Executive Director David Hutton summarizes what we know today about 'grand' corruption, how this threatens Canadian society, and whistleblowing as a key anti-corruption strategy. (41 minutes)
Presented to the Ottawa Friday Luncheon Discussion Club, 6th March 2009.
The following is not an exact transcript: it is an edited version of speaking notes.
Background and Definitions
In Canada we are fortunate to live in one of the best places in the world: a country that is peaceful, that has a functioning democracy, where by and large our rights are respected, and where the authorities generally protect the public interest. Those of us that have travelled to other countries, perhaps in the developing world, tend to come home with a sigh of relief, to come back to somewhere that is safe, tranquil, and that doesn’t suffer from the chaos, disorder and corruption that is so common in many of the developing countries.
However, I have come to believe that there are threats to this idyllic existence that we have – we cannot take it for granted – so I’m going to to share with you some of what I’ve learned in the past three years about this topic, and how I got into it. I’ll be explaining what I’ve learned about corruption, about whistleblowing as a mechanism to fight corruption, why this is important and why we should support it.
What is Corruption (1:15)
What do I mean by corruption? A short definition is “the misuse of entrusted office for personal gain”. It doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the law, because the law doesn’t cover all the bases. But when people are involved in corruption it tends to be secretive, because they know that what they are doing would be judged to be wrong by others. That is one of the hallmarks: when you see things being done behind closed doors, very secretively, then there’s a good chance that there’s something going on there that we would not approve of.
What is a Whistleblower (1:50)
What do I mean by a whistleblower? I don’t mean someone who rushes off on a crusade to find things that are wrong and to draw public attention to them.
The typical whistleblower is an employee who, in the course of doing their job, comes across some misconduct, or finds themselves in possession of some information that is embarrassing to their organization or to their bosses – perhaps the results of an audit or a scientific study. They find themselves in conflict with their management, and then events unfold from there.
A critical part of this definition is that we are not talking about any situation where someone comes into conflict with their management. We are talking about situations where the public interest is at risk, and the person who comes forward and tries to get the issue addressed is trying to protect the public interest: they are trying to protect us and in doing to they put their own careers at risk.
What I learned in India (2:57)
I first became interested in this subject in 1997. I was working as a management consultant, I’d written a couple of books, and I was asked to go to India to give a series of seminars in different parts of the country.
I found this a fascinating trip. For example, in the capital of India, Delhi, the electricity failed practically every day. That was surprising to me – in the nation’s capital – and my first thought was that it’s a poor country: perhaps they just don’t have enough money or expertise to have a good electrical grid.
But after looking into this I decided that this was not the case. I found out for example, that the electricity company was a vast government bureaucracy with huge numbers of people. But if you look at the hiring process there, many of these employees would have been recruited on the basis of a favour, being a member of family, a bribe, a kickback, whatever – because there is such a struggle for secure jobs.
Many people in this bureaucracy would have been hired in that way – not on the basis of any technical skills that would allow them to run the electrical grid. I’ve worked with clients in the power industry – it is a very technical industry that involves a lot of specialist skills. So you end up with a lot of people employed there who lack the necessary skills.
Let’s look at their procurement process. Significant amounts of money were going into buying new equipment for the grid, but each person involved in the process would get a slice, so by the time you had bought the transformer (or the power poles, or whatever) the originally specified equipment was not provided – you’d have something cheaper less effective, and perhaps inadequate.
Corruption and waste (5:04)
This experience made me change my mind about one aspect of corruption. I’d always thought that corruption was really just a matter of money going into the wrong hands: instead of going over here to benefit these people, it went into someone else’s pockets. But the effects are much more severe than that, because corruption causes massive waste of resources. This is one example: we had thousands of people employed to run the grid, huge amounts of money going into it, and it still didn’t work – it still failed daily.
And then there is the knock-on waste: because every business, every enterprise that needed reliable electric power to function, had to purchase and operate their own backup electricity system. What enterprise could you run that doesn’t need reliable electricity? But either you had to put up with your business being out of operation for a few hours every day at unpredictable times, or you had to purchase expensive backup equipment.
The waste involved was just staggering. That’s why, when you go to countries where there is a lot of corruption, you come back with the sense that “nothing works”, because the resources are there in many cases – they are simply not being applied properly.
