THE NDP said on Tuesday that testimony by Christy Clark at the Cullen Commission reveals a BC Liberal government that refused to act on multiple, direct concerns raised by law enforcement about dirty money entering BC casinos.
Previous testimony indicated that between 2008 and 2013, five different RCMP investigators raised concerns about suspicious cash entering casinos. This includes Inspector Barry Baxter, who told media in 2011: “We’re suspicious that it’s dirty money. The common person would say this stinks, there’s no doubt about it.”
The NDP said that despite both public and internal concerns from investigators, Clark’s testimony indicates:
- Although she was aware of public reports of large sums of suspicious cash entering casinos, she did not proactively inquire about it within government;
- She did not request regular briefings from her Ministers about money laundering;
- She could not adequately explain why a 2011 recommendation for an integrated police task force was not acted on until 2016;
- She never inquired about the possible impact of money laundering on housing prices (and continues to deny its impact).
The NDP said that despite previous testimony from investigators who felt pressure from the government to generate revenue was deterring enforcement, Clark claimed: “law enforcement… was working as well as it needed to, and that government was not putting revenue considerations ahead of stopping criminal activity in casinos.”