Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Collaboration: A New (but very old) Name For Selling-Out (Canadians). Robin Mathews

Collaboration: A New (but very old)  Name For Selling-Out (Canadians).

              (by Robin Mathews  June  2019)

Sheri Meyerhoffer, we all remember, has been appointed to be Canada's Watchdog on Human Rights abuses by overseas Corporations. Canadians don't normally see or learn that the behaviour of many Canadian Corporations operating overseas is sometimes astonishingly bad.

Out of sight Canadian Corporations, it is alleged, sometimes make undocumented agreements with corrupt regimes, exploit defenceless workers, pollute unregulated environments, bribe (as required) abuse populations, communities, the environment and Canadian law.  Some of the activity has been exposed and described in work by Yves Engler.

Sheri Meyerhoffer has expressed the desire to work as Canada's new Watchdog on international corporate responsibility collaboratively with the corporations involved.

We are all conscious that the Cabinet of Justin Trudeau wanted Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to work collaboratively with SNC Lavalin, allowing it a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in what is called a Remediation Process, so that SNC Lavalin could slip away from the criminal charges it faces for corruption in Libya and (some believe) could buy its way out of criminal charges.

Remediation, the Oxford English Dictionary records, simply means remedying.  Deferred Prosecution Agreements are undertaken in a remediation process. What “readers may ask “is remedied by Deferred Prosecution Agreements?  The answer, of course, is the illness giant Canadian corporations fall into when a CEO or other top officers are named criminal and placed behind bars.

The legislation to create Remediation Processes in Canadian law came as a process involving 89 (yes, eighty-nine) meetings of SNC Lavalin and highly-placed Liberal government actors.  As a result the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau passed a law buried in a piece of Omnibus Legislation to permit Canadian Corporations “in effect“ to dodge criminal law as written and to enter Deferred Prosecution Agreements in which criminal charges are stayed, the Corporation pays a large sum of money (a bribe?), and promises to improve its behaviour.

We need to keep firmly in mind that Deferred Prosecution Agreements with criminally-acting Corporations permit them to escape criminal charges in a modality that is not open to Canadians generally.  The Liberal government, in short, has created Law For The Rich, separate from Law For All Others. [That “in the past“ has been considered grounds for Revolution!]

Sheri Meyerhoffer has had very wide experience in a number of foreign countries around the world.  She was Project Director for the Canadian Bar Association.  She should know better than to work collaboratively with Canadian Corporations accused of violating Human Rights among far-off, poverty-stricken, defenceless populations.  We remember that Chrystia Freeland (Canada's Foreign Minister) worked collaboratively among the 14 nations of the Lima Group backing the U.S. attempt, criminally, to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.

[Those with memories that reach back to the closing year of Liberation from the Nazi Occupation of Europe remember vividly the ugliest word that could be used by the liberated to describe any of their own was the one word: Collaborator.]

Others are becoming alarmed at the apparent overthrow of the Rule of Law by the present Canadian government.  As a part of the process, the Canadian government has written into the terms of Sheri Meyerhoffer's appointment, apparently, that she may hear complaints from giant Canadian corporations that they have been unfairly alleged to have abused Human Rights.

With the stroke of that collaborative pen, the Watchdog has been turned into a potential advocate for giant corporations alleged to have engaged in wrong-doing.  That can only be described as the Deep State in action.  The Deep State, we remember, is made up of unseen forces of great wealth and great economic power which sit down with visible government (in this case, the government of Canada) to create laws for the forces of great wealth and economic power alone, as well as rules and procedures that benefit them and, which, in effect, remove them from the (common) Rule of Law.

The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability alleges the government of Canada is setting up processes to turn the tables on vulnerable complainants in poor countries [Mike Blanchfield, Corporate watchdog rule under criticism, Vancouver Sun, June 11, 2019, B1]. The advocacy group Above Ground spokesperson Karyn Keenan adds (in the same article) that the unexpected provision goes against the spirit of an ombudsperson's office. 

What we have been seeing since the Jody Wilson-Raybould matter is evidence of the Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau working on behalf of huge (often Liberal contributing) Corporations to remove impediments to criminal behaviour by placing the Corporations outside the Rule of Law to which other Canadians are held accountable. In addition, the Liberal government appears, now, to be providing large Corporations with an advocate who, collaboratively, may be in a position to undertake Canadian government-approved harassment of powerless people who allege they are victims of Human Rights abuses!

The only thing Sheri Meyerhoffer can do in the face of what seem to be such insupportable conditions of employment is to resign her position publicly and to denounce, loudly, the terms of her appointment.

Contact: Robin Mathews

1 comment:

Danneau said...

The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.

--- Frank Zappa