Roger L. Simon

"Salmon-Fishing" in Canada

Who says life doesn’t follow art? It may turn out that those South Park guys weren’t just funning when they wrote the hilarious “Blame Canada!” The UN’s Grand Inquisitor himself, Paul Volcker, has apparently been on the board of Canada’s Power Corporation, one of the bigger companies at the heart of the OFF scandal because its past president is tainted Canadian tycoon Maurice Strong.

According to this Benny Avni article in this morning’s NY Sun – Avni, btw, has been doing some of the best reporting on “Oil-for-Food” – the connection of our brothers and sisters to the North to this mess may be total – well, maybe not Total, as in Elf.

Mr. Volcker’s involvement with the Montreal-based Power Corporation, which in the past he had described as limited to social “salmon-fishing” with board members, could become a source of contention, as Mr. Park’s investment in Cordex may link Mr. Strong to the oil-for-food scandal. And according to official documents seen by The New York Sun, at least one other former official of Power Corporation, William Turner, invested in Cordex, a now-bankrupt energy company.

What or who is Cordex, you might ask?

Yesterday, Mr. Strong acknowledged that Tongsun Park, the Korean accused by federal authorities of illegally acting as an Iraqi agent, in 1997 invested in Cordex, a Denver-based company owned by Mr. Strong and his son, Fred. Mr. Strong has voluntarily stepped down from his U.N. position as adviser to Mr. Annan on Korean affairs for the duration of the investigation.

One of the allegations in last Thursday’s federal criminal complaint was that in 1997 or 1998, Mr. Park invested $1 million obtained from Saddam Hussein’s regime in a Canadian company that was established by the son of a U.N. official, who was a target for bribery. The company later went under, according to the complaint.

In his first public interview since last week’s complaint against Mr. Park, Mr. Strong yesterday told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper that in 1997, Mr. Park invested in Cordex, which counts both Mr. Strong and his son Fred as members of its board. The company went bankrupt two years after Mr. Park’s investment.

The UN seems to have an affinity for father-son operations, just as it does things Canadian. [Does this mean you won’t be skiing in Whistler Mountain anymore?-ed. Hell, no. I’m as corrupt as the next man.] Meanwhile, after yesterday’s resignations, Nile Gardiner has had enough.

UPDATE: Of course, when it comes to the details, Wretchard has the NYSun beat.