20 Aug 2019
The Saskatchewan government is set to introduce amendments to protect against criminal acts like money laundering— even if it’s a bit late.
Money laundering is estimated to be worth $6.5 billion across Saskatchewan and Manitoba alone, according to a report from former B.C. attorney general and Simon Fraser University professor, Maureen Maloney. Across Canada, Maloney estimates $46.7 billion was laundered in 2018.
To confront the problem, finance ministers across Canada agreed in principle in December, 2017, on safeguards to prevent the misuse of corporations and other legal entities “for tax evasion, and other criminal purposes, such as money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorist activities.”
As a result, Canada’s Department of Finance introduced six amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), outlined in Bill C-86.
The measures include increasing transparency around who has significant ownership of a corporation, known as “beneficial ownership” and a newly mandated register of said owners.
Provinces were supposed to make “best efforts” to implement the changes to their Business Corporation Acts (CBA) by July 1, 2019, but Saskatchewan didn’t make the deadline.
“The Ministry of Justice included these changes on the legislative list for the fall of 2018, but had to withdraw them from the list because information was not received from the federal government in time for the amendments to be prepared for the fall legislative session,” explained a set of key messages prepared for Justice Minister Don Morgan in January of 2019.
“It is anticipated that these amendments will be introduced at the next opportunity in the fall of 2019.”
The document was obtained via a Freedom of Information request.
By Morgan Modjeski, CBC News, 19 August 2019
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