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Penalties

Individuals

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

Individuals convicted of either bribery or accounting violations under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act are liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of 14 years. Specific punishments are prescribed for each anti-corruption offence under the Criminal Code, with maximum sentences ranging from five to 14 years.

The only individual conviction under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, in R v Karigar, resulted in a prison sentence of three years. However, Karigar was decided before amendments to the act raising the maximum prison term from five to 14 years. As such, sentences awarded under the existing act could potentially be significantly higher. Convictions under the Criminal Code have varied significantly based on the circumstances of each case.

Companies or organisations

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Corporations convicted under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act are subject to unlimited fines. Corporations convicted under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act to date have been fined C$25,000 (R v Watts [Hydro Kleen]), C$9.5 million (R v Griffiths Energy International Inc) and C$10.35 million (R v Niko Resources Ltd).

Corporations convicted under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act or certain other legislation (including specified provisions of the Criminal Code) may also face debarment from doing business with:

  • the federal government under the Integrity Regime;
  • the New Brunswick government under the Procurement Act and General Regulation thereto; and
  • the Quebec government under the Act respecting contracting by public bodies.

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