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Most say money laundering in Canada a problem; three-quarters support limits on cash purchases

Revelations that an RCMP official charged with breaching a Canadian official secrets law was overseeing a Russian money-laundering probe are refocusing national attention on Canada’s role in international money laundering networks. This, after a recent report from an expert panel in British Columbia estimated that the amount of money laundered through the Canadian economy may approach $50 billion; some people say that number is conservative.

Now, the latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians view this issue as a major problem, and one that is getting worse.

Three-quarters of Canadians say money laundering is an issue within their own province (74%). Even more say the on a national level (81%) it is a challenge that Canada needs to address.

And while the 2019 federal budget proposed several anti-money laundering initiatives, with investments of approximately $200 million over five years as well as additional funding, nearly half of Canadians (47%) are dissatisfied with federal government efforts to combat money laundering. One-in-four (23%) are satisfied, while a considerable number (30%) are unaware of any efforts.

What emerges from this discussion is a considerable appetite for more measures to take on money laundering.

After the provincial government in B.C. launched an inquiry to examine money laundering in various sectors of the province, seven-in-ten residents across the rest of the country say their own province should do the same. This sentiment is highest in Ontario (78%), Quebec (74%) and Alberta (67%). Six-in-ten nationwide (63%) also say they would support a complete ban on cash purchases over $10,000.

More Key Findings:

  • In every region of the country respondents are more likely to say that money laundering is worsening in their province versus improving. This sentiment is most pronounced in B.C. (56%) and Alberta (44%).
  • More than half of Canadians (55%) support lifestyle audits as an anti-money laundering tool. Governments use this type of audit to investigate individuals who ‘seem to be living far beyond their means’ based on their income level and purchases
  • Canadians firmly oppose the idea of getting rid of the $50 and $100 bill. Some have suggested that discontinuing larger bills would hamper money laundering operations.

Read the rest of the story here:

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