Private Ownership of Public Law
The CSA is a privately registered not-for-profit corporation that is claiming to own certain of Canada’s public laws. Their argument is that CSA lobbied governments for certain changes to law, therefore the CSA owns the laws which incorporate those changes.
The issue of ownership of the rule of law is the subject of the current litigation between CSA and P.S. Knight Co. The CSA organization is suing P.S. Knight Co. for copyright violation because P.S. Knight Co. publications quote from the rule of law. In CSA’s view, P.S. Knight Co. has not paid CSA for the right to comment upon “their” laws.
The CSA coordinates the amendments process to Canada’s electrical laws
The CSA lobbies federal and provincial governments to accept these amendments
The CSA believes that they “own” the laws which contain the amendments that they lobbied for
The CSA charges royalties, access fees, (etc.) to the public for the right to read, comment upon, or comply with the laws that CSA claims to “own”
The CSA restricts public access to the law if no payments have been made to CSA
The Provinces of BC and ON are both paying CSA for the right to print electrical laws that were passed in their Provincial legislatures
Safety information at construction sites cannot be posted without paying a fee to CSA for the right to post “their” safety laws
P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. is enduring a CSA lawsuit for the crime of instructing the public on safe electrical installations
According to CSA Taiwan, the CSA has developed “more than” 1,900 standards, and more than a third of these have been passed into law
If one private company can own public laws merely for having lobbied for their passage, then all private companies that have similarly lobbied government for introduction of new laws or changes to existing laws would by precedent “own” the laws or portions of laws that they lobbied for.
Democratic society is incompatible with private ownership of public law
Lobbying for preferred changes to public law does not confer ownership of the resulting legal statutes
Approving of CSA ownership claims will result in a flood of claimants to a vast number of public laws.
Approving of CSA ownership claims will also result in a flood of demands from thousands of entities for back-payments for all of the royalties incurred and unpaid to cover each instance of enforcement of privately owned law.
Approving of CSA ownership claims will also launch a flood by lobbying companies for hundreds of thousands of private payment demands of Canadian citizens for their unpaid use and compliance with privately owned regulations.
Approving of CSA ownership claims will set a dangerous and unworkable precedent and will result in legal and financial chaos throughout Canada
Influence Peddling & Related
The CSA is mandated by federal charter to generate a variety of Canadian laws including electrical safety laws. These laws are drafted by CSA’s Code Committee, a de-facto Parliamentary committee reporting to the Minister of Industry through the Standards Council of Canada. Under CSA, committee votes are available for purchase. The sale of influence and control over the drafting of Canadian law is being marketed by CSA internationally.
Selling influence over safety law in exchange for money is very, very illegal
CSA sells influence by weighted voting; the more one pays, the more influence one gets
Committee votes are currently priced at $2,000 for 2 votes, $4,000 for 4 votes, and $6,000 for 8 votes.
CSA divides Canadian citizens into four “levels” depending on how much influence they have paid for; Level 1 affords the purchaser 2 seats at the Committee, Level 2 brings 4 seats, Level 3 brings 8 seats, and those citizens who pay CSA nothing have no say in the laws that apply to them
CSA also sells direct and “quick” access to the civil servants who draft the legislation through the use of “a special unlisted telephone number.”
Payments to CSA also bring “access to key standards information” (i.e.: new legislation before its promulgated)
Selling influence over Canadian law generates over $9MM in payments to CSA annually
CSA cannot be held accountable due to Industry Canada’s provision of a series of immunities from civil litigation and Industry Canada’s inability to investigate CSA.
During the summer of 2013, the CSA deleted the evidence of influence sales from its website
RestoreCSA retains screen captures of all the data that CSA deleted
It should be self evident that “selling” votes on legislative committees is unethical, illegal and constitutes a massive affront to the principles of equality of all persons before the law and of equal access to the law.
Sales of votes necessarily means that those who can afford more influence over the law will enjoy disproportionate control over the laws, effectively giving the wealthy a greater say in national affairs than ordinary citizens.
Another consequence of selling control of legislative processes is that the companies that pay for votes can craft legislation in a manner beneficial to their business interests and to the harm of their competitors’ interests, that of those companies who refuse to pay for votes, and those that cannot afford to do so.
Code Cycle Adjustment
In 1990, the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) published the CSA Handbook, which was a CSA version of the Electrical Code Simplified (“ECS”) Commercial & Industrial book. The CSA version of ECS was released concurrent with the new Canadian Electrical Code in that year. The next Code was scheduled for release in 1994 and during the interval it was announced that CSA was shifting from a standard four year Code revision cycle to a three year Code revision cycle. This decision was taken during the first sales run of the CSA version of ECS.
