LOS ANGELES, CA (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — A breakdown in Canada’s security apparatus threatens to unravel a unique South Pacific business venture. According to Donald Phillips, a former member of Canada’s intelligence community turned entrepreneur, a systemic breakdown in security protocol has occurred involving Canada’s federal police (RCMP), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), and the nation of Tuvalu’s Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
Phillips, who has been engaged in economic development proposals in the Oceania region, charges that the Canadian government’s lax security stance has allowed the tiny island country of Tuvalu to fraudulently obtain private information.
“What was to be a government-to-government security check on a Canadian civilian turned into a quagmire,” asserts Phillips in a recent interview. “The original request, which included an INTERPOL element, came from inside Tuvalu’s OPM and was funnelled through DFAIT in Wellington (New Zealand). DFAIT didn’t take seriously the scope of this operation or the nature of Tuvalu’s appeal, and ironically mishandled an unethical situation from the beginning, sending this problem through the RCMP chain.”
Phillips alleges that one portion of Tuvalu’s request circulated through a number of countries before eventually coming back to him. “The RCMP told me that I needed to do this check on myself, physically taking the report and sending it on my own. Is this how a government-to-government security check is handled, by asking the target individual to process it himself? All I could think of was ‘Osama Bin Laden and a bottle of whiteout.’ What a joke.”
Repeated attempts to alert the RCMP and DFAIT have proven futile. “After five months neither DFAIT nor the RCMP have conducted proper interviews with those involved, leaving Canadian stakeholders and respected Tuvalu officials blowing in the wind.”
According to Phillips there’s more at stake then just a Canadian-Tuvalu security problem. Important national development documents released to the OPM have gone unaccounted for, and investor communications into Tuvalu has been severed. “It appears there’s a rogue element inside Tuvalu’s system. These missing documents impact a number of sovereign governments, and if an intellectual property theft has taken place, we need to see this addressed. But like the security debacle, the response from DFAIT and the RCMP can at best be described as sloppy. And it’s all documented.”
Phillips fears that Canada’s conduct has not only failed Canadian investors in the Oceania region, but has “allowed actions injurious to international relation” to go unchecked, tarnishing Canada’s reputation in the Pacific. “The last thing the citizens of Tuvalu needs is this kind of fiasco. It’s a struggling nation, and Canada’s apathy isn’t helping.”
As one of the smallest and most isolated island nations, Tuvalu has been showcased as a model country destined to be altered by climate change issues. However, Tuvalu is burdened with numerous day-to-day infrastructure struggles, including fresh water and transportation concerns.
“It’s in addressing these areas of daily life that we see hope,” Phillips elaborated. “Tuvalu can be a model nation in the sense that its infrastructure needs can be met while enhancing its sovereignty and keeping its culture intact. But this requires vision and good governance. And integrity has to be the hallmark.”
But Phillips contends that integrity isn’t something he’s encountered while trying to work with DFAIT and the RCMP in clearing up this dilemma.
“It borders on the absurd. For example, my Member of Parliament contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs about this problem. DFAIT responded by writing an affront against myself and sending it to my MP. Thankfully, my MP was kind enough to forward a copy of this letter back to myself. And the RCMP have washed their hands saying it’s ‘the responsibility of Tuvalu’.”
Phillips agrees that Tuvalu needs to clean up its act, “but Canada’s bungling is more than just an embarrassment, it marks a step backwards in Oceania development.”
News issued by: Donald Phillips
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Original Story ID: (1171) :: 2006-01-0113-001
Original Keywords: Donald Phillips, Carl Teichrib, Candadian Government, security, law enforcement, politics, canada, DFAIT, RCMP, epartment of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, South Pacific business venture Donald Phillips