Canadian business faces beefed up anti-fraud laws

By James Barnes

03 January 2013 at 10:27 BST

Canadian companies must get to grips quickly with the country's adoption of US-style anti-corruption legislation, according to a leading in-house lawyer at the world's largest gold mining business.

Getting tougher on fraud

Getting tougher on fraud Paul McKinnon/

Jonathan Drimmer, vice president and assistant general counsel at Toronto-based Barrick Gold, added that it was especially important for small and medium sized companies not to become complacent, despite signs that anti-corruption officials appear to be targeting larger businesses.

Serious police

Mr Drimmer told the Canadian Lawyer magazine: ‘What Canadian companies have to come up to speed on is all of the learning and education that comes out of the US prosecutions that are being adopted here in Canada. They should be tapping into that knowledge.
‘In the last couple of years, the [police have] been enforcing in a more serious way and there is no way to reach any other conclusion than they seem to be fairly serious about reaching resolutions… They are on a serious enforcement tract.’

Easier deals

The lawyer, who is recognised as a leading figure on anti-bribery and corruption in the US, added that while major Canadian companies are being targeted – such as engineering and construction firm SNC -- smaller companies must ‘understand they can also be a target’.
On a positive note, Mr Drimmer noted that the increased regulatory framework should make it easier for companies to make acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures as they can be confident they are obeying the law when doing business.


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