.
MREG: The scope of these disingenuous fabrications must not be left unaddressed. More than 900 Haitians had been killed between December 2004 and August 2005 (compared to 800 victims in Afghanistan during the same period). Dr. Christophe Fournier at Doctors Without Borders in New York said that their hospital in Haiti had treated 1 132 gunshot victims, more than the combined total treated at the group's clinics around the world for these types of injuries. Former Chilean Foreign Minister Juan Gabriel Valdés, the Special Representative to Haiti for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said that the country was awash in guns, some distributed by political parties and "members of the higher social sectors in this country."3
1 900 people were held for ransom (March-December 2005), the Canadian Embassy had recalled all employee dependents, its travel advisory was raised to "avoid all travel" and Haiti found itself ranked on equal footing with Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Liberia.4
The subterfuge and cover-up: "As an outcome of this discussion, it was suggested that Haitian private sector leaders attempt to convince media and potential investors to review their perception of security in Haiti in a tour of major Canadian cities. The proposal was later expanded to include tours of other important donor countries."
The experiment in bringing key members together with the international development community came to known as the Wilson House process. Following the "successful" Ottawa gathering, discussions with participants and other actors indicated that the next step should be to evaluate the private sector's role in all aspects of education, from participation to production. This project would assist the newly elected government of René Préval (and donors) in their efforts to identify shared goals for future development strategies.
A second roundtable between the Haitian private sector and donors, co-chaired by the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, was held at the Carter Center in Atlanta (Georgia) on 3-4 February 2007. It was attended by 67 participants in addition to many of those present at the first meeting (CIDA was the principal financial sponsor).
As the first step in their discussions, participants assessed the progress made since their last gathering. Education topics do not however seem to have been in the forefront of their preoccupations. Instead, the development of tourism which had been identified as a "key industry to spur growth" (completely non-existent sector of activity) was described to be hampered by security issues.
They remarked that the "security situation fluctuated" in Haiti but that "international media painted darker pictures than were justified." It was also explained that while political security was not a major concern, more work needed to be done in the area of police security to ensure that Haiti became a "better known and competitive tourist destination" (distinguishing comedy from serious dialogue can at times be challenging).
"Haiti's reputation and public image was again singled-out as a central and cross-cutting issue for development. Haitian participants expressed concern that foreign media and institutions did not convey improvements in the country's political, economic and security climate to investors and travelers." They also mentioned the persistence of an "apparent bias against Haiti in comparison with other countries that had similar problems and levels of crime or poverty." According to several participants, a "trick of thinking" needed to occur with regards to Haiti's reputation!
Several participants felt that international agencies were "over-stressing the corruption issue in Haiti," policies that impeded growth (obviously meaning graft): "Haitians do not pay much attention to world rankings (linked to credit and insurance on investment), but donors do." Many suggested that Haiti was not getting credit for its successes and progress (the report does contain a footnote on page 12 mentioning that the country was ranked last worldwide in Transparency International's 2006 Corruption Perception Index, a Berlin-based NGO funded by CIDA).5
Manipulating standings for public consumption: Donors were urged to consider increasing transparency around those international rankings. Recognizing that the stigma attached to their conclusions was tremendous and that all stakeholders "must work to improve Haiti's image" — several participants asked donors to tell the private sector and Haitian government which ones "they paid particular attention to."
For other types of private sector projects, many believed that funding from multilateral development agencies should be granted on "intended results" (the simple concept of achievement is intrinsically omitted from the equation — because donors are rewarded for setting goals with an implicit awareness from the outset that objectives need not, and most likely will never be reached).
RPP 2008-2009 described the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) as a national asset that supported the government's international priorities and delivered key services to Canadians at 313 independent state locations worldwide (over 7 000 employees in addition to more than 2 300 from other agencies).6
Departmental planned spending (2008-2009) totaled 15 billion 346 million dollars of which $12.975 covered personnel remuneration an increase of $4.773 billion over the $10.573 billion reported in 2005-2006. CIDA disbursements (2007-2008) for projects and initiatives in Haiti were $107.32 million out of an agency budget of $3.109 billion.7
Recognizing that Canadians were increasingly conducting business abroad "including in global hot spots" — the department provided them with three streams of the Foreign Service assistance: political/economic officers, management/consular officers and trade commissioners.
Policies and programs developed for Canadian "re-engagement in the Americas" called for implementing "the government's agenda on corporate social responsibility in the extractive sector, with particular reference to countries and indigenous communities in the Americas where Canada is a major mining investor."
Ginette Martin (Wilson House participant) executed that mandate with striking vigor in Guatemala on 13 February 2005 when she defended a Canadian company mining truck after one local resident was killed (farmer Raul Castro Bocel) and twenty were wounded by an army unit deployed on 11 January 2005 to support the interests of Glamis Gold.8
Conversely, Ginette Martin lied when she denied assistance to the Résidence Godbout plaintiff on 5 October 2006 by invoking that Foreign Affairs Canada could not intervene because it was a private/legal matter (criminal activity as a result was emboldened to the level of death threats documented by law enforcement). This demonstrably deceitful bureaucrat not only contravened policy — but corroborated the de facto Wilson House modus operandi elaborated with self-admitted corrupt Haitian business representatives who lobbied hard to acquire vast amounts of aid money for themselves.9
DFAIT had thoroughly politicized the course of action for Haiti — in partnership with a closely-knit group of back-channel shady recipients who faced "an increase in global news programming scrutiny" that made "getting one's message out effectively" even more challenging "in a highly fragmented 24/7 media environment that is marked by the impact of newer media like the Internet."10
Services withheld from Canadians by ministers, ambassadors and senior civil servants to protect the criminal activities of Haitian private/public sector leaders
Performance measurement indicators
Although Foreign Affairs Canada in its own words "is making progress on performance measurement, it acknowledges that it has much more work to do in this area. This task is complex because the department's mandate, particularly in foreign affairs, focuses on results" — such as "advocacy of Canadian positions on the world stage."
