MLA Column: Calling for a public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia

Adam Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

On Feb. 26, I and my BC Green Caucus colleagues, called for a full independent public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia.

The call came after two weeks of questions in Question Period on the deeply troubling connections in our casinos, real estate market, luxury cars, horse racing, drug cartels and opioid crisis.

Our Attorney General, David Eby, clearly has a handle on this file. With Dr. Peter German’s first report opening a crack in the door, and two further reports to come by the end of March, the investigation is well underway.

READ ALSO: B.C. moves closer to money laundering public inquiry; feds vow ‘crack down’

The constant flow of allegations in the media is really disturbing. It is shocking that this situation has gotten so out of hand.

When I asked Minister Eby about money-laundering in Question Period he responded,

“But even more serious than that is when you look at cases like PacNet. PacNet is a firm that was alleged to be involved in laundering the proceeds of lottery schemes in the United States, cheques from seniors written out to various scams and sent up, actually, to Vancouver, allegedly, to be processed. It’s listed as one of the top five transnational criminal organizations in the world by the Obama administration. They were actually getting tax credits from Advantage B.C.”

READ ALSO: B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

These are really explosive allegations. A provincial government entity handing out tax credits to a known transnational criminal organization. That is about as bad as it gets. It’s outrageous.

So, we did not jump on this call quickly. We did our work in the Legislature and came to the conclusion that more needs to be done.

Time for a public inquiry.

I am confident that Minister Eby will continue to push investigations to root out the criminal activity wherever it is.

But, we need an independent public inquiry to look at the systemic issues. Somehow our institutions allowed this rot to grow. We need to make sure it does not happen again.

Confidence in government and our institutions is shaken.

So, we must act to rebuild trust.

Adam Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

Just Posted

The rock is no more for Oak Bay ‘Sea Lore’

Council calls for change to controversial location proposed for art installation

Juan de Fuca curlers ‘reeling’ after learning rink will be replaced with dry floor

West Shore Parks & Recreation board says curling rinks not getting enough use

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read