This experience taught me a few lessons about corruption which I’ve had reinforced since many times over. The main problem is not the diversion of money to the wrong hands: the main problem is the sheer waste that it causes.
Corruption and Incompetence (6:40)
Also, corruption and incompetence are inextricably linked – they are like symbiotic twins. Corruption leads to institutional incompetence, just as I’ve described with the electrical power company that couldn’t do its job.
When corrupt actors are in an organization, they tend to have to surround themselves by people that don’t present a threat, and that will tend to mean buddies, cronies, other people who are incompetent – that’s their best source of employees. And competent people present a threat, so corrupt actors tend to surround themselves by people who are also either corrupt or incompetent. Over time the competent people – who would present a threat to this – get squeezed out.
Corruption is also insidious – it’s like a cancer. Oce you’ve got a little bit, it tends to grow and spread: because there can be substantial sums of money channelled through this illicit system, whatever it is. In a country like ours we really cannot afford to be complacent. We don’t compare with some of these developing countries but we cannot afford to start down this slippery slope.
Whistleblowers in Canada (7:54)
When I got back from India, it was the last thing on my mind that I would be dealing with any similar problems in Canada, but then I had an experience (which I’m not going to go into) which convinced me otherwise, and I made the decision to spend my retirement years working on this issue, which I’ll define as "striving to to protect people who are trying to protect the public interest” – as a means of combating corruption.
I’m going to describe a couple of case studies to you, to give you a sense of a few of the situations that I’ve encountered.
The Joanna Gualtieri case (8:39)
The first one is that of a lady called Joanna Gualtieri. She founded the organization that I am now running, which is FAIR – the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform – and she was hired into Foreign Affairs back in the early 1990’s as a real estate strategist.
Foreign Affairs has a property portfolio worth billions of dollars and her job was to ensure that this property, and the money going into it, was being prudently managed and in line with the Treasury Board rules. She was very well qualified to do this because she was a lawyer, and she had travelled extensively abroad with her family, so she knew how things happen in other countries. She had also been involved in property development with her husband, so she knew a lot about real estate. This was the perfect job for her.
However, what she discovered almost immediately was that although there was a set of rules and regulations for how property was supposed to be managed, they were very often being ignored. I’ll give you a couple of examples (this information is from court documents).
The Waste (9:50)
A large mansion in Tokyo, valued at approximately $18 million was allowed to stand empty for 3-4 years while the intended occupant was provided with public money (approximately $350,000/year) to rent a luxury apartment of his own choosing. Someone didn’t like the $18 million mansion and said they'd like something different.
Another example – again this happens to be in Tokyo – the Ambassadors official residence (approximately 25,000 square feet – a sizeable residence) has its own dedicated servants’ quarters. The Ambassador had staff – a Japanese butler and chef who should have occupied those servants’ quarters, but they were not living there. Instead, the staff were housed elsewhere, in million-dollar condominiums owned by the crown.
No one has disputed any of these facts, but what happened to Joanna was that she immediately came into conflict with her bosses, and if you read her statement of claim (which you can find on the web) you’ll see her description of how she was harassed.
The Harassment (11:12)
They began to belittle her and humiliate her, they stopped inviting her to meetings she was supposed to be at, they took her off email lists… they prevented her from doing her job. When she went on a trip they ordered her not to write a report. When she wrote the report they refused to acknowledge or approve it so that it could not be issued. When the people from the mission that she had been visiting complained that she was incompetent – as demonstrated by the fact that she had not written a trip report – they allowed that false story to be spread.
Eventually they stopped her from travelling to the missions that she was responsible for. It’s a little hard to do your job as a real estate strategist when you can’t go and see the properties you’re responsible for. They falsified her reports or suppressed them, which prevented a paper trail that would be accessible under Access to Information. Now these are all the things that Joanna claims. I believe her – it’s up to you to decide whether this is true.
No-one can stand up to this type of treatment indefinitely and after about four years she had to leave. She was advised by her doctors to go on permanent medical leave. She was suffering from depression, post traumatic stress disorder – all the symptoms you’d expect from someone who has been in a prolonged high-stress situation for a long time.
So far this is a fairly typical whistleblower story, but what happened next is quite extraordinary: she sued her bosses for harassment; everyone in the line of command up to the minister, because she had been to every one of them, pointing out the waste, the breaking of the rules, and also pointing out the harassment that she was receiving. This lawsuit made headlines in Ottawa and was a severe embarrassment to Foreign Affairs.
