Friday, December 29, 2006

Julian Fantino & Peter Shoniker

Julian Fantino is the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. He was previously Toronto's Chief of Police from 2000 to 2005, and Ontario's Commissioner of Emergency Management from 2005 until 2006.

He was previously chief of police of London, Ontario from 1991 to 1998, and of York Region from 1998 until 2000. Previous to his London appointment, he had been a Toronto police officer since 1969.

Fantino's rise to power has been rapid and inexplicable. Although plauged by scandals from his London days he has moved easily from one senior position to another. In light of recent allegations that he wiretapped his own boss during his tenure made in a lawsuit filed in 2006 - one has to wonder whether he has private information about other public officials.

Peter Shoniker is a Toronto Crown counsel and Tory fundraiser who pled guilty to laundering 700,000 and stealing 50,000. Mr. Shoniker was approached by an undercover RCMP corporal in 2003. Corporal Al Lewis asked for help to launder $250,000, money he said was stolen from the pension fund of a Hamilton union. Mr. Shoniker readily obliged. He even told Cpl. Lewis he would use his special status as a lawyer to evade police surveillance. And he bragged about his connections to highly placed police officers as he tried to reassure the undercover police officer.“I'm untouchable, untouchable by the police. Not a cop in this country who would dare burn me, question my integrity,” he said. I have been unable to find any reports about who ended up with the stolen 50,000.

In a flagrant and unrepentant manner, Julian Fantino testified at Mr. Shoniker's sentencing hearing that he should recieve a light sentance. Mr. Shoniker recieved only 15 months in jail for this affront to democracy and rule of law.

Anne McLellan

Anne McLellan is a maritime law professor and liberal sweetheart. That is until she recently lost her Edmonton seat in the last federal election.

As Minister of Natural Resources, Ms McLellan made friends in high places


Ms. McLellan was Minister of Natural Resources (November 1993 - June 1997), as natural resources minister, it was her job to oversee the regulation of the nuclear industry in Canada. In 1996 she introduced the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, which replaced the Atomic Energy Control Board with the inaptly named Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission a move touted on the grounds of efficiency. The Commission is notorious for its lack of transparency and poor safety record.

She also oversaw the sale of CANDU reactors to China (built by Crown Corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited or AECL) during her term as minister. The deal included a $4 billion contract between Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the China National Nuclear Corporation for the building of two reactors.

A Crown corporation, Export Development Corp., negotiated the financing. This financing included a 1.5 billion dollar loan to China to finance the reactor purchase.

In 1996 Energy Probe reported that Over $22 million in bribes disguised as agent fees were paid by AECL to secure sales to Argentina and South Korea. As recently as 1994, AECL's agent in South Korea was arrested and jailed for paying bribes to the head of South Korea's nuclear utility. Since AECL was first compelled to disclose "Agent Fees" in 1977, about $60 million has been paid out for dubious purposes. AECL also handled the “commercial arrangements” for the Chinese purchases.

The sale negotiations began in 1994 and throughout the 1994-1996 period, China continued its nuclear weapons testing program.

Now at the trough

Since her election defeat, she was appointed to the board of Cameco corporation effective December 7, 2006. Cameco Corporation is Canada’s largest producer and refiner of nuclear fuel and part owner of the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant in Tiverton, Ontario. Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world's largest uranium producer. The company's uranium products are used to generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world

Cameco benefited to the tune of around 3 billion dollars from the Chinese CANDU sales and as the world’s largest uranium producer, sells its uranium to China.

Oil and Gas

In June 2006 she signed on to serve as a Director on the Board of Directors of Canadian oil and gas conglomerate Nexen Inc., effective July 5, 2006.

A Nexen representative was quoted as saying "She was a strong Natural Resources Minister and in addition to her many accomplishments, has a good understanding of our industry. The tremendous range and breadth of her experience enables her to make a strong contribution as we position Nexen for future growth."