To watch out for when former cabinet ministers testify in BC money laundering investigation
British Columbians will hear direct from former ministers for the first time this week, as BC’s money laundering investigation enters a new phase.
Former British Columbia Liberal Premier Christy Clark and former Finance Minister Mike de Jong, Opposition Leader Shirly Bond, along with a handful of key deputy ministers, are due to testify before the Cullen Commission in the coming days.
Global News will broadcast the testimony live.
In a year dominated by COVID-19, Hamish Telford, professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, said it would be the first time many British Columbians had sat down and take note of the discussions.
“For many in the audience this is the most important week, where we can finally hear from the best players and know if they are going to take responsibility for what happened with the casinos,” Telford said. at Global News.
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“I think a lot of people will at least seek out a few expressions of grief and take responsibility for it.”
Former Games Minister Rich Coleman, former Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Kash Heed and current Attorney General David Eby are all due to testify the following week.
At this point, the commission heard from high-ranking former police officers, casino staff, gaming regulators and other industry insiders.
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Testimonies to date have indicated a lack of political will to crack down on suspicious cash transactions and that the BC Lottery Corporation and casino managers have sought income from big players, although they have been warned by investigators that gambling facilities were being used to launder money by transnational drug gangs.
As policymakers are now taking the position, Telford said he would monitor what they know on the matter.
“To my memory, the Prime Minister’s name was not mentioned. So how much did she know about this and what is she going to say? So I think that’s what everyone is waiting to hear, ”he said.
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“The next thing I’ll be looking for is consistency of testimony among ministers who testify. Are they telling the same story? And if so, is it a plausible story they are telling or do they have different memories, remembering that they served at different times and would have dealt with different officials?
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Former head of British Columbia’s gambling regulator testifies at Cullen Commission
“From the commission’s perspective, testimony in the coming weeks may not be that crucial in completing its final report,” Telford said.
But for the public, he said the upcoming testimony could be the “pinnacle of the investigation” as much of what has been said to date has been complex and at times procedural, making it relatively inaccessible to the consumer. occasional news.
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He said that will change as the public hears from people they know well, trust or vote for.
“I don’t expect bombs, to be honest. We’ve heard some pretty serious accusations, but I guess ministers will tell a different story, ”he said.
“They are very skilled communicators and I think they will look plausible and believable. It will therefore be up to the Commissioner if there is conflicting evidence to determine which evidence is the most credible.
Telford will also be watching Eby’s testimony closely, noting that the Attorney General will need to appear credible and not appear to be trying to score partisan points.
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For the listening public, Telford has warned that what has been heard over the next two weeks will not tell the full story of the investigation.
“The public must reserve their judgment until we get the commissioner’s report. This is the point where we get the whole story, the evidence analyzed, if you will, by the commissioner who determines what is credible, ”he said.
“That’s what we really need to be looking for and the recommendations he makes associated with his findings.”
Below is the upcoming Cullen Commission timeline:
April 19, 2021
- Sam MacLeod, Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General, Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
- Christy clark, Former Prime Minister
- Kevin begg, Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Policing and Community Safety Branch; Former Director of Police Services
- Lori Wanamaker, Deputy Minister to the Premier, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service of British Columbia; Former Deputy Minister of Finance; Former Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
- Shirley bond, Leader of the Opposition; Former Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General; Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice
- Michael de jong, Spokesperson for the public prosecutor of the opposition; Former Minister of Finance
- David Eby, Attorney General; Former opposition spokesperson for games
- Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland, Former Associate Deputy Minister of Finance
- Rich coleman, Former Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General; Former Minister of Housing and Social Development; Former Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister in charge of housing
- Richard fyfe, Deputy Attorney General
- Kash heed, Former Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General; Former Chief Constable, West Vancouver Police Department
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