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“Not just a B.C. problem.” Alberta ranks 1st in money laundering says new report

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The authors of a recently released report called “Combatting Money Laundering in BC Real Estate,” found that around $47 billion was laundered across Canada last year. B.C. constantly makes the news regarding its money laundering problems.  But the report claims that Alberta has a larger dollar share of dirty money.

Maureen Maloney is B.C.’s former deputy attorney general.  She is the leader of the panel responsible for the report. Her team used a statistical model called the “gravity model.” This model estimates the movement of dirty money across different countries based on variables such as GDP per capita, crime rates, bank secrecy of a country, government policies, etc.

The gravity model tends to be more reliable on a national level, rather than a provincial one.  Therefore, different provinces of Canada were treated as separate countries. Of course, given the secret nature of money laundering, it’s impossible to know for certain exactly how large the money laundering problem is in each region.

Report finds money laundering is a big problem in all regions of Canada

Because of this, Maloney’s team hesitated to include a graph found on page 126 of the report. It portrays Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as hot-spots for money laundering.

The chart shows that B.C. has the 4th highest amount of money laundering in Canada. It ranks behind Alberta in 1st place at $10.2 billion.  Ontario is in 2nd at $8.2 billion and the Prairies, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, rank 3rd at $6.5 billion.

Ultimately, Maloney decided to include it. “But we thought, ‘No, we need to do this, because people need to know it’s not just a B.C. problem,’ ” said Maloney. “It’s a big B.C. problem, but it’s everybody’s problem. And to the extent that B.C. starts fixing our problem or at least makes our province less enticing to money launderers, they’re going to go elsewhere. They’re not going to disappear.”

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Misael Lizarraga

Misael started as an English teacher in Mazatlan, Mexico but his passion was in real estate. Now, he works with a handful of clients reporting on real estate news from across the world under his primary business: