Ottawa’s first comprehensive reform of corporate law in more than a decade will do little to prevent tax cheats and criminals from hiding their identities, say critics of a bill winding its way through parliament.
Foreigners are using Canadian corporations to “snow wash” illicit funds — as the Star revealed through the Panama Papers investigations — and they will have little impediment to continuing to move money anonymously even after Bill C-25 becomes law, financial crime experts say.
“The bill falls short of its potential to address the real risks of money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion,” said Denis Meunier, a former top official with the Canada Revenue Agency and FINTRAC, Ottawa’s anti-money laundering watchdog.
Meunier noted that an intergovernmental review last fall found Canada’s corporate transparency is non-compliant with international anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards.
“Match up the assessments of the risk . . . . And then you see this bill, there’s a gap. For me, it’s stunning that the government hasn’t (done more),” said Meunier, a member of Transparency International Canada who shared his analysis with a parliamentary committee last week. (more...)