Create a publicly accessible registry of beneficial owners (true owners) of properties and companies


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Submitted By
Sasha Caldera
Votes: 251

Criminals and tax evaders use legitimate Canadian investments like real estate to ‘clean’ dirty money, and this is called snow washing. Canada has become an international destination for setting up secret companies to “snow wash” illicit funds from all over the world. Housing bubbles in Vancouver and Toronto are allegedly being fuelled in part because of secret owners who buy properties to launder money.

In Canada, the true owners of companies and properties can remain entirely anonymous – their identities can be concealed even from the government agencies entrusted with enforcing laws. This makes it easy for money launderers, tax evaders, and those financing terrorism to hide and launder money in Canada -- and makes it hard for law enforcement and banks to enforce Canada’s existing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws.

Canada needs to create a publicly accessible, registry of true (e.g., beneficial) owners of companies in an open, searchable format. This would serve as a deterrent to criminals and would facilitate access to information for law enforcement, financial institutions, civil society, and journalists.

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