BC Premier John Horgan today called a public inquiry into money laundering in the province that has national implications. The BC Liberals failed to deal with the problem during their 16 years in power as housing prices climbed into the stratosphere often illegally with offshore money, luxury cars costing up to $500,000 grew exponentially in numbers, and hundreds of thousands in athletic bags were whited washed in casinos.
No doubt that failure to deal with money laundering has also contributed to the exponential growth in real estate prices in Toronto and Montreal, which has squeezed much of the middle class out of home purchase in Canada's three largest cities.
The federal Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to deal with the money laundering issue that has helped drive housing prices so high. This primarily rests the federal governments during this period since they have jurisdiction over criminal law and the monitoring of money flows. It was only NDP BC Justice Minister David Eby's two report on the situation that has forced Trudeau to admit that something (what?) needs to be done about it. But without the power to subpoena these reports could only go so far.
Some $7.4 billion overall was laundered in B.C. in 2018, out of an estimated total of $47 billion in Canada, concluded the report by an expert panel led by former B.C. deputy attorney general Maureen Maloney.
One of those reports that money laundering was responsible for raising house prices across the province by 5% and 20% in Vancouver alone.
However, this problem is not restricted to BC. As noted above, BC had $7.4 billion in money laundering in 2018 out of a total of $47 billion. Ontario, Quebec and Alberta all had larger amounts of money laundering.