MREG: Dispensing so much effort and resources to condone Haitian corruption would understandably render the chore of "performance measurement" quite difficult indeed!
Denis Paradis, Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and La Francophonie (ministerial cabinet post) in the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, publicly condemned rampant corruption in Haiti on 15 March 2003, was demoted for doing so (named Minister of State for Financial Institutions on 12 December 2003) by Prime Minister Paul Martin — and then found himself unceremoniously sent-out to pasture as a lowly back-bencher following the next general election (28 June 2004).11
Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham was moved to National Defence after admitting candidly on 7 May 2004 that Canadian foreign aid to Haiti had been "pilfered." He had also ignored a legal brief submitted by the Résidence Godbout Canadian attorney (03-24-2004 with a follow-up letter requesting assistance sent on 3 May) in which unlimited use of the property (luxury seaside villa built on a 25 117 M2 lot) was offered cost-free to Canadian military personnel and police officers deployed in that retched godforsaken country.12
Liberal Minister of Health Pierre Pettigrew who had won re-election by only 468 votes replaced him at Foreign Affairs on 20 July 2004 because his Papineau riding was home to a significant number of Haitian émigrés. This appointment allowed the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin to interact with corrupt key players from that community more effectively hence securing increased ballot-box support at home.13
MP Denis Coderre (Wilson House participant), the former minister who represented a large constituency of Haitian Diaspora in Bourassa (but had been left-out of the new Liberal cabinet after his name surfaced during the sponsorship scandal), was named Special Adviser for Haiti on 26 November 2004 to network with special interest groups and help manage influence peddling.
Following Haitian Deputy Justice Minister Philippe Vixamar's corroboration (assigned to the position by CIDA in his 4th consecutive year of employment with the agency) that the government of Canada played a key role in their judicial apparatus, Denis Coderre executed his responsibilities admirably when he advised alarmed human rights activists on 11 March 2005 that "Canada would not get involved in Haiti's justice system."14
Although Martin-Pierre Pelletier, Pierre Pettigrew's Director of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff, agreed to personally contact Ambassador Claude Boucher (Wilson House participant) on 2 February 2005 after receiving a second updated deposition from the Résidence Godbout plaintiff, his decision to lend support was overturned when he advised the Canadian attorneys on March 1st 2005 that DFAIT wouldn't provide any assistance whatsoever.
The government of Canada had already distributed (since 18 July 2004) $120 million to eager Haitian beneficiaries by 25 November 2005 — when it announced that another $33 million was on its way "to strengthen governance in public/civil society institutions, the judicial system and rule of law" resources paid-for with tax dollars from Canadians but intentionally made unavailable to them by their own government.15
And the beat goes on
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government (elected on 23 January 2006) provided Haiti with another $520 million over five years on 25 July 2006.
The Résidence Godbout owner advised Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay in a September 1st 2006 factum that he was willing to grant unrestricted five-year occupancy of his $500 000 property (at no charge) to an NGO specializing in reforestation, a desperately pressing issue in the impoverished country (other uses such as a hospital or orphanage were also welcome). This humanitarian initiative designed to help a destitute population with rapidly achieved tangible results would be calculatingly discarded without consideration by the government of Canada to protect organized crime.
Despite overwhelming evidence presented against all those involved in commandeering the Haitian Godbout villa by force (2002), Ginette Martin (on behalf of Peter MacKay whose name was actually misspelled in her undated letter received on 5 October 2006), opted instead to shamelessly protect the interests of mobster Patrick Torres (petroleum distribution) so that he could live in luxury (as an illegal squatter on the Canadian owned domain) with his wife Marie-Denise Bayard who were both assisted by co-conspirators:
Haitian-Canadian Mario Hilaire signed a Promesse de Vente (sales agreement) in Montréal on 15 November 2003 with Paul Gargioni (Canadian) to acquire his Merger property including the right of access across Résidence Godbout land (granted in the Godbout deed dated 8 April 1987).17
Mario Hilaire then offered to purchase the coveted right of access from Godbout estate representatives and a sales agreement to that effect was signed on 10 March 2005 in Montréal (witnessed by notary Geneviève Guérin).18
Two days later, on 12 March 2005, Mario Hilaire signed a 20-year mortgage agreement at 6% interest with Paul Gargioni to purchase his Haitian property for $158 000 US or 189 600 CND.19
Mario Hilaire however failed to inform the Résidence Godbout representative in writing (as required in his 10 March 2005 sales agreement) that he no longer wished to follow through with the right of access acquisition alleging verbally that it was preferable to wait until squatter Patrick Torres had either bought the Godbout villa (unlikely) or was evicted.20
At long last, on 4 March 2006, Paul Gargioni finalized his sale to Mario Hilaire in Montréal (Ritz-Carlton Hotel) when the Résidence Godbout representative provided all relevant original/legalized ownership documentation.21
Those documents swiftly vanished into the bowels of Haiti much to the delight (we suspect) of Jean-Henry Céant and other high-society players previously identified.22
DFAIT, its embassy and CIDA must have been terribly impressed with the cleverness displayed by these esteemed licensed specialists from Port-au-Prince!23
Mario Hilaire thereafter began to share the half-million dollar Résidence Godbout property with gangster Patrick Torres thanks to this revitalized criminal cover-up, while the tenacious legitimate owner who was obviously handicapped by his own Canadian citizenship invariably found himself documenting death threats because he was simply exercising his lawful rights.24
FOCAL had also organized a junket in Ottawa and Montréal from 10-28 to 11-01-2007 for six Haitian senators — ostensibly as a "fact-finding mission to exchange views with Canadian decision-makers and increase understanding of key issues" between both countries.
