Financial accountability shields NB, Alberta from laundering

New Brunswick and Alberta have strong regulatory defences against suspicious activity in their real estate markets, as their governments lead in terms of accountability, reliability, and transparency in their financial reporting.

“Governments’ extraordinary powers to tax and coerce citizens make monitoring their behavior particularly important,” C.D. Howe Institute president and CEO William B.P. Robson stated. “Canadians need budgets and financial reports they can understand and use to hold governments accountable.”

The Institute’s latest analysis found that on an A-to-F scale, New Brunswick led the rest of Canada with an A+ grade, while Alberta stood at a close second with its strong A rating.

On the reverse side, Manitoba is suffering under a D+ rank regime, while the Northwest Territories and Nunavut both got F scores.

A recent exhaustive investigation by Global News found that a relatively negligent and opaque policy regime in BC has helped a suspected Chinese drug lord acquire a major condo development project in Metro Vancouver.

This has raised questions on the rigour of verification standards, if any, in the province. Over the past several years, multiple reports revealed that BC’s real estate have become operational bases for various large-scale criminal enterprises, including money laundering and the drug trade.

Overall, however, the nationwide trend still provides cause for hope.

“We are glad to report that, over time, the fiscal transparency of Canada’s senior governments has improved. Two decades ago, none of them presented budgets you could compare to their results; today, consistent accounting is the rule,” Robson explained.

“The remaining deficiencies and instances of backsliding are fixable, as the examples of the leading jurisdictions show.”


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