Large cash purchases, ‘lifestyle audits’ to fight money laundering gain support in B.C.

Angus Reid Institute found that a majority of Canadians support anti-money laundering initiatives

It appears that Canadians in every region of the country believe money laundering is a major problem in their province, according to a new survey, but many are indecisive on just how much action should be taken.

Sixty per cent of the 1,500 polled in an Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, said they support a nationwide ban on cash purchases over $10,000. Among B.C. respondents, 75 per cent supported the initiative.

Fifty-five per cent said they support lifestyle audits, where governments investigate individuals who “seem to be living far beyond their means: based on their income level and purchases. In B.C., that support increases to 62 per cent.

ALSO READ: RCMP says its stretched thin on B.C. money laundering

Revelations that an RCMP official charged with breaching a Canadian official secrets law was overseeing a Russian money-laundering probe are refocusing national attention on Canada’s role in international money laundering networks.

In B.C., an expert panel estimated in May that the amount of money laundered through the Canadian economy may approach $50 billion, with some experts suggesting that number is conservative.

Since the inquiry some recommendations have been put into action, including universities banning tuition payed fully in cash. The City of Vancouver also no longer accepts any types of cash payments above $10,000.

READ MORE: B.C. estimates $7 billion laundered in 2018, $5 billion in real estate

More than 70 per cent of residents outside of B.C. say their own province should also complete an inquiry of its own.

The federal election campaign has not yet put a focus on anti-money laundering initiatives, but the survey shows a considerable appetite for whichever party is elected in October to pursue the matter more.

The 2019 federal budget proposed several anti-money laundering initiatives, with investments of approximately $200 million over five years as well as additional funding. However, nearly half of those surveyed said they’re dissatisfied with federal government efforts.

One initiative, to get rid of the $50 and $100 bill, remains firmed opposed, despite some experts suggesting that discontinuing large bills would hamper money laundering operations. In B.C., 15 per cent of respondents said the $100 bill should be discontinued, while four per cent supported nixing the $50 bill.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

WATCH: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Most Read