A legal battle lasting more than Ten years (13:20)
What followed was a legal battle that has gone on for more than 10 years. Bear in mind that Joanna is paying her own [legal] bills – the people who are accused of wrongdoing are represented by a legal team paid for by the government – paid for by us. The methods that those lawyers have used have had the effect of dragging out the case by various means.
For example, there is a 'discovery' process that precedes any trial whereby each side will find out what information does the other side have – so that there will be no surprises during the trial. The government lawyers have used this discovery process to ask Joanna more than 10,500 questions.
Eventually her lawyer submitted a motion to the effect that the government lawyers were abusing the discovery process. Last year the pre-trial judge ruled that this was indeed an abuse of process and stopped the discoveries. But nevertheless the case continues, there is no firm date set for a trial, and we taxpayers are paying for all of this.
I tried to find out what this case has cost the taxpayer, and submitted an Access to Information request. I was told that it would cost $3,000 just to search the files – that’s before they gave me any records – so I said “justify this” and I received information that showed the extent of the files. What I discovered was that the Justice Department alone has more than 52 feet of files on this one case.
If you stack that paper up it’s taller than a 5-storey building, and this is all being generated at our expense. Now bear in mind that this is a relatively simple case: the bulk of the pleading deals with – here’s a lady who claims that she was harassed – her bosses deny the harassment. That’s what it’s all about. But more than 10 years later there’s no sign of it coming to trial. I was pretty appalled by this.
I’ll mention a couple of other cases very briefly because I’ve encountered many, many of these.
The Brian McAdam case (15:45)
Another case is that of Brian McAdam, a career diplomat based in Hong Kong, responsible for security. He discovered evidence that the immigration system there had been infiltrated and that the criminal records of triad members were being cleaned off the files so that they could come to Canada as immigrants – and in fact there are a number of publicized cases where this has happened.
No-one in Ottawa wanted to hear that this might be true, so he suffered very similar treatment: his career was ruined, he was ostracized. Some of his reports about Chinese criminals in Hong Kong were passed over to those individuals [the criminals in question]. He tells me that one of his friends who worked in the RCMP intercepted a call between one of these Chinese triad members and a senior bureaucrat in Ottawa discussing McAdam. The bureaucrat allegedly said “don’t worry, we’ll take care of him” – and they did take care of him. He has never worked again since.
Because of what McAdam did a number of attempts were made to investigate the situation afterwards. However, most of those investigations did not talk to him, didn’t talk to the key witnesses, and found that there was nothing amiss.
When there was a proper investigation led by Cpl. Robert Read, the investigators talked to Brian, took his files, talked to witnesses and began to corroborate what McAdam had said. This investigation was shut down. Read went public and they fired him for that. The files were ordered destroyed, including the final report (called the Sidewinder report). All of McAdam’s documentation and files that he had given to the RCMP were ordered shredded.
If you are interested you can Google on ‘Sidewinder’ and ‘RCMP’ and there is a surviving copy of the Sidewinder report and you can see it online.
Dr. Shiv Chopra and Health Canada (18:00)
I’ll mention one other case briefly. You may have heard of Dr. Shiv Chopra. He is one of three scientists in Health Canada who, some years ago, testified to the senate that they were being pressured to approve veterinary drugs into the food chain without the [testing] required by the Food and Drug Act.
This again caused huge headlines, and one of the consequences was that bovine growth hormone (a drug used to boost the production of dairy cattle) was rejected in Canada, Europe and most the developed world even though it had already been approved in the US – because of the revelations that these scientists made.
All three were fired a few years later in spite of being promised protection by the Senate, and they are now battling to get their jobs back. They have been involved in a court hearing process that has been going on for four years.
These are just a few examples. If you go to our website you’ll see many, many more examples. It’s dispiriting to hear over and over again about similar cases.
The Typical Whistleblower Experience (19:20)
I’ll give you a thumbnail sketch of what typically happens. One thing that surprised me is how absolutely consistent the experience is in each case. It’s almost as if there was a procedure that’s followed.
It starts with a high-performing employee who has typically had a stellar career up to that point, finding some information or discovering something that puts them in conflict with their bosses –perhaps because it might embarrass the organization. They take their concerns up the line of command, hoping and believing that someone, at some level, would not want this to be going on, would judge it to be wrong and would take corrective action. And so they take it up through the organization.
