I hear absurd tattle that my old friend Phillip Buxo has been forced to waddle the plank as Trinidad and Tobago’s high commissioner to Canada.
Rumours from Port-of-Spain tell of a corruption scandal brewing in T&T, and ridiculous allegations Phil might be involved.
Desperate to get out ahead of any disagreeable publicity, Buxo’s buddies from the ruling UNC party have ordered his sudden extraction from the high commission in Ottawa.
Or so they say.
Poor Phil. This isn’t the first time for unfair suggestions of impropriety against the well-heeled businessthingy.
The gutter press last year reported a billion dollar deal involving SNC-Lavalin and a mega hospital for T&T. The Canadian Commercial Corp. backstopped SNC with financial guarantees.
As is well known, SNC has been implicated in bribery and corruption scandals in some of the most unsavoury regions of the globe: Bangladesh, Libya, Cambodia, Algeria and Montreal.
Arthur Porter, the Tory-appointed former head of SIRC, Canada’s spy watchdog agency, has T&T connections. Porter is charged in the biggest fraud investigation in Canadian history, the alleged $22.5-million kickback from SNC to secure the $1.4-billion contract to build the Montreal super-hospital.
Arthur, also CEO of the Montreal hospital, was en route to T&T when he was arrested in Panama along with his wife and charged with fraud. He’s still fighting extradition to Canada.
Now where was I?
Oh, yes. Rumours of dubious dealings have swirled around Phil for years, most recently in 2013, when it was revealed that he worked for SNC up to the time he was appointed high commish in 2010.
An investigation into just how SNC landed the billion-dollar T&T hospital contract was launched last year and Phil’s detractors have been trying to connect the dots ever since.
Doubtless, these preposterous allegations will come to naught and Phil can return to his stellar work as T&T’s man in Ottawa.
Not that he spends a lot of time there. Indeed, he doesn’t much like Ottawa (who does?!—ed.), and avoids like Ebola his dip colleagues on the Rockcliffe cocktail circuit.
Phil prefers Toronto, where he can beaver away on his varied and lucrative business interests and enjoy the vida loca, quaffing Caribs and chowing down on Brampton beef rotis.