We are concerned about the rationale for tightening the CEC cycle. Adjusting Code revision cycles could be justified if federal or provincial governments had mandated such a change, but no such government decision was taken. Likewise, tightening Code revision cycles could be justified if the volume of Code revisions and the material significance of such revisions were increasing. The difficulty with this argument is that when considering the period 1978 – 1994, there is no discernable increase in either the rate of Code revisions or the material significance of those revisions. Code cycle alteration could also be explained by CSA desire to adhere to the revision timeline of a foreign government, though as the CSA is in service to Canadian interests this option is as unpalatable as unlikely.
Altering the Code cycles could also be explained by revenue figures from sales of the CSA version of ECS. Reducing the interval of new Code releases by 25% will result in revenue increases of approximately the same figure. The Code revision record during this period, as regards volume of revision and material significance of revision, strongly suggests that the rule of law has been compromised for the commercial benefit of CSA.
Predatory Competitive Practices
The CSA is involved in a variety of commercial activities. As a government entity, the CSA has authority and influence as well as protections from litigation and accountability that no private company enjoys. Moreover, CSA’s government position precludes most competitors, making CSA unavoidable for remaining private firms working in those few areas of open competition. The CSA can behave very unethically toward these firms without incurring legal or financial risk.
The CSA fabricated a false set of electrical laws and gave these to P.S. Knight Co. Ltd., a competing publisher of electrical instruction manuals. Profound financial and reputational damage would have occurred had P.S. Knight printed its books with CSA’s false information.
The CSA gained access to P.S. Knight’s financials on the pretext of wanting to buy the company. Given that CSA’s eventual offer was ~20% of the value of P.S. Knight’s inventory in storage, it was clear to the principals of the company that CSA had conducted a data raid on their firm.
On several occasions and with multiple firms, the CSA has arbitrarily and without warning cut their contracted discount rate by up to 50% in one year. This is very damaging financially.
Standard publishers discounts to distributors in Canada are 50-62%; CSA’s max discount is 20%
CSA’s volume discounts start at $250k in spend / yr; P.S. Knight discounts start at less than $14 /yr.
Private companies are obligated to give CSA their entire client database and to give permission to CSA to contact their clients directly on any matter deemed “valuable” to CSA
The CSA has sold contracted publications at an average of $28.68 below retail (1995) in order to establish dominance in these publications, only to raise the price to an average of $176.14 above retail (2013) once the competition has been eliminated.
Certain industry professionals have been expelled from regulatory committees because they hesitated to sign CSA’s licensing agreements
The CSA has targeted small companies that refuse to pay protection money, launching lawsuits against them with the written threat that such action will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and may bankrupt them. P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. is one such targeted company.
Industry Canada’s Competition Bureau and the RCMP Commercial Crimes Unit cannot investigate CSA because CSA claims to be a government entity, and outside the mandate of these bodies.
Industry Canada itself cannot investigate because CSA claims to be a private company and outside the mandate of Industry Canada’s direct investigation.
The CSA is commercially competing within the same market that it is regulating. This is a massive conflict of interest.
The CSA’s practice of coercively acquiring their competitor’s client lists and then circumventing that competitor to deal directly with the clients on that list is preposterous in any contract. The CSA’s subsequent manipulation of their competitor’s discount rates to drive them into insolvency thereby affords CSA the opportunity to take over the competitor’s sales to the list of clients that CSA received from their competitor in the first place. This conduct is self evidently exploitive, predatory and totally unacceptable for a government agency.
In contracting, there is an inherent conflict of interest when an inspector who, through CSA, is closely associated with CSA’s electrical publication inspects the work of a contractor who is known to favour a competing publication. We find that our contractor customers are hesitant to have ECS visible at their jobsites for fear of offending their local inspector and thereby incurring inspection delays and increased inspection costs. Electrical inspectors are good and decent people, but the introduction of commercial interests in conflict with their regulatory responsibilities is an intrinsically corrupting influence, necessarily placing unhealthy stresses upon their objectivity.
Relationship Between CSA Regulatory and Commercial Interests
The Canadian Standards Association is mandated as a regulatory entity and, as such, its commercial operations are in conflict with the rationale for its existence. We contend that the practice of a regulatory entity competing commercially within the market that it is regulating is contrary to the rule of law. It should be noted that at one point the Government of British Columbia also published an electrical guidebook and that this action was deemed illegal due to conflict of interest. This guidebook was then quickly withdrawn.
We acknowledge that certain ongoing practices which are contrary to the rule of law remain unchallenged, yet we assert that such practices should be adjusted to properly align with legal requirements.
CEC Double Charge Issue
Provincial taxpayers cover the vast majority of Code development expenses. While we accept that the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) functions as a sort of secretary, compiling and formatting new Code publications, we are unclear on what, if anything, CSA pays for actual Code generation processes. Provincial governments, and therefore taxpayers, are already paying for the work of actual Code development. In this context, it is disturbing that CSA is charging taxpayers to know the Code that they have already paid to develop. More disturbing still, CSA is charging provincial regulatory authorities a royalty to access the Code that these same authorities are responsible for having generated in the first place. It appears that CSA is profiting from taxpayer investment at the expense of that same taxpayer.
CSA Reimbursement of Governments
With regard to the Canadian Electrical Code development processes undertaken by inspection authorities in each province, we consider it critically important to accurately verify that the market value of non-CSA contribution enjoyed by CSA is completely paid for by CSA. What is the value of CSA payments to provincial governments in each Code cycle? If little or no value is being transferred, can we verify that the inspectors whose contributions constitute the new Code are working in the benefit of CSA exclusively on their own time and outside of government facilities? Ultimately, we need to verify that the value of taxpayer-funded contribution is the same value that CSA transfers back to governments as payment for it.
Misappropriation of Code Revenue
The Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) is a bloated bureaucracy, a regulatory entity with a small, exclusively Canadian mandate has unnaturally expanded to include thirty-five offices around the world. In our view, almost all of these facilities are contrary to the CSA mandate. Moreover, the process of CSA certifications of electrical equipment (the only mandate-basis for CSA’s foreign offices) does not require CSA presence in foreign jurisdictions. We note that it was Peter Knight who initiated the practice of requiring foreign compliance with CSA certification prior to 1960. Further, it was Peter Knight who spearheaded the practice of foreign supplier certification enforcement, particularly with regard to European manufacturers, from 1963 onward. The introduction of wide scale CSA certification of foreign manufactured components was handled as an entirely supplier incented process. With regard to CSA product certification, there is neither historic nor current justification for CSA facilities presence in foreign jurisdictions.
Beyond their collection of offices, CSA is also expending resources on human resources studies, global warming studies, they operate conference facilities -and all of these expenditures may be justifiable for a commercial entity, but such conduct is incompatible with CSA’s role as a regulatory entity.
Actions taken by CSA to subsidize exotic ventures at the expense of the electrical sector is a misappropriation of that sector’s resources. It is not the right of CSA to redirect proceeds from individuals, contractors for instance, to fund unrelated or extraneous commercial interests overseas. We intend to seek a thorough verification of total reinvestment activities with regard to CSA publications, courses, and related activities and to assertively pursue correction and restitution if no such verification can be made.
CSA exemptions to accountability, litigation, etc.
The CSA is heavily involved in drafting accountability and transparency standards for both government and private industry. The CSA itself however, is federally exempted from the Government’s accountability and transparency standards. The CSA is nominally supervised by the Standards Council of Canada (“SCC”), whose leadership is appointed directly from the executive ranks of the CSA, making SCC oversight conflicted and functionally negligible.
The CSA is a federal regulatory entity reporting to the Minister of Industry through the Standards Council of Canada (“SCC”), yet;
The CSA is exempted from the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
The CSA is exempted from accountability and transparency regulations standard to other government departments and agencies,
The CSA claims to be either a private company or a public agency, depending on which claim is most expedient. The CSA can thereby avoid scrutiny by;
The Competition Bureau of Industry Canada cannot investigate because CSA is a govt. entity,
Industry Canada itself cannot directly investigate because CSA is a private company, but;
The RCMP Commercial Crimes Unit cannot investigate because CSA is a govt. entity
The CSA routinely drafts accountability and transparency standards for governments and private industry, while exempting themselves from the standards they prescribe for others
The CSA was a contributor to the Governance and Financial Accountability Accord
Industry Canada has granted the CSA a series of immunities from civil litigation
The CSA routinely ignores its own internal reports when these demand “the involvement of an external body” and “external compulsion” in accountability standards
The CSA’s Code of Conduct prescribes retention of records only for purposes of making “appropriate business decisions,” that is, for internal reasons only. Nothing in their transparency policy allows for external audit or independent review.
