Corporate Watch

Canada continues to be an international laggard in the fight against money laundering

In September, 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conducted an evaluation of the Canadian anti-money laundering regime and, while noting a number of minor shortcomings and some strengths, found two important features lacking. The first was a lack of transparency in who owns, controls and benefits from Canadian corporations and trusts. The second was that lawyers are exempted from Canada's anti-money laundering regime and do not have to report suspicious transactions. The FATF report...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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McKinsey & Company consulting firm draws heat for work done on Trump Administration border policy and authoritarian governments

On December 5, the lead editorial in the New York Times criticized potential Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg for his silence on the three years he spent as a consultant with the giant consulting firm McKinsey & Company. According to the Times editorial: "The Times reported this week that the consulting firm has advised the Trump administration on the logistics of its cruel crackdown on immigration. McKinsey also has offered its services as a consultant...

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Huge legislative setback for Uber in California

California legislators approved a landmark bill on Wednesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as full employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a years long debate over whether tens of millions of workers globally are being mis-classified as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it by mid October....

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Global anti-monopoly regulators descend on big tech – Canada’s Competition Commissioner wants increased powers

Free services are good for consumers. And monopolies tend to be bad for them. However, the big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google have elements of both—a combination that is vexing policy makers around the world as they struggle to figure out how best to regulate the giant platforms and their unusual business models. In North America in particular, anti-trust policy is almost always used as a remedy only when consumers are paying more...

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It’s time for government to take action to stop money laundering.

In 2005, Raymond Baker, a leading authority on financial crimes, used US Treasury Department statistics of illicit money flows and money-laundering conviction rates to show that US law enforcement agencies failed to apprehend money launderers 99.9 percent of the time. And there is no reason to suspect Canada’s failure rate is any better. Estimating the extent of money laundering and catching the perpetrators share the same difficulty: the invisibility of the crime. That leaves us...

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Big tech may put up a fight but regulation is coming to the internet

A decade ago, the greed and carelessness of the financial industry dealt a serious blow to the global economy when financial products no one but their creators understood, imploded. The resulting economic collapse unleashed a wave of financial regulatory reform worldwide. Now the tech industry — while making some things more convenient, has made serious mistakes of its own. It has abused privacy, squeezed the competition, undermined quality journalism, casually spread hate (e.g. the recent...

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Uber makes its stock market debut – and its drivers go on strike.

On Friday, Uber became a publicly traded company. And to mark that occasion, Uber (and Lyft) drivers in the U. S. and parts of Canada went on strike last Wednesday. Why did the drivers go on strike? And why has Uber's stock price plunged since it went public Friday? Ironically, the answer to both questions can be found in an  April 11 document Uber released itself - its long-awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus. It...

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The real story behind the NAFTA negotiations on autos and labour standards.

There is no question that Donald Trump rode a wave of anti-trade sentiment to victory in the 2016 presidential election. This included a threat to rip up NAFTA, which he called “the worst trade deal in the history” of the United States. Trump's was a populist message that tapped into long-simmering resentment over the loss of American manufacturing operations – including the loss of auto assembly and auto parts plants – to Mexico. And it...

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