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The Export Development Corporation (Edc). The Corrupt Ways The Crown Corporation Is Run And How It Brings Tragic Results To Third World Countries.

3008 words - 12 pages

The Export Development Corporation (EDC) is a Crown corporation established in 1944 through the Export Development Act. The EDC assists Canadian development projects in third world countries through the provision of financial services. It guarantees loans and issues insurance to Canadian companies when no one else will invest in their economically risky projects. As a result the EDC makes these uneconomic investments proceed. Since the EDC is exempted from the Access to Information Act, its activities are sheltered from the public view, so most Canadians have no idea what the EDC is involved in. It has now become clear that a number of EDC supported projects are socially, environmentally, and economically destructive. It is also clear that the EDC's activities are a perfect breeding ground for corruption and for business activities that destroy the environment, sink Third World citizens in debt, and cost Canadians money. Alarmingly, these harmful projects are made possible thanks to mislead and misinformed Canadian Taxpayers. What the EDC is doing to other countries and our own, is unacceptable and should be put to a stop.Canadian citizens, living in a country where democracy rules and free speech is encouraged, have a right to obtain knowledge about what major Canadian corporations are investing in and what types of projects they are supporting. Crown agencies like the Export Development Corporation should be subject to the Access to Information Act. What the Access to Information Act provides for the public is records ranging from expense reports to correspondence from major federal departments. These types of records are accessible to the public for a fee of $5.00. However, several agencies are notsubject to the Act, particularly Crown corporations and other entities created by the government. These Access laws encourage corporations to be "demonstrably worthy of public trust" , and by the EDC's fight to not be subjected to the Access law, just makes them appear to be guiltily hiding their actions from the public. The EDC's exemption from the Act blindfolds the Canadian public who are concerned about the activities of this corporation. For example, the EDC will not make it public if it is considering supporting a particular project, or an overseas investment before the commitment is made. Also, the EDC does not provide information of a project supported in the past. The EDC's reasoning for disregarding the public's right to knowledge is that "it is the EDC's practice to respect clients' and potential clients' right to privacy in regards to their financial affairs." Another excuse that the EDC has for not disclosing information to the public is that this corporation has "especially strong concerns about commercial confidentiality because its banking operations involve offshore clients who may be deterred by the possibility of information disclosure." The EDC's involvement with offshore clients, includes such clientele as the infamous Ivory...

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