Feds launch probe into green investor

According to a recent probe, things aren’t all squeaky clean in the world of cleantech investing.  

What happened: Canada’s Auditor General is launching an investigation into Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the body that’s currently in charge of distributing $1 billion in federal funding into green investments, after a career-limiting third-party report. 

  • According to tapes provided by a whistleblower, the assistant deputy minister at Innovation told the group’s leadership the report outlines “outright incompetence.”

  • The probe led to the fund’s suspension last month, but the Auditor General is reportedly disappointed with the response to allegations of fund mismanagement.

Catch-up: The report found evidence that management and board members inappropriately used funds, and that executives had breached conflict-of-interest rules with companies they funded — concerns that were initially reported by internal whistleblowers. 

  • The allegation included concerns about $40 million in Covid relief funding that went to firms that already had financing from the STDC during the pandemic.

  • The whistleblower group also raised concerns about new funding streams that the SDTC created to, allegedly, circumvent its funding agreement with the feds. 

Why it matters: The feds have already been criticized for mismanaging COVID response funds, and as they continue to take heat for overspending, they could make an example out of the SDTC and bring the hammer down after the Auditor General’s investigation.—SB, LA