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Anti-Corruption Risk Map – Canada

Primary foreign anti-corruption legislation and enforcement agencies

  • Legislation: Criminal Code of Canada, specifically under provisions relating Secret Commissions (s. 426) and under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, SC, 1998, c34 (the “CFPOA”).
  • Investigating agencies: Police forces at all levels (federal, provincial, municipal) have the authority to investigate bribery cases under the Criminal Code, and foreign public bribery cases under the CFPOA. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian national police both have an Anti-corruption Unit and an International Anti-corruption Unit (established in 2007). Prosecutions under the Criminal Code for domestic bribery are within the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial prosecutors. Prosecutions under the CFPOA for foreign bribery are carried out by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC),a federal prosecutorial body that works directly with the RCMP on CFPOA investigations / prosecutions.

Offences

  1. Bribing Foreign Public Officials (s70.2)
  2. A person is guilty of an offense if he or she is found guilty of paying a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a public foreign officer in return for an advantage in the course of business.
  3. In early 2013, Canada significantly strengthened the scope of the CFPOA and penalties thereunder, for example, by adding a new offense that expands the grounds for criminal liability for corporations and their directors, officers and employees. As a result of the recent amendments to the CFPOA:
  • Canadian companies and individuals who are involved in the bribery of foreign public officials are now subject to Canadian law regardless of where the acts constituting the offense took place, and even if there is no connection with Canada other than their nationality;
  • the maximum penalty for individuals has been increased from five years to 14 years of imprisonment;
  • companies and their directors, officers and employees now face a separate criminal “books and records” offense for misrepresenting or concealing the bribery of foreign public officials in their recordkeeping;
  • the bribery offense has been clarified to apply to all business activities, whether or not they are for profit; and
  • the exception allowing “facilitation payments” (small payments made to an official for the purpose of securing the performance of routine administrative acts that are part of the official’s duties or functions) will be eliminated at a future date to be determined by Cabinet order.

Corporate liability

  1. Corporations can be criminally liable for bribery under the CFPOA and Criminal Code of Canada. There is no maximum fine that can be imposed on a corporation – the amount is subject to the discretion of the court.

Extraterritorial application

As stated above, Canadian companies and individuals who are involved in the bribery of foreign public officials are now subject to Canadian law regardless of where the acts constituting the offense took place, and even if there is no connection with Canada other than their nationality;

Penalties – Criminal and/or civil liability

For an individual

14 years’ imprisonment and unlimited fines

For bodies corporate

Unlimited fines

This list is to be used as a guide only. It is intended to provide high-level information regarding the primary laws in the specified countries in relation to anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.  Please refer to the relevant legislation for detailed information and to ensure that the information contained in this guide is up-to-date, and refer to the relevant Baker & McKenzie contact for the jurisdiction for specific advice