Justice

Needed action on money laundering

Georgia Straight’s Charlie Smith notes that imperfect provincial legislation encourages corruption in British Columbia. His comments are in the February 10 article, Another media barrage about money laundering in BC:

…in the blizzard of Canadian media coverage about money laundering in B.C., there’s been little exploration of the legislative framework that enables this crime to flourish.

Here in B.C., for example, the 
Business Corporations Act makes it easy to hide the beneficial ownership of companies.

Section 49 of the act renders it impossible for the public or the media to visit a company’s records office to obtain a list of shareholders.

That wasn’t the case in the 1990s.

But this changed when Gordon Campbell’s first B.C. Liberal government overhauled the old Company Act in 2002 to encourage more investment and more secrecy.

The Campbell Government’s plan for additional secrecy was kept secret from voters the year before. The 2001 Liberal platform document promised they would “deliver real transparent, accountable government.

Of course, Gordon Campbell’s 2001 platform also promised this:

You shouldn’t have to pay higher than necessary electricity or auto insurance rates, because government wants to play politics with BC Hydro or ICBC. You should be confident that government will protect your interests.

Charlie Smith quotes Transparency International Canada:

There is an even greater degree of anonymity for beneficial owners of trusts than for beneficial owners of companies. A trust’s existence does not need to be acknowledged by a government authority, and trust documents are entirely private.

The private nature of trust instruments, the fiduciary obligation of trustees to maintain confidentiality, and the absence of any record-keeping requirements combine to make trusts highly vulnerable to money laundering, according to a recent risk assessment by the Canadian government.

In its short life, the Horgan government has made no change to the law that replaced the old Company Act. Quoting Charlie Smith again:

NDP finance minister Carole James and NDP attorney general David Eby have not amended the Business Corporations Act to spread more sunshine…

I expect the NDP will alter noted legislation after it has consulted with affected parties and examined the consequences. This takes time and there are many bills to amend laws under consideration.

However, Georgia Straight editor Smith correctly identifies changes that must be a priority if we are to address money laundering and associated behaviour by groups operating outside legitimate society.

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15 replies »

  1. Changes to the Law?

    Somewhat pointless when the next govt can change it to render it toothless..

    It never ceases to amaze me the endless 3 card monty that govts play with “Laws”

    They get in power and ram through an Omnibus Bill so massive…. and with so many legal changes… no one can follow their scope and breadth.

    Thus we get Laws enacted solely focused on helping political contributors.
    “I donated $1 million to your political campaign, see what you can do about that pesky Law on environmental clean up…”

    Or the new version of donating money to skirt the contribution limit laws.

    “I donated 50 of my employees to work as volunteers on your campaign, see what you can do about that pesky Law.”

    Politics is …..rotten……to…..the…..core.

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  2. One has to wonder what was the Liberal’s end-game in running this Province into the ground? They seemed to be in cahoots with everything that is bent/corrupt and or just bad business practices. They couldn’t build anything, a highway, bridge, dams (IPP’s or Site C) or run a gaming commission, Crown Corporations without *ucking-up. Yeah, I can understand the Liberal boneheads at the bottom of the pile are a bunch of their Mummy’s little-screw-ups (don’t worry; the NDP has their fairshare of them too). They put certain people into postion who are good at taking orders. It’s the liberals at the top, who make all the decisions, who did they get their orders from? Who is/was the Great Decider? Does the book ‘Confessions of an economic hit-man’ apply?

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  3. The photo of Gordon Campbell could have many applicable captions:

    Sylvester the cat saying, “No, Tweetie Bird is not in my mouth.”

    “I had nothing to do with the sale of BC Rail.”

    “I wasn’t informed about the plan to switch to the HST just after I was re-elected.”

    “Honestly dear, how can you say that I was drunk driving and that woman was a prostitute? I hadn’t drunk anything more the than usual and she was just a friend I met in the bar. She just escorted back to my room, Honest!”