In 2012, the CSA was caught deleting evidence of influence peddling from their website while in the same year launching standards “to provide greater transparency” in other organizations
As a government regulatory entity, the CSA should be subject to the same accountability and transparency standards applicable to all such government entities.
As the agency responsible for drafting accountability and transparency standards, the CSA should be subject to its own standards, (for credibility at least).
The status of CSA, as either a government regulator or a private company, needs to be determined and formalized in order to ensure the existence of legal accountability at CSA in either category.
CSA is Afforded Taxation Powers
The CSA believes that it privately “owns” certain of Canada’s laws. In cases of CSA claimed ownership of law, the CSA charges persons and companies for the right to read, use or comply with these laws. Given the compulsory nature of law, and that the CSA is the sole source for certain laws, persons working in fields relevant to laws claimed by CSA are vocationally obligated to pay money to CSA at rates determined exclusively by CSA. The CSA is therefore enjoying de-facto powers of taxation.
There are ~88k electricians in Canada in 2012 and most of these need access to electrical law
CSA’s published electrical laws cost ~$12 to produce; CSA charges electricians $175 per copy
CSA’s revenue from selling access to electrical law to electricians is estimated at:
- $7,637,800 per year (in 2013)
- $106,091,000 since 2000
- $282,724,000 projected from 2000-30
Per capita based on a 40 yr service career, the CSA is overcharging electricians ~$2,180
CSA takes over $9MM / yr from corporations in trade for access to electrical law
As of 2012, the CSA is also targeting contractors for payments in trade for the right to post safety information at construction sites. Contractors are required under OH&S regulations to post safety information. Yet because the CSA claims to “own” safety laws and are the only source for these laws, the contractors are required to pay at whatever rates CSA determines.
Public law cannot be privately owned.
There is no basis for charging anyone for the right to read the laws that apply to them.
The CSA was originally mandated by the Federal Government to be a sort of secretary to the electrical trade, compiling and formatting various regulations developed by electrical inspectors across the country. Over time however, the CSA has graduated from being the secretary to the trade to seeing itself as in charge of the trade. The trade now exists to support and fund the CSA.
The CSA was selling counterfeit safety certifications for modular buildings for over eight years (2002-10). By duration, the CSA is one of Canada’s most prolific counterfeiters. The products illegally certified did not meet minimum safety laws. Products with counterfeit safety certifications cannot be sold or exported. The CSA has not indemnified the end users nor has CSA repaid the sums they charged to manufacturers for certification. There have been no consequences to CSA.
Purchasers have absorbed millions of dollars in losses
Industry Canada has given CSA protection from civil litigation
CSA cannot easily be held to account by the Canadian public
There has been no investigation by the Standards Council of Canada or Industry Canada
Certain manufacturers have been bankrupted in part due to the reputational damage of having made unsafe and unsellable products at CSA’s direction.
The CSA ignored its own inspection requirements, applying counterfeit certifications to products without safety compliance inspection
In 2006, at the height of CSA’s counterfeiting activities, the CSA helped found the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (“CACN”)
The CACN has not removed CSA from its board, as of 2013 CSA remains a board member notwithstanding its record of counterfeiting
The CSA has a “zero-tolerance policy” toward counterfeit certifications
The CSA / CACN has demanded “imprisonment” for those counterfeiting safety certifications
The CACN gave testimony to the Industry Committee as an authority on the subject of fighting counterfeit activities while concealing a counterfeiter on their board
The CACN has advised that it would be “inappropriate” to take action against a counterfeiter on their board
During 2013, both CSA and CACN extensively deleted references in their websites and news release archives of any mention of the above noted activities
Double standard - CSA aggressively pursues counterfeiting activities against other firms engaging in CSA-style counterfeiting
“Use of these fake products can put consumers at real risk of injury or death, particularly products that have not been tested to safety standards and bear fake CSA certification marks.” - RJ Falconi, EVP at CSA
“What I am most concerned about is the counterfeit […] safety stickers. That is despicable because what ends up in the public’s hands is something that is frankly going to be dangerous […] If it was an individual who pled guilty before me today my starting point would be a term of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary, without a doubt […].” - Justice Chen (Regina vs. Lau – 2006)
“[CSA] works closely with law enforcement organizations to stop the distribution of counterfeit products that may bear a fake CSA Group certification mark.” - Anthony Toderian, CSA Manager
The CSA has undertaken a purge to remove evidence from their website of certain CSA activities. Immediately after RestoreCSA posted articles exposing certain CSA activities, the CSA website was purged of references to those activities. Likewise, CSA’s creation, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (“CACN”), also deleted references to both CSA and CACN activities immediately after RestoreCSA posted articles about their counterfeiting activities.
