David Eby, Attorney General, will discuss British Columbia’s legal action against the opioid industry and progress in curbing money laundering when he meets in St. John’s, Newfoundland with federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety.
In August 2018, British Columbia launched a lawsuit against opioid drug companies, which claims that the companies’ marketing practices contributed to the opioid epidemic and caused government to incur millions of dollars in opioid-related health-care costs. If the Supreme Court of British Columbia certifies the claim as a class action, each province and territory can participate. The B.C. government has also passed enabling legislation to allow the claim to be proven in a more efficient fashion, similar to B.C.’s litigation against the tobacco industry.
The Attorney General will also brief his counterparts on steps being taken to end the flow of dirty money in B.C. casinos. Government is implementing the recommendations of Peter German, whose report on money laundering found systemic failures that allowed large-scale, transnational money laundering to occur in the province. German is now conducting a second review that will explore the vulnerability of the real estate, horse racing and luxury car sectors to money laundering. His review is in tandem with one led by the Ministry of Finance into systemic money laundering risks in the real estate market.
Other topics at the St. John’s meeting, to be held Nov. 15 and 16, include Indigenous justice issues, drug-impaired driving, restorative justice, family law reform, legal aid and the modernization of Canada’s criminal justice system.