Speech Article from  Global Affairs Canada

Address by Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Anti-bribery Ministerial Meeting

March 16, 2016 - Paris, France

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Good morning.

Thank you to the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] Working Group on Bribery for organizing this ministerial meeting. Canada applauds the Working Group for its comprehensive efforts over the past 17 years and for your rigorous peer reviews under the Anti-Bribery Convention. We welcome the launch of Phase 4 in our global fight against corruption. And if you have been following the new Government of Canada, then you will know that we are taking an active and renewed interest in engaging with multilateral organizations like the OECD.

Canada remains very active within the Working Group, and our law enforcement officials also participate in the Working Group’s informal law enforcement meetings on a biannual basis.

Preventing and combatting corruption and reducing criminality overall strengthens the rule of law and protects Canada’s competitiveness at home and good standing in the international community. Our participation is a legal and foreign policy priority. Accountable governance and sustainable economic progress are indivisible. Bribery undermines both.

Recently, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our fight against bribery through both enforcement and prevention. We have implemented key legislation and raised awareness of foreign bribery to encourage companies to implement their domestic legal obligations. We have devoted substantial resources to contribute to the global fight against corruption and several federal government bodies play key roles in this regard.

Canadian courts have been clear: bribery of foreign public officials will not be tolerated. Through the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, we have 4 convictions, 4 ongoing cases, and 12 active investigations. Of note, 2014 marked the first time that an individual was sentenced to imprisonment under the Act.

At the Working Group and elsewhere, Canada’s commitment to anti-corruption is strong. During the most recent Phase 3, the vast majority of recommendations were fully implemented by Canada. Further, we have been asked by other states parties to share good practices on our proactive approach to outreach, which we are happy to do.

As we embark on Phase 4, Canada wishes to thank Australia and Japan for their implementation of the Convention. We were pleased and privileged to review your progress. We would also like to thank our fellow examiners from Norway, the Chair of the Working Group, and the Secretariat for constructive collaboration over the past decade.

Canada is committed to ongoing participation in all Working Group peer-review processes. Our resolve is strong. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

Thank you.

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