The CSA has been selling influence and control over Canadian law through sales of weighted votes at legislative committee
The CSA website formerly advertised sales of influence, as selling 2 votes on committee for $2,000, 4 votes for $4,000 and 8 votes for $6,000
The CSA website sold “access to key standards information,” and preferential access to the civil servants to actually draft the legislation through “a special unlisted telephone number.”
Purchasers of influence were formally called “members” of CSA, now they are called “supporters”
The CACN was founded by CSA in 2006 at the height of CSA’s counterfeiting activities
While the CSA’s counterfeiting was exposed in national news coverage in 2010, the CACN website does not mention CSA’s counterfeiting in its otherwise extensive news release database
The CACN website also contained a large database of statements by CACN and CSA on the subject of counterfeiting, including statements made in testimony to the Industry Committee
As of September 2013, the CSA website has been washed of the above noted references after RestoreCSA posted articles quoting them
After RestoreCSA posted an article on CACN on September 11, 2013, the entire CACN website was deleted from public access. A week later CACN relaunched a “new” website which featured a new banner on the front page and two new pictures but was in content identical to the previous site. The “new” site had also deleted the references made by RestoreCSA including all of their news releases covering a six year period and their entire board of directors list.
P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. (aka RestoreCSA) has screen captures of all of the evidence deleted by CSA and CACN
The CSA is a domestic electrical regulatory entity. It has a small original mandate, yet it spends vast amounts of taxpayer dollars unaccountably. The CSA’s financial reporting rivals Enron in its opacity. We are unaware of any person or entity outside of CSA itself who have a clear and accurate picture of how CSA is spending our money.
The CSA sells access to Canadian law, its annual revenues exceed a quarter billion dollars / year
The CSA lists its expenses and revenues in its financial reporting but does not give any breakdowns or definitions covering the transactions listed. Among the highlights;
- The CSA spent $104MM in 2011 on something called “Selling”
- In 2010, the CSA spent $129,567,000 on “internally restricted for specific purposes”
- The CSA spent $13.5MM on “other” in 2012
- The CSA spent $14,402,000 on “unrestricted” in 2012
- The CSA reported $463,000 spent on “interest”
The CSA bought $117,693,000 worth of “pooled funds” in 2012, and another $14,802,000 of GICs in the same year. Why an electrical regulator is purchasing nine-figure investments is unclear.
The CSA spent over $16MM on “travel” during 2012 (that’s $65,868 per day)
In 2011, the CSA entered a “non-revolving reducing term loan” in the value of EURO 16,000,000. As the CSA reports to the Minister of Industry as a government regulatory, any borrowing is backed by the taxpayer and should be reflected in the liabilities listing of the federal budget.
CSA revenues are taxpayer dollars. The CSA receives $5.6MM directly from government, plus $7MM in government sanctioned taxing of the electrical trade, plus unknown millions in government sanctioned royalties, pre-payments, licensing fees, in-and-out protection payments (ie: CNSC) and similar.
A federal regulatory entity should be subject to the same financial reporting requirements standard to all such government entities.
A domestic regulatory entity has no business generating one quarter billion dollars in annual revenue
A domestic regulator has no business entering into investment deals or direct borrowing for which the taxpayer is ultimately responsible and for which no Treasury or Finance Dept. authorization has been made and for which no accounting is made in the federal budget.
Nuclear In-and-Out Scandal
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (“CNSC”) is mandated through the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (“Act”) to “make regulations” governing the production and use of nuclear energy. The Act stipulates that the CNSC has liability for deficiencies in the regulations that it develops. The CSA however, has been granted a series of immunities from liability by Industry Canada and is further protected by precedent of recent court decisions. The CNSC appears to be washing its nuclear regulations through CSA to gain CSA liability coverage for CNSC material. The CSA provides liability protection to CNSC in trade for ~$1MM per year.
