On December 17th, 2018, Quebec’s Superior Court of Justice sentenced Yanaï Elbaz, a former senior manager of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), to a three-year prison term for his involvement in a bribery scheme in which SNC-Lavalin secured a $1.3 billion contract to build MUHC.
Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (the “CFPOA”) contained, until October 30, 2017, an unusual provision permitting the payment of certain small bribes to foreign public officials. Known as the “facilitation payment” exemption, this provision permitted companies and individuals to make payments to “expedite or secure the performance by a foreign public official of any act of a routine nature that is part of the foreign public official’s duties or functions.”
On October 31, 2017, the federal government brought into force a pending amendment to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act likely to have a significant impact on many Canadian firms operating abroad. Starting on October 31, so-called "facilitation payments" – payments to low-level government officials to expedite or secure the performance of an act of a routine nature – will be illegal.