Cullen Commission Granted Deadline Extension
So mammoth and challenging has the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia turned out to be, that the commission has now been granted an extension to its deadline for delivering its full report. The commission has been investigating alleged incidents of money laundering in B.C.’s real estate and gambling sectors and will now only have to deliver its report by December.
The inquiry, which has seen several testimonies from current as well as former gaming executives being delivered, has not yet proved successful at providing any actual and concrete evidence of the illegal activities said to have taken place. The only statements currently in place are of an unsupported hearsay nature.
New Deadline Set For Dec 15
Following the concession by provincial government for the extension of the deadline, the Cullen Commission will now have until December 15 to complete and submit its full report on money laundering in the province – money laundering activities said to have reached all-time highs at many of the province’s casinos and gambling halls.
According to the commission, the request for an extension of deadline has been the result of unexpected challenges experienced over it having had to conduct its entire inquiry online instead of in person. Switching to a 100 per cent online method of work has been an unusual and time-consuming experience, a commission spokesperson has said.
Also leading to delays had been backlogs experienced in the processing of supporting documents on the part of federal government, as well as an unavoidable pause to the proceedings caused by provincial elections in October.
Next Step: Actual Recommendations
According to the head of the inquiry, Commissioner Austin Cullen, the next step will be for the commission to put together the evidence in such a way so that a formal suite of official recommendations can be made. Cullen said such recommendations will all be based on specific economic, social, political, and constitutional reasoning and considerations.
The commission recently revealed the timeframe for the last of the hearing blocks, with the first one scheduled to take place between March 29 and April 2. During this first block, the commission will hear testimony from Enforcement and the luxury goods industry.
The second block has been set down for hearing from April 5 – 9, and with the final block scheduled to be heard from April 12-16. From May onwards, the commission will listen to testimonies and the presentation of evidence from other jurisdictions.