Not to be outdone by their private sector (adept at begging) brethren, the delegation met with (among others) Maxime Bernier (CPC Minister of Foreign Affairs); Denis Coderre; Haitian-born Vivian Barbot (Conseil de la Souveraineté Board Member), Serge Ménard and Caroline St-Hilaire (BQ MPs); Ginette Martin representing Foreign Affairs Canada, Sara Cohen (Senior Haiti Desk Officer), Louis-Robert Daigle (Senior Policy Advisor), Robert Derouin (START Director General) and James Lambert (Director General Latin America and the Caribbean); CIDA's Antoine Chevrier (Director Policy, Planning and Communications), Luc Fréchette (Director General Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba) and Gilles Rivard (VP Americas before being named Ambassador to Haiti); Serge Lortie (International Relations, Justice Canada); Luc Proulx (RCMP).25
This motley crew of gadding Haitian senators chanted in unison the same old chorus heard ad nauseam:
Civil-society/judicial-system corruption poster-boys (superstars) Jean-Henry Céant and Jean-Frédéric Salès were still being promoted world-wide on the Foreign Affairs Canada Web site as of 15 May 2009 (since Ginette Martin's letter to MREG in 2006)!
Denis Coderre had disclosed in the House of Commons on 26 March 2009 that he "looked at the (2008) Transparency International (corruption) index" in preparation for a debate on Afghanistan (ranked 176th out of 180 countries). He would have also surely noticed that Haiti was listed 177th (worsening score of 1.4 compared to 1.6 in 2007), just ahead of Iraq, Myanmar (tied) and Somalia.26
Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) spokesperson, decried on 9 March 2009: "The UN's stabilization efforts cannot be sustained if the economic and social situation does not change in Haiti."27
The Canadian government undoubtedly disagreed with that assessment. Evaluations assembled from unaccountable institutions, organizations and individuals — who collectively enriched themselves so handsomely — essentially described Canada's foreign aid programs as nothing less than a resounding achievement.
If the FOCAL meeting attended by Denis Coderre, Claude Boucher and Ginette Martin in 2005 is any indication — inauspicious ratings such as those by TI will remain nothing more than an inconsequential annoyance to these give-away cartels.
Nepotism and patronage
Conservative Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, announced on 17 February 2009 the appointment of Phrarès Pierre as an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) commissioner. A former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada vice-president (Québec wing) — his credentials including service (1996-2001) in Haiti with the first administration of President René Préval (Interior Ministry) before becoming chief of staff to Prime Minister Yvon Neptune (2002-2003) during the infamous presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide — were omitted from the press release.
Documents obtained by Montréal daily La Presse under the Access to Information Act authenticated that those senior Haitian government positions held by Phrarès Pierre had been eradicated from a revised final draft of the communiqué and IRB Chairperson Brian Goodman knew about his unflatteringly contentious third-world expertise no later than 20 February 2009.28
Jason Kenney appeared before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on 10 March 2009. When asked if he was aware about the past of Phrarès Pierre he answered: "No, not personally." Questioned as to why it had not been mentioned in the nominee's biographical notes, the minister responded by stating: "I don't know. I found this out when I read the (La Presse) article this morning." Pressed in the House of Commons (03-10-2009) by MP Thierry St-Cyr (BQ) about his appointment of an individual who had served under a government "that practiced torture" and "was involved in atrocities" Jason Kenney replied: "I am not hiding anything" while pointing-out "he (Phrarès Pierre) passed the security screening with the Privy Council Office."29
Asked on the House floor if he would take steps to see that Phrarès Pierre be dismissed seeing that the IRB rejected applications from Haitians who were "complicit in, or actually committed, crimes against humanity under the Aristide regime," Jason Kenney replied (03-11-2009): "He was appointed on the advice of the IRB and its chairperson is responsible for the selection of qualified candidates to be recommended to the minister for appointment."30
Instead of just issuing passports, Foreign Affairs Canada could actually be quite useful if the government defended its own citizens the same way Jason Kenney supported his protégé Phrarès Pierre on 26 March 2009: "The chair of the IRB is responsible for candidates recommended to the government (after a pre-selection process independently managed by the tribunal). We accepted the recommendation and he was appointed."31
Phrarès Pierre's swearing-in was scheduled for 2 June 2009 — after which he would gain unlimited access to the IRB database containing detailed personal information of all refugee claimants.
