NDP Langley MLA Andrew Mercier pointed out on Thursday: “On March 15, 2022, B.C. Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon said: “I’m very interested in seeing the results of this [Cullen] commission [on money laundering]. And I want you to know this. That if it points out that while we were in government we were in any way responsible, I will absolutely apologize on behalf of our party.”
Mercier has now written to Falcon to ask him to apologize to British Columbians for his and his party’s failures on money laundering.
Mercier states in his letter:
It’s time to apologize to British Columbians for the damage caused by you and your government’s failure to effectively fight money laundering.
On March 15th, you said: “I’m very interested in seeing the results of this commission. And I want you to know this. That if it points out that while we were in government we were in any way responsible, I will absolutely apologize on behalf of our party.”
Yesterday, Justice Cullen found that while warnings were given and policy solutions were offered, the BC Liberal government showed “a significant failure of will” to fight money laundering.
He wrote: “What was lacking prior to 2018 was not the identification of an appropriate policy response, but rather the will – on the part of both government and industry – to take the kind of decisive action necessary to effectively respond to this problem.” (p. 15)
He also found that the problem began five years before you left government:
“…following its emergence in 2008, money laundering in the gaming industry through the Vancouver model persisted as a significant issue for approximately a decade until 2018.” (p. 640)
As Finance Minister, your 2012-13 budget certainly included significant revenue from illegally laundered money.
Yesterday, your Attorney General Critic Mike de Jong even admitted “we are responsible.”
Hundreds of millions of dollars of the proceeds of crime were laundered in our province because of your government’s “lack of will.” The damage is difficult to measure.
It’s time to apologize to British Columbians for you and your government’s failures on money laundering.
Video of Falcon’s promise to apologize and a copy of Mercier’s letter are available here.