People in B.C. have the opportunity to participate in a public consultation on how to better protect the province’s real estate sector from becoming distorted by money laundering.
“We’re in the middle of a serious housing crisis and we need to be diligent to ensure that our housing market is not being used as a hub to launder money,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “We don't want any gaps in our laws or regulations. Dirty money has no place in British Columbia.”
The Government of British Columbia’s Expert Panel on Money Laundering in Real Estate is immediately launching its public consultation and will consider submissions as part of its review and final report to government. The panel is chaired by Maureen Maloney, a public policy and dispute resolution professor from Simon Fraser University and former B.C. deputy attorney general.
The panel’s work will investigate gaps in existing laws, consumer protections, financial services regulations, regulations of real estate professionals and jurisdictional gaps between B.C. and the federal government. The panel’s final report and recommendations are due to government in March 2019.
“We need to know how our markets are being used to launder money before we can make recommendations, and it will help the panel to hear from British Columbians, especially those with direct knowledge of our real estate sector and its legal framework,” Maloney said. "We encourage anyone with these insights and proposed solutions to come forward and have their voices heard.”
Maloney is joined by Tsur Somerville, an expert on real estate, development and housing markets from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and Brigitte Unger, an internationally renowned money laundering expert from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. All three experts are respected and recognized for their work in policy and economics.
The public consultation and expert panel are a part of the government’s 30-point Plan for Housing Affordability, which seeks to stabilize the housing market, build homes that people need, improve security for renters and crack down on loopholes and tax fraud.
This expert panel is in addition to ongoing work being conducted by the Ministry of Attorney General.
For more about the anti-money laundering and real estate consultation and to submit ideas: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/preventingmoneylaundering