Mayor and council will vote on a motion supporting a public inquiry into money laundering on Thursday. (File photo)

Victoria City Councillors call for further investigation into money laundering

A motion coming to council supports a public inquiry into investments linked to the opioid crisis

Victoria councillors are advocating for a public inquiry into money laundering in relation to the opioid crisis.

A motion being put forward by Coun. Laurel Collins and Coun. Sarah Potts is asking the city to join along with the City of Richmond and the City of Vancouver in a call for further investigations into links between organized crime, real estate and the opioid crisis.

These investigations come after the 2018 report put forward by former RCMP officer Peter German, which found significant links between B.C. casinos, organized crime, and the illicit sale of opioids.

READ MORE: Victoria wants more information on money laundering prevention in casinos

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“This is clearly an issue that is top of mind for the people of Victoria. We were elected to council to take action on the affordability and overdose crisis. The people deserve answers, and only a public inquiry with the power to compel testimony would give us that,” said Coun. Laurel Collins in a statement.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria reaches impasse on hosting a casino, votes to never reply to BCLC

Organized crime rings are also being linked to the real estate market, driving housing costs.

“Public trust has been badly damaged by allegations of money laundering in the province. It is also quite likely that hundreds of people are dead as a direct result of unprecedented criminal activity,” said Potts. “British Columbia needs a public inquiry, modelled on the Quebec Charbonneau Commission to rebuild faith in our institutions and to protect the people of this city from this ever happening again.”

The motion will be presented to the Committee of the Whole on Thursday.

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