PoCo mayor pushes for B.C. money laundering inquiry

Mayor Brad West among municipal politicians calling on the province to act

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West has joined a growing group of local politicians calling for a provincial-led public inquiry into money laundering and its links with real estate and drug trafficking.

“I see the impact in my community, and to me, the job I've been elected to do is to stand up and fight for Port Coquitlam residents and this is an extension of that,” said West in an interview with Tri-City News.

This comes only days after a poll conducted by Research Co for the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union found 77 per cent of British Columbians support a public inquiry into widespread allegations of money laundering in several of the province's casinos.

A further 80 per cent of those polled said they would support an anti-corruption office in B.C. similar to the one in Quebec.

 

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“It needs to come from the province. We can't tackle it ourselves,” said Vancouver Councillor Christine Boyle who will table the motion Feb. 12 at Vancouver City Hall.

If passed, the motion is expected to add to the mounting pressure on the NDP government to launch a public inquiry with a broad mandate similar the Charbonneau Commission in Quebec. That could mean investigating schemes and activities that involved collusion and corruption, the infiltration of organized crime in licit industries like construction, as well as examining possible solutions, says former Crown prosecutor Sandy Garrosino.

“We've gone way too far down the road of willful blindness,” Garrosino said. “We've had a decade of a billion dollar crime spree going on in the province and we have zero to show for it in terms of law enforcement.”

The opposition is perfectly happy to have this issue rest. So it's left really to members of the public and to people like Mayor West and to other elected officials at the municipal level to deal with this.”

 

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