The weakness of our laws is hurting the Canadian People.
Recent reports on how foreign criminals laundered billions of dollars using the BC real estate market – hurting Canadian Citizens by driving up prices – have brought new attention to an ongoing problem in Canada.
Simply put, our country is a haven for foreign criminals looking to stash their money.
And according to expert Kevin Comeau, that’s because Canada has stunningly weak money-laundering laws.
As noted in a BNN Bloomberg report, Comeau says Canada has among the weakest money-laundering laws in the developed world, which lets criminals launder their cash through mansions, and condos. He says, “it’s easy as pie. You can do it in about five minutes and you don’t have to disclose anything.”
The report points out that “International money launderers typically leave the properties vacant, driving up real estate prices and hollowing out neighbourhoods, said Garry Clement, former national director of the RCMP’s Proceeds of Crime Program. Renting the property out would involve a cheque or email transfer, which usually necessitates an account at a Canadian bank for the receiver and leaves them exposed to anti-money-laundering screens.”
A total of $47 billion was laundered in Canada last year alone.
Our weak money-laundering laws are hurting Canadian Citizens, making housing less affordable and turning our country into a playground and piggy bank for foreign criminals.
That is unacceptable.
There must be a tough crackdown, and there are some simple steps that can be taken, as Comeau explained:
“In a September report from the C.D. Howe Institute, he recommended tightening the regulatory regime with a publicly accessible registry of beneficial ownership and mandatory declarations of beneficial ownership, alongside meaningful sanctions for false declarations.”
This should be beyond partisanship. Everyone should be able to agree that Canada should benefit Canadians, not foreign criminals.