Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Stephen Harper and the Panama Connection

In a post earlier today, I noted that the Cons were playing down the Panama Papers scandal which is rocking the world.

And that Rona Ambrose hadn't said a single word about it.

I attributed this to Stephen Harper's other tax scandals.

But there is also another reason.

The Canada Panama Free Trade Agreement.

Which Harper signed four years ago even though he was warned that it could make tax evasion even easier.

The release of the Panama Papers, linking numerous world leaders and high-profile figures to offshore accounts, may be a good time to remind readers that Canada has a free trade deal with Panama. 

Critics of the agreement have said it could make it harder for the government to investigate and prosecute tax evasion involving offshore accounts held in the country.

And it's not like he didn't get plenty of warning.

"The pact would give new rights to the government of Panama and the hundreds of thousands of offshore corporations to challenge Canadian anti-tax haven measures outside of the Canadian judicial system," Todd Tucker, research director at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, told parliament in 2010. 

 "The Canada-Panama trade deal would worsen the tax haven problem … As the OECD has noted, having a trade agreement without first tackling Panama's financial secrecy would incentivize even more offshore tax dodging."

But it does explain why Rona Ambrose is as mute as a carp.

And it does make me wonder what Stephen Harper must be telling her to say...

Yup. The Ambrose Cons are the party of the one percent.

And the party of the 17.5 percent. 

Trudeau continues to enjoy a commanding 34 point lead over interim Conservative Leader Ambrose as the preferred choice as Prime Minister. More than one of two Canadians preferred Trudeau as PM (51.3%), followed by Ambrose at 17.5%, Mulcair at 11.6%, May at 3.3% and 15.6% of Canadians were unsure who they preferred.

The first number could do them great damage.

And the second number tells you they're still going nowhere...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. Now that you mention it, Ambrose has been a tad quiet, along with the rest of those Cons. where is Moore now? Peter Mackay? lets not forget O'Leary.

    Was just so amuzed by the Panama Papers, totally forgot about all those cons, their friends, and the free trade deals. this is going to be interesting ready. Of course we may have to read about it in newspapers in other countries, because I'd bet the MSM isn't going to be writing about any Canadians. with so many news papers doing down the drain, you'd think an enterprising editor might get some accountants and staff on that one. it'd make them the most popular newspaper in Canada. as it stands now, except some blogger to do the work and publish for free.

    1. I think it was Elizabeth May--correct me if I'm wrong--who said any government can sign trade agreements! (The Cons continually crowed about how many trade agreements they signed since coming to power in 2006).

      But she then went on to say what's important is how GOOD the trade agreements are, not the number of agreements.

    2. Anonymous12:27 PM

      Hi e.a.f,

      The Guardian <3. Never regret my subscription.


    3. e.a.f.2:22 PM

      Thank you. Its a good newspaper. I get a lot of information from them.

  2. Capital C Corruption at its Conservative finest. Trade deal, my ass.

  3. The Man Who Foretold the Panama Papers

  4. Anonymous9:17 AM

    This is nothing new.It's been goin on for years.

    Alain Deneault, who teaches political science at the Université de Montréal and authored a recent book called “Canada: A New Tax Haven”, has documented how Canada’s big banks were critical players in creating offshore tax havens in the Caribbean going back to at least the 1920s. He explains how Canadian banks got into this racket by helping out American and European banks trying to move their assets around the world. “Canadians actually transformed these jurisdictions into tax havens in order to satisfy the financial industry that needed to funnel these euro dollars outside any kind of traditional jurisdiction to manage them out of law without any kind of constraint."
    Bruce Livesey over at the National Observer got a great column up on this.


    1. e.a.f.2:23 PM

      There is also an interesting documentary about a Canadian bank which has a branch in mexico and not all was as good as it ought to have been. Forget the name of the documentary, but I think it was on the Doc Zone or Passionate Eye. any how its a good watch.

  5. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Yahoo is reporting that London is Ground Zero for this financial sleeze. So one may well ask: Who is the top Canadian in the UK? The High Commissioner is none other than... drum roll please...

    Gordon Campbell, who was anointed by the Harper.


    Which may (partially) explain the overheated housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

  6. https://actions.sumofus.org/a/canadian-fallout-from-the-panama-papers-trudeau-needs-to-reign-rbc-and-other-bay-street-on-their-tax-dodging-ways/