LETTER: Government leaders need to address dirty money issue

Tom Fletcher’s column, Money-laundering melodrama made for TV, is a sad example of the indifference of some of the media to the multi-faceted harm of the money-laundering industry in B.C., and Canada.

However, there is one positive conclusion from reading Fletcher’s cynical trivializing of this crime against humanity. Money-laundering and its links to sex-trafficking, growing drug abuse, surging house prices and the sale of obscenely expensive luxury cars as well as gradual erosion of our democratic electoral system demands an independent public inquiry with associated powers of subpoena of key financial and political actors in B.C. over the past decade.

READ ALSO: Hot cars hide dirty money, B.C. organized crime investigation shows

Fletcher criticizes current B.C. government leaders and associated experts on money-laundering such as Dr. Peter German – an ex-senior RCMP expert in this field – who wrote two reports on the dirty money and the links with real estate, auto retailers and casino and B.C. government leaders because they did not have definitive, final figures on the magnitude and scope or financial or human cost of this evil enterprise.

READ ALSO: B.C. post-secondary schools told to halt cash tuition payments to combat money laundering

We do know now, however, that multi-million-dollar homes and luxury autos were paid for in cash. We do know that the auto dealers and real estate companies were – according to Elections BC – key contributors to the BC Liberals. We also know from the same source that so-called numbered companies – with anonymous owners – contributed annually to the Liberals. We also know that whistleblowers in the gaming and government agencies are willing to speak to a public inquiry.

German has also revealed just how unprepared and understaffed the RCMP and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) really is to deal with organized crime with links to China, Mexico and possibly international banking. The federal government has not provided leadership on this nationwide criminal practice but the least they can do is begin to provide B.C. Attorney General Eby with up-to-date data.

Fletcher mocks current government leaders because they refer to estimates. In fact the unwillingness of current leaders to pretend to know all about this criminal activity and only provide informed estimates is exactly why we need a powerful light shone upon the underworld and political critters that will attempt to skitter away rather than take accountability.

Fletcher’s article is timely because I hope it causes active citizens to demand that the leaders of the federal political parties – and all candidates – address this serious issue in the coming federal election.

The safety and protection of Canadians is the first task of our federal government – and it is high time for a new federal government to begin to seriously address this massive threat of organized crime.

Ronald Faris

Saanich

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