That's an excellent question.
I would reiterate that yes, in our view, there are certainly things that the Canadian government can do. A large part is around some of the points we have already raised. It's around administration. It's around guidance. We don't find significant or material flaws in the legislation itself; it's just in support around that legislation, be it a consolidation of lists or being able to provide guidance on interpretation. That could help alleviate some of those issues.
Quite frankly, if there were an outlet, an ability for us to approach the government in those instances, to say we're not exactly sure with respect to these students and these new sanctions that came into force at that time—if we had that opportunity to have a dialogue with somebody in the government to allay those fears, etc., I'm sure it would not have had the same kind of consequence.
With respect to international sanctions, yes, there are concerns. Quite frankly, you raised Iran as an example. Although Canada has lessened the general sanctions regime against Iran, the United States, for the most part, hasn't, so we still have to be very concerned about any transactions that might be done in U.S. dollars. Some of the banks may have had or may continue to have restrictions on the ability to open up U.S. dollar accounts. Why? It's because U.S. dollar items need to clear through a U.S. correspondent bank, and they have to be concerned about the implication of sanctions.
Our belief—and we've made this clear in our position—is that the government could do more in supporting administration and infrastructure. If you were to look at Australia, you would see it is a good example of a jurisdiction where they do outreach. The government actually has a national road show twice a year. They meet with companies and industry to give guidance on sanctions. They actually attend conferences.
I've been to four international conferences in the last two years. There were two in Toronto, one in Washington, and one in New York, and they were organized by the American Conference Institute. I know directly, because I've spoken at each one of these conferences. They've asked me, “Who would you like to see attend from the Canadian government, as a Canadian representative, in addition to lawyers?” I said to each one of them, “Please invite Global Affairs Canada.” They've been invited four times. They have not appeared at any of these conferences.
It's not just Canadians who are participating, but the international community. You have lawyers. You have banks. They want to hear what the position is on Canadian sanctions.