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Toronto and the Offshore Leaks

TMC digs deep, follows the money, names the names

by Geordie Gwalgen Dent

Toronto and the Offshore Leaks

On the journalism-excitement scale, taxes and finance tend to rank pretty low.  Far below tales of our current mayor and his connections to murders, drugs and illegal activity.

Many Canadian activists tend to focus on the cutting of benefits and programs and the ever harsh-crackdown on rights and ideas that many years of control by the Canada's power classes have wrought.

It's understandable.

But while we sometimes get insight into the inner workings of the rich and powerful it's rare that we get a full-blown open look inside how they operate and the world they live in.

Until now.

Thanks to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and anonymous whistleblower(s) the public has been given access to almost 30 years of data on people that are keeping money in offshore tax havens.

The data represents a fraction of information on the global system.  Something like 15% of the total info available from entities incorporated in 10 offshore jurisdictions: the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Samoa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Labuan and Malaysia. The information comes from two offshore service firms: Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet and BVI-based Commonwealth Trust Limited (CTL).  And this doesn't include countless other tax havens including Delaware in the US, Ireland, Isle of Mann, etc.

The names of over 550 Canadians have been released in conjunction with the Offshore Tax Leaks, hundreds of which are in Toronto.

The TMC has spent hundreds of hours pouring over documents and researching people associated with the leaks.  In doing so we try to profile how the rich 1% avoid paying their fair share in taxes and why.  We also look at the people that use this generous system: what kind of people is the system set up to serve and how do they use the offshore financial system for their benefit.

These people are not symbolic faceless figures.  They have names, addresses and in some cases work for big investment companies or the big banks in Canada.  In others they are shady figures backed up by lax laws, lawyers and a system designed to help the rich hide income offshore.

At a time when the government is cutting spending, reducing services and falsely pretending to crack down on tax cheats, it's helpful to know that it doesn't have to be this way.

It's also helpful to know who in Toronto uses offshore services and why.

The TMC has enjoyed following the money and we hope you join us in doing so.


The Toronto Media Co-op

PART ONE: How Toronto-Based Peter Sabourin Used Offshore Accounts to Defraud Dozens


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