Former British Columbia Premier Gives Cullen Commission Testimony

Cullen Commission premier image
British Columbia parliament. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Former premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, has appeared in front of the Cullen Commission, providing critical evidence about money laundering in the province.

The Cullen Commission continued its investigation into money laundering practices at casinos in British Columbia, with former provincial premier, Christy Clark, giving testimony on 20 April.

The inquiry has already heard testimonies from several high-ranking gambling industry operatives and a few employees of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.  Recently, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also shared evidence with the commission. However, there is a concern that, overall, there is insufficient evidence to make a final ruling on the matter. 

More Testimonies

In her testimony, Christy Clark noted that she was never warned about a rise in money laundering activities until 2015.  In 2015, former cabinet minister, Mike de Jong, pushed for the creation of a Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team.  The commission further probed Clark as to why no task team was set up in 2011 when the first reports of the issue began to surface.  In her response, Clark noted that the apex of the illicit activities only happened in 2015, at which time it came to the attention of Mike de Jong’s office.   

The former Liberal premier denied earlier claims that lawmakers were unwilling to tackle the money laundering issue since it benefited the province.  Clark further noted that she was unaware of large cash transactions using CA$20 bills between 2012 and 215.  However, she reassured that her government had been working on setting up regulations to stop big cash buy-ins.

On the question of whether she might have acted quicker had she fully understood the seriousness of the problem, Clark responded that she could not answer questions about what might have happened.  Nonetheless, she insisted that her government undertook notable actions against the issue when she was in office.

No Influence on Reports

The previous set of testimonies provided at the beginning of April saw Peter German, a former RCMP officer and author of two reports on money laundering, share his input on the case.  During the cross-examination, German vehemently denied that his statements were politically motivated since, at the time of the publishing, he’d been working for the attorney-general of British Columbia, David Eby.  German reassured that all his reports were entirely based on his understandings and findings.

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