Jason Kenney was reminded by Thierry St-Cyr on 6 May 2009 about sections 153(1) (a) and 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which clearly indicated that the governor in council (GIC) could remove a board member. Auditor General Sheila Fraser had also confirmed it on 28 April 2009 before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration: "The decision whether or not to appoint a candidate is always the prerogative of the minister and the governor in council."32
Canadians who had been denied assistance by their government to protect Haitian organized crime would undoubtedly be genuinely envious of the unmitigated backing that Minister Jason Kenney bestowed upon a former Préval/Aristide crony (05-06-2009): "Following the appointment of members to the IRB, it is up to the chair of the IRB to oversee the members and their behavior. That is the chair's responsibility. He is a very professional man and I have complete confidence in the chair of the IRB in this file."33
The facts then began to mutate dramatically by 13 October 2009 when Jason Kenney's communications director, Alykhan Velshi, declared: "The minister was only alerted of Mr. Pierre's ties with the Aristide government after his nomination had been made by the governor in council." Those exemplary qualifications brought by Mr. 'Lucky' Pierre to his new job in Montréal then compelled the IRB to stipulate that their new rising-star commissioner was excluded from hearing a substantial number of assignments because "he would never examine Haitian cases."34
In the meantime, Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) President Maria Barrados had released her audit of the IRB on 9 October 2009 that revealed:35
All politicians and senior bureaucrats are justifiably presumed guilty of corruption in the Court of Public Opinion until proven innocent36
Follow the money
The Sponsorship Program scandal "happened because administrative rules and guidelines were routinely bent, broken or ignored, in some instances because of ministerial intervention." Adding in its 10 May 2005 report that "once a minister has left a portfolio, he or she can no longer be held to account for decisions made in office" — the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts suggested that these "problems might have been avoided if Canada had adopted the British practice of treating its deputy ministers as accounting officers (held responsible to Parliament)."37
The Daily Telegraph's stunning investigation into 646 Westminster MPs' expenses unearthed on 8 May 2009 what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown later morosely described as: "The biggest parliamentary scandal for two centuries."
Countless abuses had been perpetrated by no less than 392 parliamentarians of all parties, notwithstanding hidden phantom mortgages and disguised fraudulent claims diligently covered-up for years in officially released government documents. House Speaker Michael Martin announced his resignation on May 19th effective 21 June 2009 (entered Parliament on 3 May 1979 and the first speaker to be forced-out since Sir John Trevor was expelled for bribery on 16 March 1694, old style Julian calendar).38
Canadian politicians took note and rallied together without delay — demonstrating in solidarity an uncharacteristic sense of urgency seldom observed. Besides their base pay, Ottawa MPs were awarded expense allowances that totaled $127.850 million for fiscal year 2007-2008 — a $9.167 million increase over 2005-2006. Denis Coderre received the tidy sum of $299 438 in 2005-2006 and his subsidy climbed to $360 402 for 2007-2008.39
Not only had Auditor General Sheila Fraser been repeatedly denied access to their fiercely guarded records shrouded in secrecy, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs adopted its 18th Report on 2 June 2009 after holding eight meetings (four of them with Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson) that were closed to the public (rendering evidence from those proceedings unavailable by an all-party agreement).40
The 18th Report was presented to the House by Committee Chair, Joe Preston (CPC), on 3 June 2009. It exempted all political party/riding association cash and benefits (received by MPs) from any restriction or public disclosure under the Conflict of Interest Code.
Unable to get it "concurred in" because Ralph Goodale (Lib.) complained about the absence of a "normal type of consultation" Bloc Québécois MP Michel Guimond (whose own little classified operation during fiscal year 2007-2008 had cost Canadian taxpayers $429 082) sprang into action on behalf of his 307 colleagues — and reminded them fervently with eloquent panache: "Mr. Speaker, I do not really understand what the member means by 'normal consultation.' The four whips met."
"We are members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and we have been asking the Chair to submit this report for two weeks now."
"I do not know what the problem is. We even talked about this yesterday. The Liberal Party's deputy whip was there. The Chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and Home Affairs is at his wit's end (ne sait plus à quel saint se vouer), and for good reason. I feel the same way right now."41
Confronted with an issue of such vital national importance, common sense prevailed and that crucial amendment passed unanimously the next day (4 June 2009) without a vote!42
Debunking the myths
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, chaired by Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, substantiated Auditor General Sheila Fraser's findings in its 2007 report (Overcoming 40 Years of Failure) — making it "clear that Canada's aid agency (CIDA) shows little appetite for working with the private sector in Canada" while soberly pointing-out: "Most assistance is provided either directly to the recipient country or to multilateral agencies."43
Further analysis deduced: "Good governance, which means the absolute rule of law, sound and professional financial and political management, accountable, effective, and transparent public institutions and public spending, must be a constant provision. Without good governance, it is difficult to envision progress in other areas or the effective use of international assistance."44
The report continued by stating unequivocally: "Equally important, international donors should only give development assistance to countries that are aggressively undertaking real reforms in economic and political governance, and that are instilling a business environment within their country that ensures economic growth, employment creation, and investment. If international assistance is only provided to countries that are such 'good performers,' it will ensure the effective use of the international assistance that is allocated and provide an incentive for other recipient countries to undertake such reforms."45
CIDA had failed to make a foreign aid difference in Haiti after having spent more than $1.395 billion since 1968. Quoting the agency in a rare moment of past candor that would soon be replaced with protocols advocating an enduring partnership with organized crime and corrupt institutions:
