Eby asks Liberals for documents on money-laundering

Attorney General David Eby is asking B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson to waive cabinet privilege over all documents from the previous government related to money laundering.

In a letter delivered Friday morning, Eby said information in the documents would contribute to finding ways to comprehensively end such criminal practices in B.C. casinos and throughout the economy “through avoiding failed measures already attempted by previous administrations.”

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Cabinet privilege is the principle that all deliberations by cabinet remain strictly confidential. It is only rarely waived voluntarily.

The letter follows the release of a report by independent expert Peter German last month on how rampant money laundering was in B.C. several years ago, and listed the ways casinos and authorities fumbled efforts to contain the practice.

In his letter, Eby cited the assertion by Rich Coleman, former minister responsible for gaming, that the Liberal government “did everything we could” to crack down on money laundering.

“In that light … it is our government’s desire to continue to aggressively pursue measures to counter money laundering, but to do so in a manner that does not duplicate unsuccessful efforts from previous governments,” Eby wrote.

Eby promised Wilkinson that the information would remain confidential.

Opposition house leader Mary Polak said Eby is playing politics with a serious issue.

“Instead of playing games with confidential cabinet documents, the attorney general should focus on implementing the recommendations from the German report and pursuing charges against those who have broken the law.”

She said the request would be considered and a response made in due course.

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