Andrew Weaver and his caucus have called for an independent inquiry into money laundering within the province.
Andrew Weaver and the B.C. Green Caucus have added their voices to the growing chorus of British Columbians calling for a public inquiry into money laundering.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Green Party leader called for an inquiry “to remove the investigation from partisan influence, protect the public interest and restore public trust.”
Dirty money arrived at the forefront of B.C. politics last year, after a report by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force was leaked to the press. The international body, formed to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, highlighted B.C. in particular.
“The B.C. Green Caucus does not ask for this lightly,” Weaver said. “However, the financial impact money laundering has had — and that it continues to have — on the province is staggering: the federal Ministry of Finance estimates the problem at $1 billion annually.”
The Greens also pointed out the issue’s connection to the province’s housing affordability and opioid crises, and argued that an independent inquiry is the only way to get to the heart of the issue in a bipartisan manner, and do so with the sort of broad scope an investigation of this sort would require.
The Greens are not taking a particularly divisive stance on this issue. British Columbians overwhelmingly support the idea of an independent inquiry. A poll conducted last year by Ipsos Public Affairs found that 76 per cent of respondents were either strongly or somewhat in favour.
“An inquiry of this nature will take time, but so too did this money laundering scheme with evidence going back at least a decade,” said Weaver. “And the financial repercussions of a skyrocketing housing market and the devastating impacts the of opioid epidemic on the health and wellbeing of British Columbians will possibly span many years into the future.
“We owe it to ourselves and our children to investigate the links between money laundering, real estate, drug trafficking, and organized crime.”
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