For immediate release

June 27, 2018


VANCOUVER — British Columbians are calling for a dedicated anti-corruption task force, like the UPAC police unit in Quebec, to investigate connections between money-laundering, drug dealers, major political donors and B.C. politicians.

“Today’s release of the first German report is a good first step, but it really only scratches the surface,” said Dogwood democracy campaigner Lisa Sammartino. “Why did regulators and elected officials turn a blind eye to this criminal activity for so long? British Columbians deserve answers.”

Former deputy RCMP commissioner Peter German’s scathing report on B.C. casinos was released to the public today by Attorney General David Eby. Subsequent editions of German’s investigation, probing luxury cars and real estate, are expected in the coming months.

Seven years ago, persistent questions about organized crime, rigged public contracts and illegal political donations forced the government of Quebec to launch UPAC, the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit. The coordinated task force brings together police, financial crime experts and inspectors from different government ministries to identify patterns of fraud, bid-rigging, bribery and collusion.

“Until last fall, B.C. was even more vulnerable than Quebec, because of our lack of election finance laws,” said Sammartino. “The casino industry, the real estate sector and luxury auto dealers were all major political donors. Did that money slow the government’s response to this crisis? British Columbians deserve to know.”

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About Dogwood:

Dogwood is B.C.’s largest non-partisan citizen group, uniting more than 260,000 British Columbians to take back power over our environment and democracy.

For more information:

Lisa Sammartino