Monday, January 18, 2021

Canada: PM Justin Trudeau won’t commit to timeline for anti-money laundering resources coming to B.C.

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The prime minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to specify whether federal resources to combat money-laundering will be sent to B.C. before the election period begins.

NEWS 1130 tried to get clarification from the federal leader during a stop in Surrey Thursday afternoon.

The federal government has pledged to contribute cash and resources to tackle B.C.’s multi-billion dollar money laundering problem.

So, NEWS 1130 asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau if that money is going to get here before the election is called, Parliament is dissolved, and government spending is put on hold.

“[Organized Crime Reduction] Minister [Bill] Blair has been engaged closely with his counterparts here in B.C. in ensuring that we are continuing to fight against the extraordinarily serious problem of money laundering,” Trudeau responded. “We know that there is a significant partership that we can do and we are doing between the federal and provincial government, and we are ensuring that that money gets here on time.”

When asked again if the money will arrive before the election period begins, the prime minister was unclear in his response.

Related: Canada’s ethics watchdog finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated ethics law in SNC-Lavalin case

“We’re continuing to ensure that the needed support gets here on time,” Trudeau said.

This follows Wednesday’s comments from B.C. Attorney General David Eby, who said the federal government should let the province and know if it’s on its own in dealing with this issue.

He said it’s been months since he raised the alarm about the extent of money laundering in B.C., but he hasn’t seen any resources or money coming from the federal government.

“It’s their responsibility, and to know that we’ve gone so long without any announcement of even one that I am aware of — additional police officer at the federal level working on this issue– is disturbing, and I think time is running out for them to take that action,” he says.

In May, B.C. unveiled two investigations into money laundering that found more than $7 billion in dirty money had been laundered in the province.

An public inquiry is set to begin this Fall.

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