Government of Canada welcomes final report of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia


June 15, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Following today’s release by the Government of British Columbia of the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, also known as the Cullen Commission, the Government of Canada issued the following statement:

“The federal government takes the issues of money laundering and terrorist financing very seriously, and welcomes the Cullen Commission’s final report. The government will closely examine the report and continue working with all partners, including the Government of British Columbia, as part of its efforts to review and improve Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing (AML/ATF) Regime.

“The government is already taking action to address many of the issues identified by the Commission.

“Ensuring that Canada is able to detect threats through a comprehensive AML/ATF Regime, as well as to catch and prosecute the offenders, is vital to protecting Canadians and safeguarding the rule of law in an increasingly complex financial world. To this end, the government has taken significant steps to ensure the AML/ATF Regime continues to protect Canadians while balancing privacy rights and limiting regulatory burden.

“To bolster its capacity to fight financial crimes, the government has made important investments in government agencies and departments, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Most recently, Budget 2022 announced $89.9 million in funding over five years for FINTRAC.

“Budget 2022 also announced an accelerated commitment to implement a publicly accessible corporate beneficial ownership registry before the end of 2023, as well as the government’s intent to establish a new Canada Financial Crimes Agency, which will bolster Canada’s ability to quickly respond to complex and fast-moving cases of financial crime.

“As indicated in Budget 2022, the government will conduct a comprehensive review of the AML/ATF Regime, which will be informed in part by the Cullen Commission’s final report. Additional legislative proposals will be brought forward to address identified gaps and improve the ability of authorities to detect, deter, investigate, and prosecute financial crimes.

“Budget 2022 also announced a financial sector legislative review focused on the digitalization of money and maintaining financial sector stability and security. The first phase of the review will be directed at digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.”

Quick Facts

  • Since 2019, the government has made investments of $319.9 million, with $48.8 million ongoing, to strengthen the federal AML/ATF Regime. These investments strengthen data resources, financial intelligence, information sharing and investigative capacity to support money laundering investigations in Canada.
  • Recent initiatives by the federal government to combat money laundering and terrorist financing include strengthening and modernizing the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislative framework. This includes extending the framework to include virtual asset service providers, foreign money services businesses, crowdfunding platforms, payment service providers, and armoured car companies.
  • Budget 2022 initiatives build on previous funding that has supported the establishment of the Financial Crimes Coordination Centre (FC3), the roll-out of Integrated Money Laundering Investigative Teams (IMLITs) and dedicated forensic accounting expertise, and enhanced public-private partnerships and FINTRAC compliance efforts in high risk sectors.
  • An October 2021 assessment by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental standard setting body on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, affirmed that Canada has made substantial progress in improving compliance with international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards since its last evaluation in 2016.

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