Section 18.1 of the Act protects those acting on behalf of the CNSC from civil liability
Section 18.2 of the Act protects those who enforce CNSC regulations
Section 18.3 of the Act stipulates that CNSC itself remains liable for the regulations it generates
The CSA has broad immunities from prosecution and civil litigation that the CNSC lacks
Each year the CNSC transfers 440 person days to CSA (~$475,200) for regulations development
Each year the CNSC pays over $500k to CSA for use of nuclear regulations
It appears that the CNSC engages 440 person days of its own staff to draft regulations, then passes these to CSA as a “contribution,” thereby making them CSA regulations rather than CNSC regulations, then the CNSC pays CSA for the right to use the regulations that CNSC paid to develop
The CSA also “certifies” compliance with its regulations, including nuclear regulations
Companies have to pay CSA for certificates of compliance
The CNSC increased its annual payment to CSA by 2,566.63% between 2007-11, during the years of the Bruce Power nuclear restart
Bruce Power paid an additional $440,168 to CSA during 2011
OPG paid an identical amount, $440,168, to CSA during the same year
Bruce Power also “sponsors” the CSA’s Annual General Meetings
The CNSC is responsible for drafting nuclear regulations, yet it has outsourced its nuclear safety responsibilities to the CSA, an entity without any nuclear mandate or nuclear experience or subject matter expertise.
Ironically, the current CNSC motto is: “We Will Never Compromise Safety”
The laundering of nuclear regulations through CSA for liability protection is an “in-and-out” scandal
The payment of money to CSA in trade for liability protection qualifies as a protections racket
Charging fees to verify compliance makes compliance verification a profit center. More compliance means more profit. More profit breeds more regulations. In this, a financial incentive is created to perpetually increase nuclear regulations without regard to actual safety or practical need.
Offices and Locations
The CSA maintains 36 offices around the world. Certain CSA offices were acquired when CSA purchased international companies. The CSA is a domestic electrical regulator, why it has more than a single Canadian office, and why it is allowed to own international companies, is a mystery. Of the offices that CSA directly established, most are located near golf courses and other recreational areas.
The purported rationale for CSA’s international offices is product standardization, i.e.: the promotion of CSA certification of foreign manufactured products
The goals of product standardization and the necessity of CSA certification were accomplished prior to 1975, before CSA’s international offices were established
In the age of digital file transfer, design group Autocad, and video conferencing, there is no justification for multiple international offices, especially given that the standardization being sought was accomplished in the age of telephone, telex and mail service
The CSA claims that their offices are required for certifying foreign manufacturing processes, yet their offices are rarely located near manufacturing. Rather, they are located near recreation centers;
- CSA’s Chicago office is more than a half-hour drive, at interstate speeds, from the nearest industrial parks, and nearly three-quarters of an hour from the Southside industrial area. Yet their office is adjacent to the Hinsdale Golf Club and is 6 minutes from 5 golf resorts. In all, there are 15 golf courses within 15 minutes of their office.
- CSA’s Tennessee office is a half-hour drive from Nashville, the closest business location. There are no major centers of manufacturing in Tennessee. CSA’s Tennessee office is located beside the Bluegrass Yacht and Country Club, officially 45 seconds from CSA’s front door (via Google).
- CSA’s New Mexico office is a half-hour drive from the nearest industrial park but a championship golf course is located 3.5 miles from their door.
- CSA’s Korean office is located on the most expensive street of the most expensive district of the most expensive city in the Korean peninsula, its in the shopping district of Gangnam (famous for Psy’s “Gangnam Style” send-up of the area’s opulence during 2012). The center of Korean manufacturing is in the south of the country, more than two hours away.
- CSA also has 3 offices each in both the United Kingdom and Germany
There is no mechanism for correcting these abuses by this federal regulator
A federal regulator with a purely domestic mandate does not require international offices.
In the modern era there is no need for a physical office to assess a foreign designed product.
There is no correlation between the stated purpose of these offices and their actual location.
The CSA appears to be using taxpayer dollars for their private interests.
The Standards Council of Canada (“CSS”) is the federal regulator responsible for the CSA. Actual oversight performance of the SCC has been negligible. Leadership of the SCC is drawn from the executive ranks of the CSA, blurring the distinction between the supervisor and the supervised. In practice, the SCC serves in the defense of CSA rather than in the policing of it.
