Thursday, October 29, 2020

B.C. says its money-laundering reforms could push dirty money to Toronto

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British Columbia’s finance minister says that province’s transparent land registry will push dirty money to real estate markets in other parts of Canada and Toronto’s at risk.

“If you’re a money launderer, provincial lines don’t matter,” Carole James told the Star in an interview Thursday. “Money launderers don’t look at borders, they look for opportunities.”

“If one province puts something in place and the other provinces don’t … it provides an opportunity,” she said.

B.C. is in the process of implementing Canada’s most transparent land registry as part of a wide-ranging effort to tackle its housing affordability crisis.

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Across Canada, criminals have been able to buy property with dirty money by masking their identities behind numbered companies, and this has helped drive up real estate prices, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

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