Attorney General David Eby says he’s worried about how far-reaching the investigation into corruption at the RCMP is, considering ongoing concerns about money laundering in British Columbia.
“Obviously these are very early days, so I don’t want to speculate about what may or may not be involved in this,” he says. “But any time you have an allegation of corruption within senior levels of the federal police department, the same police department that is supposed to be investigating trans-national crime – I think, for a lot of people, it makes us wonder exactly what’s going on.”
A sensitive-investigations team looked for months into possible leaks before the arrest last week of 47-year-old Cameron Ortis. He now faces charges under the Security of Information Act as well as two Criminal Code provisions for allegedly trying to disclose classified material to a foreign entity or terrorist group.
Ortis, who is from Abbotsford, was the director-general of the National Security Coordination Centre before his arrest.
Eby has repeatedly said the RCMP isn’t using enough resources in B.C. to kill the flow of drug money in local casinos, real estate and luxury car sales, and is worried the investigation could have some connection to Ortis’ arrest.
“Most British Columbians are concerned about the state of federal law enforcement in our province, as it relates to money laundering and trans-national crime. If they’re not, then they haven’t been hearing the stories about the lack of police officers dedicated to that issue,” he says.
A report released earlier this year by Peter German, a former deputy commissioner with the RCMP, confirmed no federal officers are dedicated to fighting money laundering in B.C.
“I know going into a federal election, I was certain that the federal government was going to allocate some additional policing resources to B.C.,” Eby says. “It just never happened, so when we hear troubling news about allegations of corruption at the highest levels of the RCMP, it definitely raises a lot of questions – certainly for me and, I imagine, for most British Columbians.”