Blogs & Comment

The dog that barks but never bites

Ive complained before about the way laws are written in Canada. The Parliamentary system works fine, encouraging debate and responding to public concerns. But somebody has to draft the legislation that codifies the public interest. Thats a process with a lot detail work. And it seems, as the expression goes, the devil is in the details.
For example, as argued in a recent column, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Actcontains conditions that subvert its supposed intention of encouraging whistleblowers to come forward and expose malfeasance within the federal public service. And then there are the rules and legislation in the realm of investor protection that have long been notorious for making it difficult to obtain convictions.
OECD slams Canadas lack of prosecution of bribery offences
Now the OECD has just released a reportwhich slams Canadas lack of prosecution of bribery offences, as a news release from consulting firm Deloitte declares. Adds Deloitte Partner and National Practice Leader, Peter Dent:
It is not sufficient to only enhance the enforcement aspects of our legislation, if that legislation makes enforcement problematic. Unlike legislation in many other countries, …Canadian legislation has none of the ‘books and records’ provisions that constitute the vast majority of … enforcement actions …. It may be a tough road ahead forenforcement given that the tools… are currently inadequate.
Why is Canadian law and regulation framedto be the dog that barks but never bites?