    “There will be no new casinos while I am Premier and you can bet on that!”

    “I will not have dirty money in BC. Send it out with the laundry!”

    “Stephen Harper just dropped by. I’m the new Ambassador to England. They need me! … Good riddance, BC!”

    “Close the pubs on Election Day but the Cannabis Shops are to remain open.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All this corruption Federally and Provincial doesn’t exist in a vacuum; so, that means it’s by design? We would be wise to remember Ad Scam, In and Out Scam in addition to all the provincial ones. Is Provincial dirty money being funnelled to the Federal Parties? That new bill disallowing corporate etc donations looks pretty, but is it being used to deflect?

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  5. I have lost confidence in Horgan and Eby, thet have become Photo-op Lite.

    The NDP have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.

    A sad reflection on a political party that should have took a broom to BC first and not rewarding politcal friends.

    As I have said over and over, who the hell is Horgan protecting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who is Horgan protecting?

      The people, unions and corporations contributing millions to his re-election.

      Site C?
      Thousands of union jobs and Billions in corporate profits.

      Who cares if we actually need , or can afford, this white elephant…..its about money sloshing back and forth between who ever is in power and who ever got them there.

      Liberal….NDP…..Pfffft.
      Mere labels on a morally bankrupt political system….

      As Jack Nicholson so famously said when he was the Joker in Batman, ” This town needs an enema!”

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  6. Given what happened after the Corporation Act was altered, one could not be faulted for thinking el gordo may have made the changes just to accommodate all that was going to take place in this province.

    WE NEED AN INQUIRY INTO IT ALL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Until I hear the Political Parties are serious about revamping this act to do just what Gordon Campbell said he’d do as stated above, I’m assuming it will never happen.
    A company bidding on public contracts has no requirement to tell you who they are. Amazing corruption. If you want to see the social sophistication of what real modern crooks look like, you only need to take in the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia. Watch the documentary on Al Jazeeera about what happened.
    Perhaps local politicians will be observing how good they were socially, and perhaps will ask how is our social credibility? How can we be different, otherwise we’ll look like them!
    Just hoping this spurs an intiative to reveal all with an inquiry.
    The fact this legislation has gone on since 2002 doesn’t inspire any hope.
    We knew thay weren’t doing anything , and now we know the what of it.

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  8. We definitely need a hard core public/corruption inquiry. Our politicians must be brought down to the level they are supposed to be on. Our level. The slobs act like they own everything and can do what they want. That needs to change. We need to stop them through a mass shaming everywhere, just like the exposure that Rich Coleman got when he tried to become Surrey Mayor. They have to be stopped otherwise these pigs will wreck everything we hold dear in this country.

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    • It’s sick. They shouldn’t get a penny. Or a nickel, i forgot they don’t make pennies anymore. The only thing some should get is time in jail and or do community work.

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      • I have a coffee can full of pennies I could donate to buy the Millstone we could put around a few of these politician’s necks before tossing them in the Site C reservoir after its filled……..

        But, on second thought, its a shame to waste valueless pennies on something like that.

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  9. It appears the NDP have found a quick fix to fill their next election coffers. It is the Speculation Income Property Tax form. There will be a List of problems for nonEnglish speaking, seniors, those with disabilities or in hospital. If they do not fill out the form by March 31, 2019 – there will be an additional $2000 to $5000 on their property taxes (with interest). You will get your money cheerfully refunded in 6 years if the government has errored.

    Ex Premier Gordon Campbell has been accused of fondling a woman in 2013 as Canada’s Ambassador to England. Apparently, he slid his hand up her skirt and fondled her behind.
    If he is guilty, he should have his day in Court and should receive penalties. He already had his way with the BC taxpayers … much better for him than it was for us.

    So, if anyone feels a hand on their backside before March 31st, it will be the Government searching for your purse, wallet or family jewels.
    I

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