In 2009, John Walter was appointed as CEO of the SCC by the Minister of Industry, Tony Clement
In 2013, John Walter was reappointed as CEO by the current Minister of Industry, James Moore
Prior to his SCC appointment, John Walter was VP of Standards Development at CSA
The SCC is notionally the consumers’ advocate in cases of abuses by CSA
The litany of CSA abuses is quite long, yet the SCC has taken no action against CSA
Even when CSA was caught running an 8 yr counterfeiting operation, the SCC took no action
In practice, the SCC is the defensive organ of the CSA
We are unaware of any instance of CEO, John Walters recusing himself on any CSA issue
In order to reduce the substantial conflicts of interest in the current situation, P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. (aka RestoreCSA) has submitted to the Industry Committee on 10 June 2013, a Proposal to Amend the Standards Council of Canada Act (R.S.C. 1985, c.S-16) to, among other items, restrict that “an Executive Director [of the SCC] may neither be appointed from the personnel of any body accredited by the Council, nor for a period of ten years prior to appointment have held any remunerated position at any body accredited by the Council.”
The CSA has been approaching companies for payment of money in exchange for assurances that the CSA will not impede their operations. In most cases, the CSA advises the targeted company that refusal to pay will result in loss of influence in regulatory committees, loss of access to contracts, and a series of expensive harassing lawsuits.
Assuming that private companies cannot own public law, then CSA’s demands for money in exchange for the right to read or comply with public law have no legitimacy
The CSA’s illegitimate demands for money typically require the payment of a percent of annual revenue and are referred to as royalty payments, licensing fees, certification and insurance fees
The CSA handles these payment demands by emphasizing the small percentage of revenue involved and stressing the much larger expenses which CSA will deliver for refusing payment
Usually, the CSA will predict a large, specific cost to the targeted company as a threat to comply
RestoreCSA has been made aware of companies whose representatives have been expelled from their own industry committees for being insufficiently enthusiastic about CSA contract terms
The CSA is dominantly influential in Canada’s trade schools and, through the drafting of electrical law, with Canada’s electrical inspectors, therefore;
Refusing CSA demands jeopardizes one’s training, apprenticeship, contracts, networking, and increases the likelihood of rejection of one’s work by CSA aligned inspectors
P.S. Knight is routinely contacted by apprentice electricians who complain that they are compelled to buy CSA products at whatever prices CSA wishes to charge or they risk loosing their apprenticeships
The CSA has been afforded the power of government without the accountabilities of government.
Resisting CSA’s demand for protection payments is financially very risky for small companies
The CSA is perceived to have the support of the Federal Government, making the fight against the CSA a perceived fight against the Government
The perception that the government is in bed with CSA is strengthened by the unfortunate realty that the federal agencies that a small company would look to for help and justice are prevented from dealing with CSA due to mandate preclusions and various immunities granted to CSA by Industry Canada.
This unfortunate perception is further strengthened by CSA’s bragging in newspapers about having no limits to its reach, having nine-figure cash reserves to fight anyone, and being “a cash machine.” Rhetorically, if CSA can be so public about their conduct without risk of government intervention, then what chance has a small company got of successfully resisting their money demands.
Public Service Deficiencies
The CSA will only answer questions with one word answers and will take up to three years to furnish them. The CSA is a federally chartered regulatory entity reporting to the Minister of Industry, they clearly have a responsibility to provide a much higher level of public service.
The CSA develops over 1,900 electrical regulations, electrical engineering regulations and a host of other standards
As with all regulations, there will be anomalies and uncertainties with regard to interpretation, application and enforcement
The CSA demands that “requests for interpretation shall be submitted in writing to the Project Manager of the Committee on Part I in the form of a question that can be answered with a categoric ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”
The CSA does not furnish the name of the Project Manager or Committee or the contacts for either.
The CSA will not explain their answer or furnish rationale, even when the question is highly technical in nature or involves engineering calculations
The CSA will not even consider questions about their regulations covering hazardous locations, electrical grounding (etc)
The CSA will not respond to questions directly, instead they will publish their one word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers in their next publication, up to three years from the date of inquiry
In contrast to their treatment of Canadians, the CSA gives lucid, detailed answers regarding Canadian technical regulations to the citizens of Taiwan usually within 48hrs of the local submission of the question
Canadian tradespeople cannot benefit from CSA’s preferential treatment of Taiwanese citizens because the CSA Taiwan office will not furnish answers of a technical nature in English
One word answers are inadequate for highly technical matters and are an unacceptable level of service from a public regulatory entity
It is entirely impractical –and unreasonable- to demand that that contractor put an entire project on hold for three years to wait for CSA to provide a one word clarification to a regulatory anomaly
The CSA should not be providing better service to the citizens of foreign countries than to the Canadian citizens who pay for CSA in the first place.
As recently as 2012, the CSA has been providing direct and material influence over the drafting of Canadian law to a variety of foreign governments, foreign owned companies and to the citizens of foreign countries. In these actions, the CSA appears to be in violation of Section 46 of the Canadian Criminal Code.
