Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Harper Conservatives: Soft on white-collar crime?

Once again, the gap between Conservative rhetoric and Conservative reality is gaping. This time, white-collar and financial crime is in the spotlight.

The Conservative rhetoric:

Today, the Conservative government announced new legislation to crack down on white-collar crime.

Our government understands that those who are defrauded by white-collar criminals have been victimized just as much as a person who has been mugged.
The Conservative government will always work for the safety of Canadians, their families, and their savings.
And the Conservative reality:
Canada's financial transactions watchdog says its services are in greater demand than ever, yet the federal government has cut its budget by eight per cent in the last two years.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) referred 556 cases to domestic or foreign police and other agencies in 2008-09.

In tabling the centre's annual report in Parliament, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty cited the devastating effects of white-collar crime and lauded the centre's role in "strengthening the integrity of Canada's financial sector."

The centre's director, Jeanne Flemming, said FinTRAC is able to produce "more financial intelligence, more quickly" than ever in the face of growing demand.

However, the Conservative government, which has made anti-crime legislation a centrepiece of its agenda, has cut the centre's 2009-2010 budget to $48 million from $54.9 million in 2007-08.

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ricky said...

Harper and company have many friends on the boards of Canada's corporations. Is it any wonder they say they are being tough and then cut the agency that is supposed to watch these things?

Mike514 said...

Off-topic (sorry!), but I wanted to address your tweet about Harper making the 32nd page of the Toronto Sun.

A more telling indication of Harper's overseas impact would be to browse the international newspapers. One good example is the China Daily, where Harper's image is more visible than Obama's on the front page.

Another example is when Harper toured with Akshay Kumar, guaranteeing that the media spotlight would shine on him (the Indian media, of course).

I would imagine that when any leader visits another country, they want local media buzz around their visit. I think Harper's been successful so far, in both India and China.

Jeff said...

Mike, one can only fit so much into a tweet. But while I found the placement and juxtaposition in the Sun amusing, I think the most telling indicator of the success of the Harper trip is neither the Canadian MSM nor the foreign press. Harper's activities have been all about scoring in the Canadian ethnic media to reach ethnic Canadian voting blocks. If he's scoring there his mission is accomplished.

geo said...

Check out PM of India Dr. Singh's website. Nary a word about Harper tho there is mention about everything else he's been up to. I guess maybe all the previous insults Harper and his cons have made about India's people, and Harper's ideas about how they should live their lives will not be forgotten anytime soon. Electioneering long distance, what a dweeb. Does he think people are so stupid? Put on a scarf and wiggle his hips and he'll get a vote? Go to Copenhagen and impress me! Then we'll talk.

geo said...

opps... forgot the link to Dr.Singh


The guy is a "real" economist, very impressive.


Mike514 said...

From Geo's link:

"The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper witnessing the signing of agreement between India and Canada, in New Delhi on November 17, 2009."