Allard Prize takes a pass on Edward Snowden, but Glenn Greenwald gives keynote at 2017 prize ceremony

Controversial whistleblower and fugitive from the USA Edward Snowden was apparently nominated but passed over for the 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

This little gem of information appears in Corporate Crime Reporter’s new article The Allard Prize and The Case for Public Integrity. (Excellent article – worth your time.)

Editor Russell Mokhiber of the Washington, D.C.-based weekly magazine also pointed out that so far, the Allard Prize committee “has a bias in favor of anti-corruption fighters in the Third World.”

Although founder Peter A. Allard has often spoken publicly about the problem of corruption in North America and the developed world, the awards committee are now “ten for ten focusing on corruption outside Western corporate countries” according to Mokhiber – who is correct.

Edward Snowden: Whistleblower? Traitor? Both?

Snowden is a controversial figure who causes long discussions and heated arguments among my own family and friends – so I speculate that his nomination might not have been the source of tranquility and agreement at meetings of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board.

Interestingly, the journalist who broke the Snowden story, Glenn Greenwald, is giving the keynote speech at this year’s Allard Prize awards ceremony in Vancouver, BC on September 28, 2017.

But Snowden isn’t the core of Mokhiber’s story – which is that North American and European corporate crime and corruption doesn’t seem to have the attention of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board. Mokhiber interviewed Allard Prize Executive Director Nicole Barrett, who talked about how much more difficult it is to confront corruption in the more sophisticated frameworks and in more developed countries.

Barrett speaks the truth as evidenced by my own case where corrupt lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms provably lied to the courts to convict and imprison me for Contempt of Civil Court. Yet… not one Canadian judge allowed me to cross-examine the very lawyer-witnesses whose evidence the court relied upon to convict and sentence me in absentia – without representation in a secret hearing that I was unaware of.

Not one Canadian judge listened to my secretly-made voice recordings that prove the lawyers deliberately lied to the court.

In my case the courts allowed an unethical, cowardly and corrupt legal profession to undermine our Canadian justice system and the rule of law.

So yes, Allard Prize Executive Director Nicole Barrett has a point; fighting corruption is in many ways much more difficult in developed countries.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario

Disclosure: I was a guest at the 2015 Allard Prize award ceremony, and will be attending the 2017 award ceremony as one of several videographers creating short documentaries about the Allard Prize and this year’s finalists.



One comment

  • Yes Edward Snowden is a very controversial figure as he whistle blew on his employer who was the government of the USA. Is he a traitor? Not really. The government is not above the law even though they think they are. The government has to back up their activities with proof and Edward Snowden showed that the american people and others were being spied on illegally and as a result there were amendments to laws in America. Therefore if Edward Snowden forced changes to laws for the betterment of the American citizen then how could he be a traitor? A traitor is someone that sells secrets for profit endangering peoples lives. Edward Snowden just confirmed what many people already knew. Thats not a traitor as defined in the dictionary. Edward Snowden was paid to do a job and he did it competently but when he realized that there things being done that were not right then he outed it. If Edward Snowden outed a traitor selling government secrets for monetary gain he would be a hero. Edward Snowden was a hero for the little guy. That is why he is such a controversial figure. His employer did not like the public expose but the little guy did. Many public officials agreed with Edward Snowden as well.

    Would Edward Snowden deserve the Allard Prize. You bet he does. He whistle blew for not only the american public but for international integrity. He exposed stuff that tests the international integrity of many nations. Integrity to their people and their human rights. I believe that if you were to exclude Edward Snowden from being a recipient of an international award for integrity because he is controversial that its defeating the whole purpose of such an award. I hope this is not the case. A true whistle blower takes no sides. They have no political motivation whatsoever. They expose in order to make changes for the average citizen. They dont do so for monetary rewards and in most cases they suffer dearly for the price of whistle blowing.