"The Government of Haiti is currently unable to adequately meet the demands of Haitians for judicial services. From birth to death, citizens can spend their entire lives without access to government services. Haiti's justice system is characterized by incompetence, corruption among judges, outdated laws, costly procedural delays, lack of basic infrastructure, and civil institutions are incapable of assuming their responsibilities."46
Attempts by CIDA to bolster democratic development in Haiti by ensuring "security and respect for law and order" were viewed as a threat by government authorities, they yielded "flagrant lack of cooperation" to reform the public sector or improve all forms of governance — and "justice is not better served."47
The UN had summarized-it all too well on 29 August 2003: "International effort to import and establish justice with the rule of law has failed." MINUSTAH spokesperson David Wimhurst added on 14 May 2006 that an urgent need was required "to create a justice system" in Haiti which "it has never had."48
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay had apparently not mastered that indispensable tool used by corrupt politicians — called the art of plausible deniability — when he allowed Ginette Martin to encourage organized crime activities against Canadian interests in Haiti on 5 October 2006. This disgraceful so-called Public Servant' was personally cognizant about ongoing misconduct as exemplified by his testimony concerning development assistance on 16 May 2006:
"I certainly agree that a number of Canadians have expressed an elevated level of concern about the delivery of funding to the designated or intended recipient. In many cases, money donated either by private citizens or corporations or designated by governments does not always make it to the intended recipients because it is diverted and, in some cases, deliberately used by governments for another purpose. That has, in some cases, shaken the confidence of donors at all levels."49
The Senate examination also bluntly described CIDA as "ineffective, costly and overly bureaucratic." 81% of its 1 500 employees were based at headquarters in Ottawa allowing this "top-heavy system" to perpetuate "a situation where development assistance is slow, inflexible, and unresponsive to conditions on the ground in recipient countries."50
Major policy reforms were required for Canada to have an efficient foreign policy oriented "to assist only" those nations "that are making a real effort to strengthen their political and economic governance." Above all, the Committee recommended an "immediate review of the future of CIDA to determine whether the agency should be abolished" or retained as "an accountable and effective aid agency through a stand-alone statutory mandate incorporating clear and measurable objectives that can be monitored and scrutinized by Parliament."51
DFAIT and CIDA did not take lightly to criticism. The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade had adopted a motion on 14 December 2006 to present its final report on 15 February 2007 and "retain until 31 March 2007 all powers necessary to publicize its findings." Chairman Hugh Segal was "forced to resign" ("removed") by his party leadership on 20 February 2007 for having authenticated the unspoken truth. Within a mere five days, the fix was in' to bury all traces of humiliating evidence from any public discourse.52
Disparaging revelations by journalists and observers who reported incompetence (or premeditated negligence) by Canadian government agencies were equally met with concerted if not well-orchestrated rebukes.
Canada's International Assistance Envelope (IAE) in 2008-09 was $4.4 billion and CIDA managed 67.4% of it (or $2.96 billion). Afghanistan (where Canadian military battle groups were serving with distinction since Operation Apollo in 2002), being the largest recipient of CIDA reconstruction aid at $280 million for fiscal year 2007-2008 (followed by Haiti), inexorably found itself examined attentively by news outlets and research institutes worldwide ($11.3 billion in incremental costs by 2010 for the armed forces NATO mission).53
Case in point; the U.S. Congress had appropriated more than $39 billion since 2001 for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan by 2009, Canada committed $1.2 billion over ten years through 2011 and European nations sent 9 billion (beginning in 2002):
Haiti is of no strategic value to Canada whatsoever and every penny spent there was methodically squandered:54
Ongoing political unrest created new criminal opportunities that allowed Haiti to emerge as a foremost exporter of illegal narcotics. These activities "increased markedly" over the 1995-2005 decade as "Caribbean traffickers were increasingly involved not only in the transport but also the distribution of drugs in North America."55
As forecasted, Haitian groups involved in this exceedingly profitable process found solid Canadian connections to assist them with their marketing efforts — particularly from areas such as Montréal. The RCMP seized 218 kilograms of cocaine on 23 January 2005 that had been hidden in the false ceilings of two luggage containers arriving at Montréal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport aboard a flight from Port-au-Prince (Haiti).
The smugglers were using their ties with Montréal Mafia bosses who controlled an airport door to get large drug shipments through Canada undetected. RCMP reporting tabulated 2 556 kg of cocaine intercepted in 2005 with the largest quantities entering Canada from Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Haiti (Hispaniola).56
"Conditions in Haiti and Canada favor the continued growth of a formalized and structured nexus between criminal organizations in the two countries over the medium to long term. Individual Haitian-Canadian-based Street Gang (HSG) members have established criminal links with the island; evidence also suggests that HSGs as a whole may also be cultivating informal inter-group links with counterparts in Haiti. Moreover, the continuous flows of people, money and materiel between the two countries ensure such links will remain viable in the long term."57
U.S. Embassy diplomatic cables (WikiLeaks) and State Department reports (INCSR) offered a provocative glimpse into that nefarious landscape:
Corruption & inflow of drugs into Haiti's political process File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Money laundering and breach of trust
The Résidence Godbout case is a textbook example of money laundering crimes occurring in real estate transactions linked to the Haitian drug trade (as identified by the U.S. Department of State). Allowing-it to flourish unchallenged with silent signals of acquiescence, DFAIT's conduct was dishonest, exceedingly prejudicial vis-à-vis Canadian interests — not to mention being perceived as flirting dangerously with obstruction of justice or aiding and abetting in an ongoing criminal enterprise.58
Auditor General Sheila Fraser reiterated in her report to the House of Commons on November 3rd 2009 that CIDA "has not put in place the required management processes to implement and monitor its aid effectiveness commitments concerning alignment, harmonization, the use of program-based approaches and sector focus."
