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September 23, 2022 | ‘Snow-Washing’ in Canada, Money Laundering All Star

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

I have long thought that a housing bust and ugly recession might finally catalyze a serious crackdown on money laundering in Canada. Apathy has been the status quo while asset prices were rising. Now, as prices plunge and pain spreads, public tolerance should shift.

Realty reports show that many properties bought in early 2022 are being sold months later, with losses greater than 20%. Rapidly vaporized capital begs questions about who is taking such losses and whether washing illicit funds was the objective.

The recent Agenda discussion with Steve Paikin is a good primer on the present state of affairs and how it is aided and abetted by weak regulation and oversight, as well as many accountants, lawyers, lenders, casinos, financial firms, politicians and real estate agents that continue to profit from tainted transactions and funds. Wilful blindness is very expensive for our country as a whole.

In 2019, the U.S. State department called Canada a “major money laundering country.” And just this past summer, the picture of what that looks like became much clearer with British Columbia’s Cullen Commission, which detailed the millions of dollars being cleaned through casinos, real estate, and fake financial transactions of myriad sorts. To help us understand this issue, we welcome Marc Tassé, forensic accountant and lecturer at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and at the Telfer Executive MBA program; Sasha Caldera, Beneficial Ownership Transparency campaign manager at the non-governmental organization, Publish What You Pay Canada; and Rita Trichur, senior business writer and columnist for the Globe and Mail.   Here is a direct video link.

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September 23rd, 2022

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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