On Wednesday, May 15th, the province announced that they will hold a public inquiry into money laundering that has “distorted British Columbia’s economy, fuelled the overdose crisis and driven up housing prices”.
The decision to hold a public inquiry comes after three independent reviews of BC’s real estate market.
The reviews highlighted the extraordinary levels of money laundering associated with the province’s real estate market and other sectors.
“From day one, our government has been working to tackle the housing crisis and fraud that went unchecked for over a decade, hurting people and B.C.’s economy,” said Premier John Horgan.
“We have taken decisive actions to combat money laundering, but questions remain and people in B.C. deserve answers. That is why we have decided to proceed with a public inquiry into money laundering in the Province of British Columbia”.
Public Inquiry Into Money Laundering
It was announced that B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin F. Cullen has been appointed to head the inquiry.
The inquiry will “look at the full scope of money laundering in British Columbia, including real estate, gaming, financial institutions and the corporate and professional sectors”.
In addition, Cullen will examine regulatory authorities and barriers to effective law enforcement of money laundering activities.
Just in 2018 alone, it’s estimated that $7 billion in dirty money was laundered in B.C., and as a result, drove up house prices.
The Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia will deliver an interim report within 18 months and a final report by May 2021.
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