"The Agency has not established benchmarks and performance targets that would allow it to assess the extent to which it is meeting its commitments. There is little evidence that senior managers reviewed the implementation of the 2002 Policy Statement on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness on a systematic basis."59
The Canadian government spent $31 million on public opinion research in 2006-2007 (546 surveys) which makes it difficult for politicians of dubious character to question that science when facing unfavorable statistics ($130 million in advertising for 2009-2010).60
Concurrently, Ottawa understood the need to hide embarrassingly colossal waste by DFAIT and CIDA from voters if those agencies were to survive in their present form.
An Ekos Research Associates poll released on 14 September 2005 revealed that 43% of Canadians espoused increased humanitarian aid to poor countries, a sharp increase over eight months since January 2005 when only 31% advocated greater spending. Publicity generated by the Asian tsunami, G-8 summit and Live 8 concerts sustained this trend.
Another survey conducted by the same firm during period 15-30 March 2007 for Public Safety Canada (CPC Minister Stockwell Day) found that:61
Political cynicism was however extremely high — given such low confidence in the Canadian federal government:62
Proposed methods to improve honesty and reduce corruption in the federal government produced these following endorsement numbers by Canadian respondents:63
Don't get angry get even
In the end, ubiquitous corruption is an affliction that Canadian politicians and bureaucrats simply dare not mention (Denis Coderre was unable to even utter the term in the House of Commons when referring to Transparency International on 26 March 2009).
Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the other hand insisted on 6 November 2009 that he would no longer risk British lives in Afghanistan if the Karzai government — fraught with "cronies and warlords" didn't "stand up to corruption" (widespread fraud was also uncovered following the elections held on 20 August 2009).64
French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner had also emphasized the need for increased "responsibilization" by Afghanistan in its utilization of international financial aid during a joint press conference in Kabul on 12 April 2008 with his Canadian counterpart Maxime Bernier. Both diplomats underscored that "fighting corruption" and establishing "rule of law" was indispensable.65
After Maxime Bernier went so far as to call into question the administration of Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid (who allegedly participated in torture of detainees) before departing on 14 April 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promptly called those comments a "misimpression" — adding that Canadian envoys had "talked to the government of Afghanistan from time to time about performance concerns" and would "continue to express them privately."66
Characterization of the Bernier statements by opposition parties and news media in Canada ranged from unguarded gaffe to blunder. Foreign Service officer Richard Colvin had written on 24 October 2007 (end-of-mission report) that "rather than tackle this governance failure, Canada has systematically avoided it."
International Cooperation Minister (and Harper cabinet sex symbol [sic]) Bev Oda was sent forthwith to Kandahar (carrying her briefcase full of spin) where she astoundingly declared on 22 April 2008 (with a straight face) having "absolutely no concerns" about corruption in Afghanistan!67
Even Kandahar Mayor Ghulam Hayder Hamidi (accountant for 30 years in Arlington, Virginia) recognized the culture of graft in his country (December 2010) bluntly appraising that Ottawa's contracting practices contributed to it: "Who is doing the corruption? You are doing the corruption."68
His explanation for chronically deficient Canadian foreign aid performance: Inefective and needless spending of taxpayer dollars at inflated prices by federal officials.
U.S. Embassy diplomatic cables (12-02-2010 WikiLeaks release) also highlighted Beverley Oda's deplorable antics carefully crafted (by a cagey PMO) to hush-up unbridled corruption in Afghanistan:
Hawala network/illicit financing (10-18-09), money smuggling/wealth extraction (10-19-09), corruption/racketeering (12-06-09), embezzling public funds/theft of humanitarian assistance (12-28-09), patronage/rigged elections (02-23-10)
The priorities for politicians or bureaucrats in Ottawa are identical — namely their salaries, concealed expenses, travel perks and pensions. Attending useless conferences while drafting mountainous reams of worthless reports is the preferred pastime to make it appear as if they were actually productive.
Foreign Affairs Canada officials would have moved swiftly to secure the Godbout estate for humanitarian purposes had they been genuinely concerned about the plight of needy Haitians. Catering to the whims of organized crime (by relentlessly invoking "Sovereign State" status with 'Get Out of Jail Free' cards) took precedence over conventional wisdom because otherwise there would have been no financial reward for anyone.
DFAIT and CIDA owe their very existence to corrupt politicians who rely on an ineffectual 24-hour news cycle that keeps taxpayers in the dark about deliberate massive misappropriation of funds.
Should the electorate learn that this 8 500 member fraternity costs them $20 billion annually to uphold organized crime abroad instead of bona fide Canadian values, traditional party MPs could be replaced in Parliament by a substantial contingent of independents from Newfoundland to British Columbia.
Revenue Canada & Bev Oda shenanigans
MP's pension plans are much richer than most people's
Robert Silver, The Globe and Mail, 3 December 2010: Senior government liars deserve to be outed
1 FOCAL signed a three-year partnership with CIDA on 02-01-2002 (Department of Justice Canada, OAS Inter-American Convention against Corruption report by Canada, Doug Breithaupt, Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, 2005, p. 17). It reported in 2004 (Statement of Financial Position) being funded largely by the Canadian government with CIDA contributing $728 652 ($758 475 in 2007) and DFAIT providing an additional $364 673.
2 Diplomatic appointment announced by Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew on 12 August 2004. Succeed by Gilles Rivard on 10 July 2008 (named by CPC Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson).
3 Mr. Valdés was appointed by Kofi Annan on 07-15-2004; AFP, 05-12-2005, 06-01-2005, 07-05-2005; AP, 07-05-2005; AFP, 07-28-2005; Walt Bogdanich and Jenny Nordberg, International Herald Tribune, 08-29-2005.
