The release of the Panama Papers is of such potential significance and magnitude that it is difficult to know where to begin. I have decided that I will begin with the most interesting and relevant topic for me, the Canadian angle: possible links from Mossack Fonseca’s tax haven shell companies to the Vancouver BC real estate market, the current Canada Revenue Agency investigation of KPMG’s Canadian offshore tax haven scheme, and potential conflicts of interest within CRA. The KPMG and CRA issues have been extensively investigated and reported by CBC News, and also discussed on this site.
This issue began with Fox News alleged terrorism expert, Steven Emerson claiming that there were “no go areas” in England for non-Muslims. In an extraordinary turn of events, British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked to comment on Emerson’s claim, and replied that he had almost “choked on his porridge” when he first heard that claim, and that the alleged terrorism expert was “a complete idiot.” It was an extraordinary but necessary response from the PM, and both Fox News and Emerson apologized to Cameron. But the French were not done with Fox News.. at an extremely sensitive moment for the French, the Canal Plus satirical news show Le Petit Journal, described as something of a French version of John Stewart’s The Daily Show, decided to use classic French satire to further skewer Fox News. The brilliant stroke of genius, included fake news reports from Fox correspondents in Paris reporting from the alleged “no go areas.”