Cullen Commission Hears Former BC Premier
The Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia continues. Recently heard testifying had been former B.C. premier Christy Clark, who emphasised all throughout her account of the events, that she was never warned about B.C.’s money laundering ills before 2015. By the time the news did reach her, the commission was told, the problem was already at an all-time high.
Clark furthermore pointed out that provincial government had at the time of her term in office, been under the impression that there hadn’t as much been a surge in illegal activities as what it had been a case of staff being better equipped to detect those crimes. Training and close monitoring, testified Clark, had led to a greater awareness of the problem, and also a greater collective ability to detect money laundering-related criminal activities at the province’s casinos.
Clark Defends Liberals’ Honour
Clark vehemently defended the actions and decisions of the then Liberal government in office, saying it had been precisely Mike de Jong’s pre-emptive actions and concerns that had led to the establishment of the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team.
When asked why the special task force had not been mandated already in 2011, which had been the year the issue became known to government, Clark said the money laundering issue had only reached its peak by 2015, which had been the year it reached the office of de Jong. She strongly denied allegations that politicians had purposefully avoided tackling issues of money laundering because it had been beneficial to British Columbia’s coffers.
Clark appeared to have been wholly unaware of the influx of millions of dollars in $20 bills into B.C.’s casinos between the years 2012 and 2015. She did however acknowledge having known about the large sums of cash making their way into the province’s gaming establishments. Even though she would have liked to think that government would have acted quicker had it been aware of the seriousness of the problem earlier, it’s not possible now to testify to anything that might or might not have taken place in the past, Clark told the commission.
More High-Profile Testimonies
The commission is working hard at gathering sufficient quality evidence to support its case. The upcoming schedule indicates that more testimonies will be heard by several more former and current politicians before the commission becomes due to deliver its final report in December this year.
Testimonies scheduled to be heard soon include deliveries by Michael de Jong, Rich Coleman, Kash Heed, and Attorney General David Eby.