Loading articles...

Risk vs. benefit: Implications should BC go ahead with public inquiry into money laundering

FILE: B.C. Attorney General David Eby gestures while showing a video of bundles of cash brought to a casino by a person, after releasing an independent review of anti-money laundering practices during a news conference in Vancouver, on Wednesday June 27, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

"It's sort of really a question of how much more can we learn," says political scientist, Hamish Telford

The premier is expected to announce a decision on a public inquiry on Wednesday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the provincial government wrestles with whether or not to call a public inquiry into money laundering in BC, a political watcher says there are pros and cons with digging even deeper into the problem.

On the plus side, Hamish Telford in the Political Science department at the University of the Fraser Valley says a public inquiry could reveal a much fuller picture of the extent of the problem and help guide future policy to deal with money laundering.

RELATED:┬áReport: $5 billion laundered in B.C.’s real estate sector

But, they are costly and can take months or even years to complete.

“It’s sort of really a question of how much more can we learn about this through a time consuming, and potentially costly exercise?” he asks.

“Or do we have enough information that together the federal and provincial governments could act to curb the problem we’re experiencing?”

And given the tenuous nature of NDP-Green alliance and how long inquiries can take, it could stretch beyond the life of the current government in Victoria.

“Especially since we have a minority government, and we don’t know, it’s projected to last another 2 or 2.5 years, but minority governments can fall before the expected next fixed election,” Telford says.

The premier is expected to announce a decision on a public inquiry on Wednesday.