On 12 June, an article from MacLeans (described as Canada’s premier current affairs magazine) says that Canada’s housing markets are rife with shadowy buyers and greasy cash, and that the scandal in British Columbia was just the beginning. It refers to 2 reports on money laundering in the province that sought to estimate the scale of its dirty money problem, and detail how it tightened its grip on the housing market and other industries. It is said that an expert panel has “conservatively” estimated in its report that $46.7 billion was laundered in Canada last year. The report also found that Alberta and Ontario have even higher levels of money laundering activity than British Columbia, and the chair of the panel, acknowledges the limitations of any model to put a dollar ﬁgure on a crime that by its nature lurks in the shadows, butr says that the report should be a wake-up call for other provinces, and that, “it’s clear that this is a problem facing all of Canada”. The article asks how bad is Canada at stopping money launderers, and a member of Transparency International’s Canada working group on AML and beneﬁcial ownership transparency says it a 99.9% failure rate – adding that the most important thing Canada can do to improve its performance is to adopt a national registry of who owns what residential property.
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