4 Joe Mozingo, Miami Herald, 04-26-2005; Reuters, 06-02-2005; Affaires étrangères Canada, Conseils aux voyageurs, 07-21-2005; Miami Herald, 07-23-2005; Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters, 01-26-2006.
5 Department of Justice Canada, OAS Inter-American Convention against Corruption report by Canada, Doug Breithaupt, Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, 2005, p. 17 (Haiti was ranked 163rd by TI).
6 DFAIT, Report on Plans and Priorities 2008-2009, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Conservative ministers David Emerson (International Trade) and Maxime Bernier (Foreign Affairs): Total agency spending (financial resources) for Passport Canada Program Activity was $276.6 million and personnel remuneration (full-time equivalents) amounted to $2.633 billion, pp. 5-47, 60, 66 & 72.
7 CIDA, RPP 2008-2009, Conservative minister Beverley Oda (International Cooperation), pp. 9 & 48: Total agency spending for this period was $3.246 billion and personnel remuneration amounted to $1.834 billion ($1.795 billion in 2007-2008); CIDA, 08-14-2009.
8 Latinamerica Press, Volume 37, N° 2, 01-26-2005, p. 14; Aaron Pollack and John Tyynela, Rights Action, 01-27-2005; Radio-Canada interview, Hugo Lavoie, Dimanche Magazine, 02-13-2005, broadcast at 11:21; Mark Stevenson, AP, 04-15-2005; Amy Keuhl, CIFP, Carleton University, 06-2007.
9 MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, section 1, p.7 & endnote N° 31: Canadian embassy officials in Moscow and the PMO intervened when IMP Group of Halifax was forcibly removed from its Aerostar Hotel on 08-13-2004; See the link Fraude & Corruption un examen chronologique (1999-2010) in section 10 (before exhibits) for comprehensive legal analysis.
10 DFAIT, RPP 2008-2009, p. 30.
11 Michel Vastel, l'Actualité, 03-15-2003; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, section 3.
12 Radio-Canada, 05-08-2004; Elizabeth Thompson, Montreal Gazette, 05-08-2004; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, section 1, p. 9 & endnote N° 51.
13 Shawn McCarthy, Jeff Sallot and Paul Knox, Toronto Globe and Mail, 02-02-2004; Sue Montgomery, Montreal Gazette, 03-09-2004; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, sections 1 & 5; Pierre Pettigrew was also minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (12-12-2003 to 07-19-2004).
14 Haiti Human Rights Investigation, Thomas Griffin, Center for the Study of Human Rights, University of Miami School of Law, 11-21 November 2004, p. 24; Montreal Gazette, 03-12-2005.
15 CIDA press release, 11-25-2005: Ministers Pierre Pettigrew, Aileen Carroll (International Cooperation), Jacques Saada (La Francophonie) and Special Advisor for Haiti Denis Coderre.
16 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 03-01-2007, Volume 1, Drug and Chemical Control, pp. 208-210 & Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, pp. 198-200; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, sections 1 & 6.
17 No one from the Godbout estate was ever advised (until 2010) and evidentiary exhibits are kept on file with MREG's Canadian attorneys.
18 Evidentiary exhibits are kept on file with MREG's Canadian attorneys; The Gargioni property purchase and right of access acquisition were both scheduled to be completed within one month in Montréal.
19 Evidentiary exhibits are kept on file with MREG's Canadian attorneys.
21 Evidentiary exhibits are kept on file with MREG's Canadian attorneys; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, see sections 1 & 10 for accompanying analysis.
23 Evidentiary exhibits are kept on file with MREG's Canadian attorneys; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, see section 1 for accompanying analysis.
24 MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, see sections 1 & 10 for accompanying analysis.
25 The Conseil de la Souveraineté du Québec published on 03-29-2006 their pedagogical guide for kindergarten/elementary-school students titled Let's talk about sovereignty' that featured a youngster's drawing illustrating the Canadian flag being torn in half, and suggested building a dozen schools in Haiti with the $9.5 million contributed annually by Québec to maintain the Office of Governor General; Marian Scott, Monreal Gazette, 09-13-2010.
26 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 034, 03-26-2009; TI's CPI results cited had been released on 09-23-2008.
27 AFP, 03-09-2009, Port-au-Prince, statement issued ahead of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's arrival in Haiti with former U.S. president Bill Clinton.
28 Hugo de Grandpré, La Presse, 10-14-2009; Radio-Canada, 10-14-2009.
29 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, N° 006, 03-10-2009; Edited Hansard, N° 027, 03-10-2009.
30 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 028, 03-11-2009; Hugo Meunier, Hugo de Grandpré, La Presse, 03-10-2009; Martin Croteau, La Presse, 03-15-2009.
31 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 034, 03-26-2009; Lina Dib, La Presse Canadienne, 03-31-2009.
32 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, N° 014, 04-28-2009; Edited Hansard, N° 052, 05-06-2009; Hugo de Grandpré, La Presse, 10-17-2009.
33 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 052, 05-06-2009.
34 Hugo de Grandpré, La Presse, 10-14-2009.
35 Public Service Commission of Canada (President Maria Barrados), Immigration and Refugee Board audit, 10-09-2009; Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen, 10-11-2009; Maria Barrados tabled her 2009-10 report on 10-05-2010 showing that the number of core public service workers stood at 216 045 employees.
