Canadian and American Firms Abroad May Prove to be Equally Scandalous.

Referring to recent scandals in Canadian firms abroad, Derek Abma writes that, compared to our American neighbours, Canadian firms may not be as innocent as the general public tends to believe.

This country has long benefitted from a strong corporate reputation abroad – a “halo effect,” as some call it, from being seen as a kinder, gentler version of our American neighbours.But some might question whether that’s still the case, as the country gains attention, and sometimes notoriety, for everything from the oilsands to now re-jailed former media baron Conrad Black.

Michael Marx, executive director with San Francisco-based interest group Corporate Ethics International, agrees that being Canadian is still mostly seen as a good thing.

“I think for the most part, for the general public in the U.S., (being Canadian is) positive because Canadians are perceived as being more environmentally and socially responsible,” he says. “And I think Canadian companies benefit from that halo effect.”

Yet, he adds: “But if you’re an environmental group, particularly dealing with oil issues, mining issues, timber issues around the world, then Canadian companies certainly don’t get the benefit of that halo effect. … Canadian companies are seen as just as bad as the most ruthless of American companies.

Read full article here

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