Typically there is no proper investigation. There’s some sort of casual enquiry –“Would you look into this and see if there’s anything to it?” – that sort of thing. Typically allegations are not properly investigated.
The whistleblower may go to outside agencies: they may go to the regulator, to the Auditor General, to the police – again, no with result – and finally in desperation they may go to the media.
The whistleblower might believe that going to the media will help, and they might be very concerned that there is a risk to the public that we should know about. But generally this doesn’t work: at best they get an article in the media, there’s a letter to the editor, the story dies – and that’s it.
Now in parallel with this attempt to get the word out, there’s a reprisal process that goes on, very consistently. Typically someone that may blow the whistle is identified at a very early stage in the process as being a possible threat – just because of the way they are reacting and thinking, questions that they are asking and so on – so they may actually be subject to reprisals before they are even aware of it.
The reprisals typically take the form of beginning to manufacture a bad employment record. There are two streams: one is harassment and bulling, and the other is manufacturing a poor employment record. Typical strategies are: to give them too much work, or no work, or work that’s impossible… to isolate them... to make it clear that they are not welcome, so that colleagues start avoiding them… to ridicule them and encourage bullying.
These sorts of conditions are very, very stressful. I don’t know if any of you has had the experience of being “sent to Coventry” – the stress on an individual who is being isolated and subject to harassment by colleagues is very difficult to bear for any length of time, and people who go through this inevitably end up sick.
They have nightmares, flashbacks, depression, insomnia, and eventually their doctor will say to them “you cannot go back to work any more – it’s killing you” and they will be on permanent medical leave.
At this point the organization has achieved its aim. The person is sidelined, they are out of the workforce, and its very easy to discredit them because now they can be painted as someone with mental problems. What’s worse the whistleblower tends to lose not only their job, but their career, their home and their family.
Employers will go to extraordinary lengths to render whistleblowers unemployable. If they get another job somewhere, the employer may make calls and say “this person is not to be trusted”.
The families have great difficulty with what is going on because they don’t understand. They wonder “What’s going on here? My husband says that he is in the right, but everyone else says he’s in the wrong – his boss, the authorities, government – everyone says he’s wrong. What can I believe?” It is very hard to maintain faith in your spouse.
It is also difficult for spouses to see why all this pain should be inflicted on them. They wonder “What’s so important about this that you should have to go off and do these things that end up with you losing your job and everyone is now after you? What’s this crusade that’s more important to us in your family?” These are the kinds of thoughts that family members have. So the person very often loses their family, they lose their home – they lose their lives really. Many have suicidal thoughts and some do actually commit suicide.
The alleged wrongdoers (24:20)
Now on the other side of the picture, the people who are accused of misconduct (this is no surprise to you – we’ve seen this in every major scandal) the people who are accused, unless are really 'nailed' with something concrete, get a slap on the wrist, they go on to better jobs, and they have prosperous careers.
The Psychology of Reprisals (24:50)
One of the things that I could not understand for the longest time was why organizations that do a lot of good work and are thought to be quite decent, why they go to such extraordinary lengths to engage in such vicious and determined harassment – and do it so confidently.
I could not understand that, but I think I do now. It is because the people conducting the reprisals are convinced that they are totally in the right, and that the whistleblower is totally in the wrong. This mindset is achieved through a combination of: 1) demonization of the whistleblower; and 2) rationalization of what the whistleblower was trying to draw attention to.
We’ll start with the idea of "loyalty". If you look at the legislation, codes of conduct and so on, you’ll see that a federal public servant is supposed to be loyal to the department – it’s put above everything else. And the reality is that this is what senior executives expect – they expect loyalty. But the interpretation of loyalty is "following orders without question". You are not supposed to question, even if the order might seem to be threatening to the public interest, or even illegal. That’s the kind of loyalty that’s often expected, and there is absolute fury when someone does not display that type of loyalty. Therefore, right from the get-go, the organization is pretty mad at the whistleblower.
If we think about those who were complicit in marching millions of Jews to the concentration camps, we are reluctant to accept that the claim “we were just following orders” as an adequate excuse. But this is the same thought process that we see at work here: "follow orders, don’t question policy, don’t question what decisions have been made at high levels".
