www.lexisnexis.ca Vol. 32, No. 16 December 2016
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‘Ugly stepsister’ of terrorism looms with money laundering

Groups working on anti-money laundering efforts in Canada must begin to see the problem as one of citizen protection as well as an economic issue, according to RCMP Supt. John Shoemaker.

“While the impact on the economy is certainly a major component, money laundering must also be considered a public safety issue as it is directly linked to virtually all successful criminal activity,” Shoemaker said in his keynote address at the Association for Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists conference on Oct. 25 in Toronto.

Trade pact approved, but not a done deal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Council president Donald Tusk were finally able to sign the landmark Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after a dramatic two weeks when the deal appeared to be hanging by a thread.

“The parties averted disaster,” said Milos Barutciski, a partner with the law firm Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto.

The impasse was caused when the parliament of Wallonia, an agricultural and industrial region in southern Belgium plagued with high unemployment, rejected the deal. Belgium needed the support of Wallonia in order to sign CETA which, in turn, required unanimous approval from all EU members.

The Canada Revenue Agency has announced its audit efforts resulted in reassessments of more than $240 million in real estate taxes owing, including penalties totalling $12.5 million, over the past 18 months, primarily from the country’s two hottest real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

Although the government refers to those funds as being “audit recoveries” that doesn’t mean the full amount has or ever will be deposited in federal coffers for the benefit of Canadians.

You know things are serious when the G7 gets involved. Everybody has read stories about big companies falling victim to cyberattacks but the size of the potential crisis around the world really comes into focus when the Group of Seven advanced economies — Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States — steps into the breach and signs an agreement for bolstering cybersecurity in the financial sector.

Their non-binding agreement, which was announced in October, sets forth common strategies to strengthen financial infrastructure, counter cyberattacks and speed up response times to minimize the impact when — not if — the hackers break through.