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BC inquiry into money laundering in real estate gets underway

by Steve Randall on 24 Feb 2020

Multiple stakeholders will give evidence to the inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia real estate from Monday (Feb. 24).

The Cullen Commission will hear from BC Real Estate Association, the federal government, and more than a dozen others as it begins to assess just how bad the issue is.

After the initial hearings the Commission will report in May with a review of its findings before a full set of hearings in the fall.

It was May 2019 when the provincial government announced that there would be a public inquiry.

At the time, Premier John Horgan said that the problem of money being laundered through the BC real estate industry was worse than first thought.

Two reports concluded that $7.4 billion had been laundered in the BC economy with $5 billion connected to real estate.

“That criminal activity has had a material impact on people: Whether it be the rise of opioid addictions, the rise of opioid deaths as a result of overdoses, whether it was the extraordinary increase in housing costs, people were being affected by criminal activity in British Columbia,” the Premier told The Canadian Press.

The Cullen Commission is led by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin F. Cullen and will also look into the gambling industry. It is expected to conclude some time in 2021.

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