Government of Canada Leads National Response to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
June 13, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Department of Finance Canada
The Government is committed to making investments that will help grow the economy and make life more affordable for Canadians, while at the same time ensuring Canada's financial sector is able to protect Canadians' savings and reward their hard work.
That's why the Government continues to take action to combat financial crimes in Canada, including money laundering and terrorist financing. When illegal money is hidden in the Canadian economy, it not only threatens people's safety and security, but also makes life less affordable.
Today in Vancouver, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair met with a number of provincial and territorial counterparts to talk about new and continuing approaches to stop financial crimes in Canada.
Following the meeting, there was consensus on:
- Making it easier to find out who owns what by improving beneficial ownership transparency. Participating provinces and territories will initiate open consultations towards a beneficial ownership public registry. These consultations will examine the benefits to a public registry in combatting financial crimes, and will prioritize businesses' competitiveness, individuals' privacy and respect of jurisdictional responsibility.
- Helping governments investigate and prosecute financial criminals. This includes an intention to provide up to $10 million to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, beyond Budget 2019 commitments, to help it invest in information management and IT infrastructure and digital tools to pursue complex financial crimes.
- Creating a new working group with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to address the inherent risks of money laundering and other illicit activity that may arise in the practice of law. The working group will hold its first meeting later this month.
- Working cross-government on anti-money laundering best practices, and reporting back to Ministers by January 2020.
For its part, the Government of Canada will continue to use every tool at its disposal to detect, stop and prosecute financial criminals. It's the right thing to do for Canadians, and the right thing to do for Canada's economy.
"Our government's message is simple: criminals, domestic and foreign, should not be able to hide their illegal money anywhere in Canada. When they do, it's Canadians who pay the price—in high housing costs and increased criminal activity in their community. Our government is committed to using every tool at our disposal to detect, stop and prosecute money laundering, but we can't do it alone. Now it's time for everyone—businesses, provinces, territories and the federal government—to come together and talk about the steps we can take to better protect Canadians and combat money laundering."
- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
"As a police officer for four decades, I have seen the harmful effects of money laundering. I understand the importance of ensuring that law enforcement has the resources they need to investigate and prosecute those criminals who attempt to hide their illegal money. Through Budget 2019 our government has made significant investments in the RCMP, FINTRAC and CRA to meet evolving threats. We have proposed additional regulatory measures to strengthen beneficial ownership requirements and address those who recklessly move money on behalf of another where a risk exists that it could be illegally diverted. Today, I was proud to reaffirm our government's commitment to working collaboratively with all provinces, territories and enforcement agencies to continue to share information and address the threats posed by money laundering."
- Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Canada's approach to stopping financial crimes is based on principles that respect the privacy of Canadians and allow businesses to succeed without regulatory burdens.
Beneficial ownership refers to the identity of individuals who own, control or profit from a corporation or trust. Better information on who owns what will help authorities effectively counter tax avoidance, tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal activities.
Budget 2019 announced an integrated plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, which includes:
- Strengthening federal policing operational and investigative capacity by providing up to $68.9 million over five years, beginning in 2019–20, and $20.0 million per year ongoing, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- Creating four new dedicated real estate audit teams through $50 million over five years to the Canada Revenue Agency.
- Strengthening operational capacity, including increased compliance examinations and enforcement in the real estate sector, through $16.9 million over five years, and $1.9 million per year ongoing, for the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.
In December 2017, the Minister of Finance and his provincial and territorial counterparts jointly committed to improving corporate transparency so that Canadian authorities can more clearly know who owns which corporations in Canada. This includes amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act, which comes into force on June 13, 2019, and further amendments in Budget 2019.
Media may contact:
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Finance
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Department of Finance Canada
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