Quebec’s probe of the construction industry is investigating possible links to organized crime and in the awarding of public contracts. Corruption in developing countries leads to donor fatigue for humanitarian aid projects as people see that the vast amount of money sent has resulted in little improvement in those countries.

Quebec’s probe of the construction industry is investigating possible links to organized crime and in the awarding of public contracts. Corruption in developing countries leads to donor fatigue for humanitarian aid projects as people see that the vast amount of money sent has resulted in little improvement in those countries.
Photo Credit: CBC

Canada ranked 9th least corrupt country in the world

Share

Despite high-profile cases of alleged political corruption in the Canadian Senate and the highly mediatized public inquiry into municipal corruption related to the construction industry in Quebec, Canada moved up to ninth spot in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index.

Denmark remained at the top of the list of least corrupt countries. It scored 91 points out of a possible 100 while North Korea and Somalia remained at the bottom with unchanged scores of 8.

The index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, looking at a range of factors like whether governmental leaders are held to account or go unpunished for corruption, the perceived prevalence of bribery, and whether public institutions respond to citizens’ needs.

Frederic Lapointe, board member of Transparency International Canada, said the index looks at whether ordinary citizens have to resort to corruption for their everyday dealings – whether getting their children to school or getting services from various levels of government.

(Click to listen to the interview with Frederic Lapointe)

Listen

“On those levels in Canada we have to acknowledge that we don’t have a lot of corruption,” Lapointe said. “We do have corruption in the form of illegal influence trafficking or collusion but we’re in top ten countries if you consider ordinary corruption.”

“Municipal governments are at risk because they have to take a lot of decisions, which could be related to huge profits in housing construction and the kind,” Lapointe said.

And municipal governments are under less control and less public scrutiny, he said.

“Where the provincial and federal governments are under the eye of the media, it’s not the case with every city, village and First Nation council across the country,” Lapointe said.

Five of the 10 most corrupt countries also rank among the 10 least peaceful places in the world, said the report

In Afghanistan, which is the second most corrupt country according to the index, millions of dollars that should have gone for reconstruction have been reportedly wasted or stolen, seriously undermining efforts to sustain peace, said Transparency International.

Inequality is another serious problem, says the corruption watchdog.

In Angola, the fifth most corrupt country, 70 per cent of the population live on US$2 a day or less. More than 150,000 children die each year. But Africa’s youngest billionaire, Isabel dos Santos, also lives in Angola. She made her US$3.4 billion fortune from the national diamond and telecommunications business, according to the report. She’s also the president’s daughter.

“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world,” said Transparency head Jose Ugaz. “But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption — people across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption.”

Northern Europe is the least corrupt part of the planet. Four of the five least corrupt countries are in Northern Europe.

corruption highest scoring

But just because a country has a clean public sector at home, doesn’t mean it isn’t linked to corruption elsewhere, the report point out.

“Take Sweden for instance,” says the report. “It comes third in the index, yet the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index.”

Transparency said there was still a lot of room for improvement in Europe and Central Asia, which it grouped as one region, saying “in low-scorers Hungary, Poland and Turkey, politicians and their cronies are increasingly hijacking state institutions to shore up power.”

“It’s even grimmer further down the index,” the organization continued. “In Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and others, governments are restricting, if not totally stifling, civil society and free media.”

Russia sat in 119th place, tied with Azerbaijan, Guyana and Sierra Leone, although its score improved from 27 in 2014 to 29 in 2015, bringing its ranking on the list up from 136th place.

Brazil, in the midst of a massive corruption scandal at the state-owned oil company Petrobras, posted the biggest decline, falling 5 points to a score of 38 and dropping 7 positions to 76th place.

Transparency noted that in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana, citizen activists have “worked hard to drive out the corrupt.”

Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries studied scored below 50 and the global average was 43.

Still, Transparency said it was a good sign that 64 countries improved their score while only 53 declined. The rest were unchanged.

Lapointe said talking about corruption is the first step in combating it.

“When you talk about corruption, you’re already part of the solution,” he said. “The public might think there is more corruption because they hear more about it, when in fact there is less corruption because they hear about it.”

With files from The Associated Press

Share
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Economy, International, Politics

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*