For Immediate Release
VANCOUVER, B.C. – On February 25, 2020, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) will make its opening statement to the Cullen Commission, the public inquiry into money laundering in B.C. The BCCLA urges the Commission to ensure that the rights and liberties of everyday people are taken into account in governmental and private sector efforts to combat money laundering.
In its opening statement to the Inquiry, the BCCLA will advocate for the protection of the rights and liberties of ordinary citizens in developing appropriate responses to money‑laundering in British Columbia. The BCCLA will argue that there must be checks and balances in place for all measures that are recommended by the Commission to ensure that they operate in a manner that does not infringe on the rights and liberties of Canadians.
Megan Tweedie, Staff Counsel: “The BCCLA is supportive of efforts to combat money laundering in the province, however the recommendations proposed to date call for significant expansions of police and regulatory powers and the over‑collection, retention, and sharing of private information, without evidence demonstrating that these changes would be effective in combatting money laundering. The risk to the privacy rights and civil liberties of British Columbians is profound. Developing an effective anti-money laundering regime cannot simply reflect calls for more invasive powers, broader disclosures of sensitive, highly prejudicial information, and more resources for policing and FINTRAC. The implications for the rights and liberties of Canadians must form a part of the analysis.”
The BCCLA will bring its expertise in criminal law reform, police accountability, access to justice, due process and privacy rights to its role as a participant in the Inquiry in order to provide a much‑needed civil liberties‑based perspective. This perspective is crucial; the BCCLA intends to be a voice for the citizens of the province who cannot speak for themselves at the Inquiry.
The BCCLA is represented by staff counsel, Megan Tweedie and Emily Lapper of the BCCLA.
The BCCLA’s written opening statement is available here.
- Megan Tweedie, staff counsel for the BCCLA, available for comment at 604-359-2416 or [email protected]
- Emily Lapper, senior counsel for the BCCLA, available for comment at 778-370-5655 or [email protected]