National control of national law is one of the most basic tenets of national government
Unauthorized provision of influence or control over Canadian law to foreign powers appears to be a prima facie act of treason against the Crown
Whereas merely furnishing unauthorized influence appears to be sufficient to qualify such action as a Section 46 violation, the CSA actually traded influence to foreign powers in exchange for money. There is little room for ambiguous assessment in this context.
The CSA’s Canadian Electrical Code publication lists the memberships of each committee, including the foreign governments, foreign companies and foreign citizens who have paid to influence the drafting of legislation. Far from having to prove CSA actions, the CSA itself has published them.
CSA’s conduct in this regard is consistent over several decades.
On 15 August, 2013, P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. (aka RestoreCSA) formally requested that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada “issue a Legal Opinion on the applicability of Section 46 of the Criminal Code to the actions by the SCC entity CSA in respect of their practice of selling influence over Canadian law to foreign powers, in the event that neither the SCC nor CSA have received annual authorization to do so from the Department of Foreign Affairs.”
We believe that CSA’s conduct is actionable and we intend to pursue legal correction
In the context of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, (etc.), the importance of sovereignty is an increasingly relatable value and, for governments, an increasingly vital defensive basis.
Legal statues are nullified over time through disuse. This process can be accelerated through precedent when governments specifically decline to enforce existing legal statutes. Leaving CSA unaccountable for decades of flagrant, consistent, and willful violations of one of the most foundational laws in Canada would materially diminish the significance of that basic statute and thereby diminish the applicability and solidity of all statutes stemming therefrom.
On 15 August, 2013, P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. formally requested that the Office of the Treasury Board “conduct an investigation into the travel expenses of the SCC regulatory entity, the CSA.” The CSA is a domestic electrical regulatory entity, it should have negligible travel expenses. In 2013 however, the CSA spent over $1,300,000 on travel every month.
The CSA enjoys a monopoly position in the sales of access to, and control over, certain Canadian laws and standards
As tradespeople are required to comply with law, and as CSA is the only source of access, and as the CSA is charging for access to the law at rates of its own choosing, the CSA enjoys de-facto powers of taxation
The CSA revenues exceed a quarter billion dollars per year
The CSA spends over $16MM per year on travel (>$1.3MM per month)
For perspective, with CSA’s travel budget one could afford;
- Return airfare for Toronto – Chicago 54,848 times per year
- Return airfare for Toronto – Vancouver 116 times per day, every business day for a year
- Return airfare for Toronto – Montreal 68,198 times per year
- Return airfare for Toronto – Ottawa 12 times per hour, 24 hours per day, every business day for a full year
Treasury has been asked to “verify the reported $16.467MM travel expense figure, ascertain the actual regulatory requirement for such travel expenses, and require a detailed summary of CSA travel expenses by individual trip with breakdown by expense item and rationale for authorization.”
We consider it highly suspect that a domestic regulatory entity is generating expense claims on this scale.
We consider it highly inappropriate that a domestic regulatory entity with a very small mandate is taking over a quarter billion dollars from taxpayers every year.
US Control of CDN Law
The CSA has given operational control of various aspects of Canadian law to the American Government and to various quasi-governmental entities under the jurisdiction of the American Government.
CSA’s sales of access to Canadian law is managed through the “CSA International” division (that is, the CSA considers the Canadian people as foreigners) and run from an office in the State of Ohio
Canadians wishing to read certain Canadian laws have to request permission from Cleveland, OH
Canadian companies wishing to access a wide variety of Canadian legal regulations have to negotiate in the United States, and pay money to the United States, to do so
CSA’s Cleveland office also controls Canada’s licensing of Canadian law
The CSA pays US companies for the right to use US standards and regulations, which are then rebranded as CSA regulations
The source of US regulations retains the contracted authority to rescind CSA access under certain conditions (thereby giving the US the power to rescind Canadian law at US discretion)
Likewise, these US entities can alter / amend Canadian law without permission
The CSA pays millions of dollars per year to the US for permission to use US regulations as Canadian branded regulations
The CSA charges Canadian taxpayers to acquire the money needed to pay the US for the use of their laws
Effectively then, the CSA is taxing Canadians to fund the US Government
National laws are necessarily sovereign. Notwithstanding the present circumstance, once Parliament or Provincial legislatures have passed a regulation into law then that new law cannot be owned privately or owned by a foreign country.
If ever there was an absurdity in relations between Canada and the United States, this is it.