Vancouver Sun – Financial Crime / Globe and Mail – Easy Money
Gordon Hoekstra, Grant Robertson and Tom Cardoso
In these two series, the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail exposed a failure of Canadian security regulators and governments to protect investors from white-collar crime. Sun reporter Gordon Hoekstra’s databases for B.C. uncovered unpaid penalties of more than a half-billion dollars over the past 10 years, and fraudsters with $31 million in assets. Globe and Mail reporters Grant Robertson and Tom Cardoso took the investigation of white-collar crime national, analyzing almost 30 years of security offences. Data revealed that one in nine white-collar criminals are repeat offenders who evade regulators and fines by moving provinces. Both series provided evidence that, across the country, the system of fines, bans and minimal jail time is not deterring white-collar criminals. The revelations sent shock waves through the investment community and governments. Several changes were made following this revelation: B.C.’s finance minister ordered the Securities Commission to improve its collections and enforcement. Manitoba’s minister of finance introduced amendments to the Securities Act; Ontario proposed new legislation for the Ontario Securities Commission; and the RCMP announced new efforts to fight stock-market abuses. The Vancouver Sun was also awarded a Citation of Merit.