British Columbia is on the verge of a public inquiry which has been a move contemplated for several months now. The more scandalous the discoveries, the louder public inquiry clamor has gotten in the past weeks, until this Wednesday when B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that the government would implement the tool in order to learn more about the true scope of the issue on a provincial level.
It is no secret to anyone that British Columbia is known for its lax regulation that has eventually allowed the laundering of billions of Canadian dollars over the years. One of the last pushes towards a public inquiry was Dr. Peter German’s second report which revealed that about CA$7.4 billion was laundered via the local housing market and gaming field over the span of 2018 solely. This led to an immediate reaction calling for an immediate public inquiry on the subject.
Public Inquiry Receives Green Light
Now it is time for action and Premier Horgan wants to make a move in the right direction. There are still many unknown factors that need to be examined. Over the past two months, the government has been considering launching a public inquiry informing people directly affected by the negative impact of money laundering through various fields in British Columbia.
It was confirmed that British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Austin F. Cullen is going to lead the public inquiry across the province. With his extensive experience in the provincial Supreme Court, he is estimated to be the right person for this task. Among his tasks in the upcoming weeks would be a thorough inspection of what enabled this issue to expand to this scale.
In addition to examining the regulations, Justice Cullen would also have the power to seek answers from witnesses. This feature of a public inquiry was among the anticipated ones that could propel the battling process. British Columbia Attorney General David Eby has always been a supporter of a public inquiry, but he had pointed out in the past that two reports by Dr. German and Maureen Maloney have to be issued first.
More Discoveries Expected Soon
He pointed out that the long-anticipated public inquiry is about to answer crucial questions such as the level of awareness when it comes to money laundering. It would also strive to reveal who benefitted from criminal activity. Big fishes in the field are projected to be drawn on the pursuit of more answers. With the power of legal authority, they will be obliged to answer public inquiry questions.
The federal government would also collaborate in the public inquiry. Former Public Safety Minister Rich Coleman is among the officials anticipating the move for quite some time now, as it has the potential to dismiss previous accusations against him. He oversaw British Columbia Lottery Corporation back in 2009 when regulations in the field were loosened. Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West recently joined the public inquiry clamor, but there have been other avid supporters.
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and Vancouver Coun. Christine Boyle have been supporting the move throughout the months, as it would seek answers of the most uncomfortable of questions. Mr. Weaver said that the process should be as open as possible, allowing locals to learn more about the true extent of money laundering in their province