VICTORIA – The BC Liberal government chose to do nothing as allegations of dirty money in B.C.’s housing market grew stronger. They allowed the situation to get out of hand, and made people pay the price as housing became even more unavailable and unaffordable.
Today, the New Democrat government announced a two-pronged review to root out and crack down on avenues for money laundering in real estate and other sectors.
Here is a brief timeline looking at dirty money in B.C.’s real estate market, and the BC Liberal government’s refusal to take it seriously
FINTRAC audits 80 real estate firms in Vancouver and finds that 55 of them have “significant deficiencies” in the way that they report where and from whom money is coming from.
New Democrats ask the B.C. Liberal government why they have not done anything about money laundering in the housing market. Former finance minister Mike de Jong dismisses concerns, despite growing evidence, and simply says that the real estate market “continues to be very robust.”
An independent real estate advisory group releases a report on conduct and practices in the real estate industry in B.C. It makes several recommendations to the Real Estate Council, and to the B.C. Liberal government in order to curb suspicious transactions.
June 29, 2016:
John Horgan and the New Democrats call for a multi-agency task force to fight money laundering in the real estate market, and call on the B.C. Liberal government to embrace all of the recommendations made to them by the independent advisory group.
Nothing changes under the B.C. Liberals’ watch. The B.C. Liberals fail to act on recommendations. In the last two years, FINTRAC has conducted 130 examinations in B.C. 115 of these examinations came up with “significant” or “very significant deficiencies” in compliance.
The Globe and Mail publishes an exposé showing how individuals linked to drug crime were putting cash into Vancouver’s real estate market. In response, Attorney General David Eby reacts to money being laundered in B.C.’s housing market by committing to crackdown on dirty money.
Peter German releases scathing report on BC Liberals’ mishandling of money laundering in B.C. casinos and expresses serious concerns that dirty money was also infiltrating the real estate sector.
Dan Perrin presents review of real estate regulatory structure which finds the system put in place by the B.C. Liberals is dysfunctional, inefficient and vulnerable to money laundering.
“The B.C. Liberals didn’t care that hard-working families could no longer afford a home, and they didn’t care about the serious allegations of money laundering in the industry,” said Ravi Kahlon, New Democrat MLA for Delta North. “They only cared about padding their budget, and the money they were raking in at people’s expense from an out-of-control housing market.”