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

Fernie SAR responds to two calls this weekend

The calls reported an injured mountain biker and an abandoned kayak

The Fernie Academy hosts virtual art show

The school’s annual Mother’s Day Art Show went online through The Arts Station

Funding available for Elk Valley charities coping with COVID-19

Almost $110,000 is set aside to be distributed by the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies

Elk Valley businesses reopen after months of closures

Opening with restrictions, local services keep health and safety a priority

Mental health and COVID-19: going forward

Dr. Tyla Charbonneau offers some mental health advice for moving into our new normal

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

The minimum wage jumps by 75 cents to $14.60 an hour on Monday

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

WorkBC programs help remedy pandemic employment woes

The WorkBC Centre Fernie is offering a host of programs to help employers and employees

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Most Read