36 MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, section 1, p. 1.
37 Conservative MP John Williams, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, news release, 05-10-2005.
38 No Expenses Spared, Robert Winnett & Gordon Rayner, Bantam Press, London, UK, 2009; The lives of the lord chancellors and keepers of the Great Seal of England, Lord John Campbell, London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1846, Vol. IV, pp. 54-57. The old style Julian calendar began its year on 25 March instead of January 1st. France and most Catholic countries had adopted the Gregorian calendar (new style) on 5 October 1582 while England only did so on 14 September 1752.
39 Individual Member's Expenditures, House of Commons, May 2006 & May 2008.
40 Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, minutes of proceedings, meeting N° 17, Ottawa, Center Block, Room 112-N, Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, 18th Report, 06-02-2009; CTV & Canadian Press, 06-07-2009; Montreal Gazette, 06-15-2009.
41 Individual Member's Expenditures, House of Commons, May 2006 & May 2008: Michel Guimond's travel expenses for fiscal year 2007-2008 were $120 776. Records show that he spent $394 236 during 2005-2006 ($88 511 on travel); 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 067, 06-03-2009.
42 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, N° 068, 06-04-2009.
43 Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Overcoming 40 Years of Failure, 02-15-2007, p. 108 (Auditor General of Canada report, 11-23-2004).
44 Ibid., p. VIII.
45 Ibid., p. IX.
46 CIDA, 08-17-1998, 03-31-1999 & 03-09-2004; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, sections 1-2.
47 CIDA, Performance Review Branch, Corporate Evaluation of the Canadian Cooperation Program in Haiti (1994-2002), 05-2003, p. 10; MREG Web site, Governance Oversight, sections 1-2.
48 United Nations Development Programme (Haiti), Outcome Evaluation, 08-29-2003, p. 20; Elizabeth Thompson, Ottawa Citizen & Montreal Gazette, 05-15-2006.
49 Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 02-15-2007, p. 99.
50 Ibid., p. XI.
51 Ibid., pp. XI-XIII & 97.
52 Senate of Canada, 39th Parliament, 1st Session, Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Issues N° 11-12, Effectiveness of democratic development, 02-20/21-2007, Issue N° 13, Foreign Relations in General, 02-27-2007; Canadian Press, 02-21-2007.
53 Matthew Pennington, AP, 03-09-2007; Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service, 08-30-2007; Michèle Ouimet, La Presse, 11-01-2007; Tom Coghlan, The Daily Telegraph, 03-25-2008; Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail, 05-03-2008; Kirsten Grieshaber, AP, 11-17-2009; CIDA, RPP 2008-2009, pp. 1 & 5-7; Canada at 150: Rising to the challenge, Robert Fowler: Africa in 2017 and Canada as Partner, Montréal, 03-28-2010.
54 Rapport de recherche présenté à l'ACDI par GRAP / Chaire J.W. MacConnel de développement local, 09-2003, p. 2; Upheaval in Haiti: The Criminal Threat to Canada, Stewart Prest, Carleton University, report commissioned by Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, 06-2005, pp. IV & 11 (the top 1% of Haiti's population controls 50% of that country's total wealth).
55 Upheaval in Haiti, p. IV.
56 RCMP, 2005 Drug Situation Report, major seizures, pp. 1-3; André Cédilot, La Presse, 10-06-2009; Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette, 11-03-2009 (opening statement of crown prosecutor Alexandre Dalmau).
57 Upheaval in Haiti, p. 26.
58 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 03-01-2006, Volume II, pp. 191-193.
59 Auditor General of Canada report to the House of Commons, CIDA, 11-03-2009, Chapter. 8, p. 31; Malorie Beauchemin, La Presse, 11-04-2009.
60 The Roles of Public Opinion Research in Canadian Government, Christopher Page, University of Toronto Press, 2006, pp. 3-4: the federal government had been spending over $20 million in recent years; Radio-Canada, 12-13-2007 (Daniel Paillé report submitted to Public Works Minister Michael Fortier on 10-03-2007); CTV News, 09-21-2010.
61 Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, Departmental Performance Report, period ending 03-31-2007, p. 15; Mario Girard, La Presse, 09-17-2007; Jack Aubry, CanWest News Service, 09-19-2007.
62 Ekos Research Associates presentation, APEX symposium (Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada), Ottawa, 10-07-2004.
63 Ibid., best method for improving honesty (paired choice).
64 Helene Cooper and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times, 11-03-2009: U.S. President Barack Obama had admonished Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai about the rampant corruption and drug trade that fueled Taliban resurgence; Peter Walker, The Guardian, 11-06-2009; Alex Spillius (Washington) and Ben Farmer (Kabul), The Daily Telegraph, 11-12-2009: General Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador in Kabul, came out firmly (11-11-2009) against bolstering the American troop presence unless Karzai seriously addressed corruption, the same day Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reiterated U.S. concern about Afghanistan's corruption, lack of transparency, poor governance and absence of the rule of law. Foreign Affairs Canada news release, 11-13-2009: In a pathetic display of lip service to Canadian allies, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon issued one of those typical rhetorical statements supporting the Afghan government in tackling corruption.
65 Béatrice Khadige, AFP, 04-13-2008.
66 CBC News, 04-14-2008; Mike Blanchfield and Ryan Cormier, CanWest News Service, 04-15-2008; Isabelle Rodrigue, La Presse Canadienne, 04-15-2008; Michèle Ouimet, La Presse, 04-16-2008.
67 Gilles Toupin, La Presse, 04-16-2008; CBC News, 04-22-2008; Murray Brewster, CP, 12-13-2009 (Richard Colvin was maligned by his political masters after testifying in Ottawa on 11-18-2009 before the House of Commons Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan).
68 Murray Brewster, Canadian Press, 12-15-2010.