Letter: Canadian public servants must explain illegal actions

Adrian Menzies, a Panamanian lawyer, set up offshore shell companies worth more than $200m to serve wealthy clients. He worked for the Morneau Shepell company, a middleman in offshore tax schemes designed to help Canadians avoid paying taxes. This two-year undercover investigation took place over the course of more than 40 meetings with the hedge fund investor and Mr Menzies, concluding that Morneau Shepell is providing “structural advice” to a network of offshore corporations the investors employ.

Since 2000, several investigations have revealed that a small group of Canadian law firms have aided wealthy clients in launder money from their offshore accounts, hiding its origin and costs, evade income tax and sell securities to Canadian investors without proper disclosure to the Canadian authorities.

And it turns out that a former finance minister and a leading public servant can’t seem to get away with it. Our staff uncovered evidence that Steve Posner, a former governor of the Bank of Canada, repeatedly broke securities law by arranging trades in shares and bonds and selling them to unsuspecting clients at huge profits. In one instance, we secretly recorded the transaction from two investors using an iPhone’s video camera. Mr Posner arranged for these trades using his office telephone to retain a profit of at least $6,000 per transaction.

These public servants must now explain their conduct and allow for a full examination of whether it meets the standards of the code of ethics that governs their office.

Leave a Comment