Prime Time Crime

 March 15, 2005 The ides of March

Caesar's wife and the Canadian government 

“Caesar's wife must be above suspicion."

In other word above reproach, too good to be criticized, almost perfect.

July 16, 1984, an Act to establish the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was proclaimed.  The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) was established in 1984 as an independent, external review body which reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS or the Service).

"CSIS is a government agency dedicated to protecting the national security interests of Canada and safeguarding its citizens. The main objective of the Service is to investigate and report on threats to the security of Canada, an objective that it pursues while respecting the law and protecting human rights. CSIS is unique in its role as the Government of Canada’s principal advisor on national security."

"In May 1996 a joint project was initiated by the RCMP Criminal Analysis Branch and the CSIS Analysis and Production Branch to assess the extent of the threat posed by the acquisition and control of Canadian companies by members or associates of triads and with affiliations to the Chinese Intelligence Services."  This project resulted in a draft report being written in June 1997 called  Sidewinder: Chinese Intelligence Services and Triads Financial Links in Canada.

In summary Sidewinder stated:

"The triads, the tycoons and the ChIS have learned the quick way to gain influence is to provide finance to the main political parties. Most of the companies identified in this research have contributed, sometimes several tends of thousands of dollars, to the two traditional political parties, that is, the Liberal and the Progressive-Conservative Parties.

The Chinese leadership continues to gain much direct or indirect influence over the Canadian economy and politics. Having bought significant real estate holdings and established businesses in Canada, China has obtained access to influential figures who are now or once active at various levels of Canadian society. In many ways, China remains one of the greatest ongoing threats to Canada's national security and Canadian industry."

Ann Jane Gray in her article Jean Chretien and the Sidewinder Report explains some of the potential reasons this threat was not reacted to by the Government of Canada and why some of the investigators involved were removed from their positions and became Whistleblowers instead of receiving the thanks of a grateful government.

Given the current level of information on Chinese spies, not only in Canada but Australia, New Zealand and The United States, the information coming from Adscam and the Oil-For-Food scandal, as well as the 1999 U.S. government Cox Report  (CNN: Cox Report), it would seem the Government of Canada has not learned the lessons of Caesar's wife, they are not above reproach.

Taking a look at the SIRC leadership and members (1984-2004), as they are the external oversight group for the CSIS, some interesting things come to attention.

The first chair of the SIRC was

Hon. Ronald G. Atkey, P.C., Q.C.  (five years)

Ronald George Atkey is a senior partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt where Paul Martin read law.

The 1996-1997 Annual Operational Audit of CSIS Activities was signed by the following SIRC members:

Hon. Paule Gauthier, P.C., O.C., O.Q., Q.C. (Chair)

Hon. Rosemary Brown, P.C., O.C.

Hon. Edwin A. Goodman, P.C., O.C., QC 

Hon. George Vari, P.C., O.C., C.L.H. 

Hon. James Andrews Grant, P.C., Q.C. (5 years)

The 1997-1998 Annual Operational Audit of CSIS Activities was signed by the following SIRC members: 

Hon. Paule Gauthier, P.C., O.C., O.Q., Q.C. (Chair)

Hon. James Andrews Grant, P.C., Q.C. (5 years)

Hon. Robert (Bob) Keith Rae, P.C., Q.C. (5 years)

The 1998-1999 Annual Operational Audit of CSIS Activities was signed by the following SIRC members:

Hon. Paule Gauthier, P.C., O.C., O.Q., Q.C. (Chair)

Paule Gauthier was the corporate secretary and legal consul for Power Communications, a subsidiary of the Power Corporation from 1970-1995.   She was rumored to have dated Brian Mulroney while they were both at law school at Laval Universite in Quebec City.

Hon. James Andrews Grant, P.C., Q.C. (5 years) 

According to Kevin Michael Grace, " One SIRC member, James Andrews Grant, has a serious unreported conflict of interest.  His biography on the SIRC Web site identifies him as a directors of CIBC and chairman of the executive committee of the law firm Stikeman Elliot which has a long-standing relationship with CIBC's largest shareholder, Li Ka-Shing,."  who was also named in the Sidewinder Report.   Li Ka Shing the richest person of Chinese descent in the world controls Hutchison Whampoa Limited.

Donald Gustein in his book The new landlords: Asian investment in Canadian real estate describes Stikeman Elliot as “Li Ka Shing’s law firm.”   A few of the former senior partners now work directly with Li and are on the board of directors for Li’s Husky Oil (Husky Energy), Concord Pacific and the CIBC.   A Sandra Rubin article in the Financial Post Rumble on Bay Street about the most powerful Canadian corporate law firms says: Stikeman’s acts for the Cheung Kong Group, controlled by the Li family in Hong Kong. Over the past five years the firm’s Sydney office has overseen close to $6 billion in mergers and acquisitions in Australia on Cheung Kong’s behalf and has acted for them in infrastructure transactions throughout Asia and in the United Kingdom.  Stikeman Elliot is also one of the major law firms dealing with Canadian immigration cases.   He also sits on the Board of Directors Shire Pharmaceuticals and CAE Inc.

