Canada Must Dramatically Toughen Money-Laundering Laws To Stop Foreign Criminals From Using Our Country As A Piggy Bank

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.

Spencer Fernando

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Ivan Hawkes
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Ivan Hawkes

Though I wouldn’t think it would be “common” knowledge, I suspect this has been happening for many years and was known of by a lot of people. Finally now it comes out enough to necessitate action. I just find it hard to believe it was only so recently discovered, with that many billions moving I’d expect it was more broadly realized but not brought up. I find it hard to believe the Canadian government, (RCMP, police, real estate boards, local government, taxation folks, etc. wouldn’t have smelled something somewhat foul in the air long before now.

Del
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Del

New Zealand bans real estate ownership by foreigners.

Beverley Campbell
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Why aren’t we hearing a single word from our Federal Police? What is wrong with the RCMP? Who has to ask them to point in this direction?

Aaron P Barrett
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Aaron P Barrett

The RCMP know, they’re looking the other way…

Major Tom
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$47 billion is the tip of the iceberg…..No action will be taken….just some noise…..Too many corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, police and judges are on the take……Untouchable!

Eddy Canuck
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I strenuously object to this idea – the problem of Money Laundering is an Enforcement issue that has been avoided for decades due to lack of will by politicians. To turn around and blame it on lack of rules is ridiculous. Canada was among the first G7 Nation to introduce FINTRAC in 1999 – well before the Americans who did so after 9/11. The issue of not uncovering the massive inflow of foriegn dirty cash has been a problem for decades in BC. It began when the Draft-dodger Hippies started Grow-ops in the interior in the 1970’s and 80’s. Everybody… Read more »

Clive
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Clive

Anywhere money moves in and our quickly attracts “dirty money”. Real estate flipping might be the big one, but not all home builders worry abut where the money comes from to build these homes. Second mortgage lenders, payday loan companies, “instant financing” on used cars and other financial businesses that prey on poor people are also good ways to launder money. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if SNC Lavalin and Bombardier, among others, were involved in money laundering. The global banks can’t do it without help. Let’s also not forget the “black ops” requirements of state sponsored organizations such… Read more »

A Sullivan
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A Sullivan

Is it the laws that are lax, or, are Canadians just pathetic and weak-willed? Why aren’t people out revolting in the street? Why aren’t they calling for a revolution of their government in BC? No, here in BC the city councils are STILL doing this. Tower after tower going up. More and more and more townhouses. On and on and on. What is wrong with Canadians that we allowed this? Why do we raise leaders who want to sell out their own people like this? Why don’t Canadians stand up and fight against corruption? Too hard they will say. It… Read more »

Brian MELLOR
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Brian MELLOR

What makes everyone think that illegal money laundering is limited to BC. Try Toronto or Ottawa or even little places like Picton,Ont.