We’re calling for an independent public inquiry into money laundering in BC, which we hope will look at the links between money laundering, organized crime networks, the real estate market and the opioid crisis.
Rather than laying blame, a public inquiry will help us understand the scope of the problem, what went wrong and how we can fix it to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
A public inquiry is a government-appointed commission that looks into matters of public interest. The commission’s job is to find facts, summarize them and make recommendations in a final report. It takes the process out of the hands of politicians for a proper independent review.
The inquiry could be modelled on the Charbonneau Commission, which looked into the awarding and management of public contracts in the construction industry in Quebec in 2011.
It is ultimately up to the government to implement the recommendations.
This inquiry will not only help British Columbians get the answers they deserve, but it is the first and necessary step to rebuild the public’s trust.
Money laundering has been going on for more than a decade under previous governments. That, coupled with the recent scandal in the legislature, had led to the erosion of public trust in our democratic institutions. That trust is incredibly important and something we need to start building again immediately.
It’s difficult to say at this point, but the costs to society from money laundering greatly outweigh the cost of an inquiry.
While the Charbonneau Commission had a much smaller scope than what we are facing, it is widely cited as a strong model for public inquiries to follow. That commission recouped more than double what it cost in repayment deals and savings. It also led to significant reforms in better governance.
It’s difficult to say at this point. A recent example of a public inquiry was the Charbonneau Commission, which began its work in October 2011, to look into potential corruption in the management of public construction contracts. The commission ran for four years, and resulted in significant reforms that led to better governance overall.
A public inquiry can exist side-by-side with criminal investigations. For example, the Charbonneau Commission worked alongside the police, who made 37 arrests. The commission only made recommendations on how to fix the problem.