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Attorney General hints law could force last government to hand over secret documents

Last Updated Aug 19, 2018 at 7:32 am PDT

FILE - Attorney General David Eby speaks during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday April 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – No word yet on whether the B.C. Liberals will give the NDP government access to protected cabinet documents that might help fight money laundering.

Attorney General David Eby says the next step may involve a change in legislation.

“Theoretically, we could pass a law that gives us access to all those documents. There may be a constitutional challenge about that and we’d need to do some research about that. Much easier to seek the consent of the previous government and say, ‘Look, we know this convention exists, we respect it, we’ll keep the documents confidential and we could use them,’ –assuming that anything actually exists.”

It’s been more than a week since Eby sent former Attorney General and current Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson a letter seeking proof of past action taken to stop criminals from using B.C. casinos as laundromats for dirty money.

Wilkinson has yet to respond.

Eby insists the purpose of the letter he sent on August 10th is to find proof something was done by the B.C. Liberals to stop criminals from using casinos to clean dirty money.

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“So, we’ll keep it confidential, but if it’s true that they did a bunch of work on this, then we could certainly use those files.”

Eby was asked what he’s prepared to do if his request isn’t granted.

“If they refuse to hand them over which is as likely as not. If they do refuse, then, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I’m hopeful they won’t.”

On August 10th, Opposition House Leader Mary Polak accused Eby of “playing politics.”

“If he was truly only interested in getting to the bottom of it, then he would have made a request for the information, rather than putting a request out to the media. My confidence starts to wane when we see stunts like this.”

NEWS 1130 initially reached out for response from former Solicitor General Rich Coleman.