Canada has a strong economy but notoriously weak corporate transparency rules, making our country the perfect destination for criminals and tax evaders to clean their money -- a trend known as 'snow-washing'.
Criminals can clean their dirty cash through secret companies, casinos, property and luxury goods. Snow-washing has led to soaring housing prices and illicit activity. It's challenging for law enforcement and tax authorities to trace criminals and tax dodgers because they can hide behind shell companies. This makes it harder to enforce Canada’s existing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws.
Canada can join other countries who are creating a publicly accessible company register of the true owners of these companies (i.e., beneficial owners).
Canada needs to create a publicly accessible, centralized, 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, tax authorities, financial institutions, civil society, and journalists.
Canada is among the few G7 countries without a law requiring public disclosure of beneficial owners. It's time to catch up to our peers and join the global movement towards greater corporate transparency.
To learn more about the campaign to End Snow-washing, visit our website.