Before July 18, 2017, if British Columbia was not ruled by criminals, it was ruled by people who turned blind eyes to criminality.
Attorney General David Eby issued a statement that ought to be national news in Canada. It included these words:
…I am concerned our province under the last administration has gained an international reputation as a scofflaw. As a jurisdiction where the rules do not apply to white collar crime, fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering, where even if the rules do apply, enforcement is absent.
It is clear, in my opinion, that the previous administration was aware we had a serious and growing reputational issue. It is also clear to me that they evaluated the costs of cracking down on white collar crime, on fraud, on money laundering, and determined that the benefits of inaction outweighed the costs of action.
Because they did not take the actions required to address the issues we have.
It is hard for me not to speculate that some may gone further and seen a lax approach to money laundering, fraud, corporate transparency, land title registry transparency, as a competitive advantage, or a budgetary advantage, for the province.
…In 2009, the province’s integrated gambling policing team produced a report…
The report detailed links to extortion, prostitution, loan sharking and kidnapping, as well as links to various organized crime groups including the Hells Angels, Asian organized crime groups and Italian crime groups operating illegal gambling sites.
Reforms were proposed to address the identified need, and to improve the ability of the existing policing team in identifying and prosecuting offenders.
In response to this startling report from the police about the need to increase enforcement, the Province of BC, under the oversight of then Minister Responsible Rich Coleman, defunded the policing team, shutting it down…
There is a growing outrage among people in the lower mainland that their housing market has transitioned from one that is rationally connected to local incomes, to one that has no connection to local wages.
Reports released from distinguished economists like Richard Wozny and Tom Davidoff make inescapable arguments that taxable incomes reported to Revenue Canada have no connection to real estate values in Metro Vancouver until you get out to the distant suburbs of Vancouver.
The question that flows from this economic reality is quite simple. Where is the money coming from?
Groups like Transparency International Canada in their recent report, authored by Adam Ross, point out that we don’t even know who the actual owners are of almost half of Vancouver’s most expensive properties because of a lack of transparency in our land registry about beneficial ownership. Offshore and domestic trusts, numbered companies and stand-in owners like students and housewives obscure the source of funds in our real estate market.
Others have pointed out that for luxury and commercial properties, transfer taxes are avoided through a non-transparent transfer of trust benefit rather than a sale of the property itself. Such a transfer results in no change in ownership being registered in the public registry…
Considering Mr. Eby’s comments, we ought to abhor key players of the former government continuing to hold themselves out as people worthy of senior political positions in our province. In particular, Mike de Jong and Rich Coleman.
Coleman, demonstrating he has no regrets and no understanding of what he’s done to ordinary citizens, said in a recent interview,
B.C. Liberals had ‘pretty good’ record on housing.
Many property developers likely agree.
The homeless, most renters and first-time home buyers would have a different view of the last 16 years.