• January 5, 2016


I bet Canadian citizens will not have been raising a glass over the festive season to the good news that John Aspden has acquired himself a New Years honour courtesy of ‘Elizabrit’ Windsor.

John of course is the former Chief Executive of the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) and was in post at the FSC when all that ‘tax planning’ was being undertaken several years ago on behalf of Canadian clients by KPMG Canada. The Canadian Revenue authorities allege this cost Canada many millions in lost revenue.

Eventually, because someone always has to stop the fun, a TV crew from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) senior investigations unit turned up in Mann and found empty officers and uncooperative witnesses indeed the only amusing item during their programme, subsequently aired prime time in Canada, was a picture of the Speaker of the Keys complete with pantomime dress on Tynwald Day trying to say what a wonderfully ‘clean financial bill of health’ the Island had these days.

You will find some video footage of the antics with background at this link:


Now we at the Celtic League were a bit like the ‘kill-joys’ at CBC especially when we heard some weeks later that Canadian tax authorities were trying to do a deal with KPMG Canada to settle the matter out of court. Indeed we were so annoyed we wrote to the Canadian High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, expressing concerns (see link):


Guess what? He didn’t answer.

However all the pics we had seen on Gordon seemed to indicate he was a pleasant guy so not put of by his rude behavior we wrote again before Xmas – enclosing a Xmas card and telling him not to be so rude (see link):


It worked and just between Xmas and New Years – almost like notification of a New Years honour – a vellum envelope dropped on the mat from the High Commissioners.

It said he could not comment on an ongoing court case, but acknowledged our concerns and said the letter had been ‘recorded’. Oh, and wished us all the best!

Perhaps we’ll write again in due course after court proceedings are concluded because we are not at all happy these allegations of misuse of Manx institutions for what CBC kept calling a ‘Tax sham’.

Which brings us back to John Aspden and the FSC what did they know. More importantly if they knew anything what did the FCU do? Will we ever know? Don’t hold your breath!

Photograph: Gordon Campbell High Commissioners of Canada – London.

Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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