Hon. Robert (Bob) Keith Rae, P.C., Q.C. (5 years)

Bob Rae was the 21st premier of Ontario Oct. 1, 1990-June 28, 1995.   Bob Rae is a partner at Goodmans LLP which was the first North American law firm to establish a presence in Hong Kong, when it set-up shop in 1971.  He sits on the boards of the Forum of Federations and Pierre Elliott

Trudeau Foundation, two Canadian Foundations.    Bob Rae in a statement to the Ontario Parliament, stated he had meetings with K.S.Li (Li Ka-Shing) and James Ting (President and CEO of International Semi-Tech Microelectronics), both of which were listed in the Sidewinder Report.   

Bob Rae as former Ontario Premier, appointed Maurice Strong as head of Ontario Hydro in 1992.  Rae “remembered him as a friend of his father’s and called him "Uncle Moe".    In 1993 Power Corp, Ontario Hydro and Hydro Quebec formed the Hong Kong-based Asia Group Inc. “set up with an initial investment of $100 million, shared equally by the three companies.” to invest in thermal power projects in China.

His brother John Rae, a director and former executive at Power Corp., was president and a director of the Paribas Bank of Canada, part of BNP Paribas Bank the bank at the center of the Oil-For-Food scandal.  John Rae was also a leading strategist for PM Chretien.

Hon. Raymond Speaker, P.C., O.C. (5 years)

Hon. Frank McKenna, P.C., Q.C. (5 years)

Frank McKenna former Premier of New Brunswick (1987-1997) and partner in McInnes Cooper, was on the board of directors of Major Drilling Group International,  Noranda Shoppers Drug Mart Zenon Environmental, (Maurice F. Strong was a director), ACE Aviation Holdings (ACE is the parent holding company for Air Canada and its subsidiaries.)  Also on ACE’s board of directors is Marvin Yontef, Senior Partner, Stikeman Elliott.  In April 2004, he was promoted to chairman of CanWest Media.   Once appointed Canadian ambassador to the US he is said to have resigned from these positions. 

He was also on the Canadian advisory board of the Carlyle Group know for its role in the Military-industrial complex.

Frank McKenna was /(is?) also a member of the Special Investors of the Canadian American Investor (CAI) Private Equity Group with Mohammed al-Zaibak, Raymond Garneau (Chairman Advisory Committee on Adscam ), General Alexander Haig, Lynton Wilson (Chairman of the Board during the Nortel Networks meltdown) and many other Canadian US person's of interest. 

The above group of members also signed the 1999-2000 Annual Operational Audit of CSIS Activities and the 2000-2001 Annual Operational Audit of CSIS Activities.

In the Annual report 1999-2000 there is A. Areas of Special Interest for 1999-2000 Project Sidewinder Report #125 BACKGROUND TO THE COMMITTEE’S REVIEW which ends with Appendix C: Recommendations and Major Findings - Project Sidewinder.   “The Committee found no evidence of political interference as alleged. None of the documents or records reviewed, interviews conducted or representations received evidenced such interference, actual or anticipated. Project Sidewinder was not terminated; it was delayed when its product was found to be inadequate.”

With all of these connections, even Caesar's wife would be questioned for coming up with a conclusion like the SIRC Committee did in their review of the Sidewinder Report.

Sidewinder Study

Asian triads and Sidewinder




May 28, 2013


MONTREAL - The former head of Canada's spy-agency watchdog (SIRC), who received prestigious appointments from different levels of government has been arrested abroad on fraud charges.  Arthur Porter has been detained by Panamanian authorities, along with his wife Pamela, several months after Quebec police announced they wanted to charge him in connection with the province's ongoing corruption scandals.  (CP)    Arthur Porter   Corporate scandals  

Sept 28, 2014

Another appointment draws complaints

OTTAWA - A civil liberties group is objecting to Canada's spy watchdog (SIRC) assigning Yves Fortier to investigate alleged spying on environmental activists, citing a conflict due to his former petroleum industry ties.  (CBC)

MORE:   Watchdog admits to having shares


May 1, 2015

Watchdog changes

OTTAWA - Pierre Blais, who was chief justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, replaces veteran politician Deborah Grey, the former Reform Party and Conservative MP who had served as interim chair of the SIRC and is stepping down.  Marie-Lucie Morin, the former national security adviser in the Privy Council Office, is joining the SIRC.  (Globe & Mail)

MORE:   Named SIRC chair   Pierre Blais   Marie-Lucie Morin


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