So you start with that kind of twisted view of loyalty, and then there is rationalization. People at the top of an organization – and I’ve worked with senior executives for many, many years – people at that level, just like the rest of us, really do not want to hear bad news.
They want to hear that they are good people, that they are in control, that what they are doing is worthy. They don’t want to hear that the organization has problems, or that they have dropped the ball, or that there is some issue that they need to confront. People tend to rationalize and they are reluctant to hear bad news.
If you look at the literature on white-collar crime, you’ll find that there are three components required for a sustained white-collar crime: one is opportunity; another is motive – no surprises there – but the third component might surprise you: that is a way of rationalizing the crime.
People engaged in white collar crime, most of them, need to rationalize what they are doing, and so they find ways of doing that. They may say to themselves “the money will be wasted anyway, so I might as well have it” or “everyone is doing this, I’d be a fool not to participate”. That need to rationalize is part of the make-up here as well.
The bottom line is that, when the organization begins to take action against the whistleblower, it’s 'open season'. Because as far as they are concerned they [the leaders and managers] are in the right. As far as they are concerned the whistleblower is totally in the wrong because they have blackened the reputation of the organization, they have called into question the reputations of honourable people, and so there’s nothing you can do to them that wouldn’t be justified.
The Risks of Corruption in Canada (29:04)
Let’s talk about Canada. There are surveys – by organizations like Global Integrity and Transparency International – that rank the degree of corruption in countries, and Canada usually comes out pretty well in these. We are usually in the top 10 or 20 among more than 150 countries: certainly in the top league.
And our own perceptions are that we are not a corrupt country. If we go for a passport or a driving licence, we do not expect to be asked for a bribe – in fact, if we were asked for a bribe we would immediately report it, we’d expect an immediate reaction and we’d expect someone to be disciplined. But this is what’s called ‘petty corruption’.
There’s another form of corruption which is called ‘grand corruption’. Grand corruption refers to the manipulation by powerful elites, who use personal relationships, patronage, and political favours to influence political decisions in their favour. This type of corruption very rarely violates the law or any policy because the whole point is to get the law and policies written so as to favour your interests rather than the public interest. But these activities tend to be carried out secretively because those involved know that they won’t stand up to scrutiny.
At its most extreme grand corruption leads to ‘state capture’. There are many states around the world that are really run by non-state actors – by businessmen and organized crime – where the democratic processes are there just as a kind of ‘fig leaf’: a charade added on that provides some appearance of legitimacy.
Risk areas (31:08)
Canada could not be described as being a captive state, but we have some vulnerabilities to this kind of grand corruption. I’ll list what some of these are, in my opinion:
- We have a history as a country of development led by business, with the government being a kind of facilitator. Think of the Hudson Bay Company, think of the Trans Canada Railroad. You could almost say that Canada was a business opportunity with the government tagging along.
- We have a tradition of respect for and trust in authority. Everyone who felt like that came up north, and everyone who didn’t stayed down south [in the USA]. That’s part of our tradition and culture: to believe that government is a good thing, is on our side, and that we can trust government.
- We have a heavy concentration in Canada of power in the hands of a few wealthy corporations and families, who own key business interests, control much of the media, and have extensive political connections. That’s not to say that these are bad people – I’m simply saying that there is a risk here that decisions will be made that are against the public interest.
- We have an extraordinary concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s office – almost like a dictatorship. Perhaps the next Prime Minister will be Ignatieff or someone else after the next election – it doesn't matter. Whoever it is has an extraordinary amount of power, with thousands of high-level jobs in their gift. So even in the so-called ‘independent’ agencies – such as the one that is supposed to regulate the nuclear fuels industry – if someone doesn’t like what you are doing then ‘snap’ – you’re gone.
- We have a lack of transparency. If anyone here is interested in Access to Information laws, you’ll know that these are routinely flouted now, and have become largely ineffective in many areas: certain departments tend to be the worst transgressors.
- We have fairly ineffective law enforcement in some areas, and I’ll highlight two: 1) white collar crime (we have a poor track record in catching offenders); 2) ineffective regulatory oversight. Our securities [stockmarket] regulation is very weak as well as drug safety and food safety.
- We have a high penetration into Canadian society of criminals and agents of foreign states, particularly China. The head of CSIS admitted recently that about a third of his resources are going into monitoring the activities of about 1,000 Chinese agents who are conducting industrial espionage. This penetration creates a base for industrial espionage, drug trafficking, money laundering and so on.
