“If the federal government continues to delay, there’s really no excuse why the province should not take their own action.”
NDP MLA David Eby is calling on the province to do more to battle tax evaders and money launderers after a report in The Globe and Mail highlighted fresh concerns about the CRA not doing enough to tackle the issue.
A whistle blower told the Globe that he had evidence of possible fraud and tax evasion, which were ignored by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Eby says that Finance Minister Mike de Jong issuing a statement on a weekend does little to help fix the problem.
“I try to think of the absolute least the province could do, and I think issuing a press release saying it’s someone else’s problem is probably the very least they could do.”
Big problem brought to the surface
Eby suggests de Jong needs to put more resources in place to combat money laundering and tax evasion.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise to the Finance Minister that when you don’t have auditors, when you don’t do the policing, when you don’t force people to explain where they’re getting the money from when they’re buying multi-million dollar properties with poverty-level incomes, that you’re going to have a major problem in the province, and we have that now.”
The revelations come two months after Ian Young with the South China Morning Post reported the CRA would be getting 50 auditors to examine foreign money involved in expensive real estate deals in Vancouver, but he noted there was only one successful audit of global income for all of B.C.
Suggestions for the Finance Minister to tackle the issue moving forward
“He should be linking real estate transaction data to the provincial income tax database to identify people buying properties with no apparent source of income. He should be setting up a task force of police, prosecutors, and auditors to track down tax evasion and money laundering in the real estate market in Metro Vancouver.”
Eby says there needs to be more resources put in place to track down tax evaders, who he says are contributing to the problems plaguing the Metro Vancouver housing market.
Eby says he’d love to run against Christy Clark again
In the meantime, Eby says he wasn’t surprised to see Premier Christy Clark announce that she will be running in her old seat of Kelowna West for the upcoming provincial election.
Clark lost her seat in the Legislature to Eby in his riding of Vancouver – Point Grey in 2013.
Eby remarked the Premier isn’t as popular in the Lower Mainland than she is in the Okanagan.
“I think she’s in a lot of trouble in Metro Vancouver electorally. But if she ever wants to come back to Vancouver – Point Grey, I’d love to run against her.”
Clark’s loss to Eby triggered a by-election in Westside-Kelowna, which she has held four years.
“Actually I’d love for the Premier to come back and run here. I think she’d find very quickly that people in Metro Vancouver have had just about enough of her.”
Eby has compiled a chronological list of what he calls red flags of money laundering in Vancouver over the past year and a half, included below.