So we are vulnerable to corruption.
The Case for Whistleblower Protection (34:14)
We’ve had a history in Canada of whistleblower protection being promised, and it’s very rational that we would ask for this type of legislation, because whistleblowers are potentially the most effective method that we know of to combat corruption.
There is some proof of this: for example, PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a major survey a few years ago, which polled over 5,000 senior executives in over 40 countries. They discovered that 43% of frauds that had been detected were discovered from employee tip-offs through various channels. If you look at other methods of detection, such as internal audit, management controls, police activity – that 43% of employee tip-offs was more than all the others combined. The next biggest segment was fraud discovered by accident.
So whistleblowing is potentially a highly effective anti-corruption strategy, and this makes sense: because whenever there is wrongdoing going on there are witnesses – employees who can see what is going on. If only they could speak up safely then we would know about it.
The History of Whistleblower Legislation in Canada (35:37)
We’ve had whistleblower protection promised for years. Back in 1993 you’ll remember that Chrétien came to power on a promise to clean up government, and whistleblower protection was part of that promise, but that didn’t happen.
In the 2006 election the Conservatives made a number of very specific promises regarding whistleblower legislation and included a number of measures in the Accountability Act, which together form the PSDPA – the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. We criticized this Act heavily before it came into law, and all our concerns have been vindicated. It is a complicated and expensive regime, it is riddled with loopholes, and it is stacked against the whistleblower. In my mind it is really there just for show.
I’ll give you an example. This regime creates a Public Service Integrity Commissioner who is an agent of Parliament, and this person has quite extensive powers to investigate. A few months ago she submitted her first annual report to Parliament, and what we learned from this report was that, in her first year of operation, with a staff of 21 and a budget of $6.5 million, she discovered not a single occurrence of wrongdoing within the entire public service, and not a single case of en employee suffering reprisals.
Now I’ll just remind you that her brief covers about 400,000 public servants. This is a machine that chews up about half a billion dollars a day. But you’ll be reassured to know that nothing has been going wrong.
I’ll also mention that if you look at employee surveys, more than one in five federal public servants report that they have suffered harassment. That’s an extraordinary figure. Harassment is a method of controlling employees and keeping them in line.
So we are not pleased with this legislation, and we want to see better.
Our Goals (38:00)
The organization that I represent is a small charity. Our aim is to protect the public interest by protecting the whistleblowers who are trying to protect the public interest. What we need in this country is much better and more comprehensive whistleblower laws. At present we have the pretence of a law to protect federal public servants, and almost nothing else. There’s not even the pretence of any legislation to cover people in the private sector.
We (FAIR) have a plan, which is very ambitious and which I am not going to be able to carry out on my own – you can see it on our website. I hope that some of you will look at it and see if there are aspects that you can support.
We have two projects that we are focusing on in the short term.
One is to gather more information about the current whistleblower protection system. I’ve described how ineffective it has been so far. Quite a few people who come to us tell us about their experience with the Commissioner’s office, and those stories are very disturbing.
What we want to do is get a bigger sample. We want to survey the Integrity Commissioner’s clients, and have them complete a survey to understand what their experience has been – to find out whether the stories that we are hearing are the exception or more systemic.
We also think that we should measure the level of corruption within the federal public service. Successive governments claim that they have 'cleaned the place up', and yet we hear from so many people that say the opposite – that it’s going in the wrong direction.
This is quite an easy issue to address: if you have a survey of federal public servants which includes questions about the extent to which they have experienced or seen or witnessed corruption of various sorts – then we could have measurements, we could see over time whether we are improving, and we would also see which departments are the most troubled.
I think that this would be a very valuable tool. I expect a lot of resistance to that idea, but I think that it’s a tool that we should have, so that’s another project that we are pursuing.
How You Can Help (40:21)
You probably gathered that this talk is not mainly for entertainment! I’m happy to speak to this group of people because there’s an enormous amount of experience and connections and knowledge in this room, and I’m looking for help. I hope that some of you will give me some feedback on this talk – whether you think I could use this effectively elsewhere – and take a look at our website. Or just take an interest in this subject: talk about it with your friends.
And please switch off that switch [in the back of your head] that says “Canada is squeaky clean and we don’t have to worry about what goes on behind closed doors in government and in corporations.”
Thank you for your time and I look forward to the discussion.