B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has turned down the B.C. government’s request to waive cabinet confidentiality for documents related to suspected money laundering at B.C. casinos. In a letter sent to Wilkinson, Eby suggested the documents would help stop criminal activities at casinos.
“We were interested to hear the Attorney General himself is ignoring two court orders for disclosure of cabinet documents. The most recent one’s from the Chief Justice of the (B.C.) Supreme Court. They ignored that order and say they are appealing it. David Eby is a hypocrite, plain and simple,” said Wilkinson.
“We are going to be watching what the Attorney General is doing.”
In his comments, Wilkinson did not rule out turning over the documents in the future.
The two situations used to explain Wilkinson’s decision are very different.
The court orders that Wilkinson referred to were in connection with an organization representing the provincial judges challenging a decision in court regarding judicial compensation detailed in the Judicial Compensation Act. The court decision was to not accept a recommendation of a specific compensation increase for provincial court judges.
Following that decision, the lawyers for the judges moved that cabinet confidence documents be made public. The current government has challenged that and the issue is heading the B.C. Court of Appeal.
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The major difference is that Attorney General David Eby has promised Wilkinson in a letter that documents connected to the issue around money laundering would remain confidential.
“The information found in these documents would contribute to our efforts in finding ways to comprehensively end such criminal practices in B.C. casinos and throughout B.C.’s economy though avoiding failed measures already attempted by previous administrations,” the letter said.
“I can commit, on behalf of the government, that information from these documents would remain confidential.”
Eby Letter to Wilkinson by on Scribd
The current government commissioned a report from investigator Peter German on how far money laundering had spread in B.C. casinos.
German found widespread money laundering in gambling facilities and also suggested that criminal activity could be taking place in the real estate market, at horse tracks and in the luxury car market.
WATCH HERE: David Eby speaks about money laundering at casinos in B.C.
In a statement provided to Global News, Eby said he is disappointed the Liberals will not waive the cabinet confidentiality.
“We asked the B.C. Liberals to show us their work combating money laundering in a confidential way. Rather than working with us, Andrew Wilkinson has decided to attack me instead,” Eby said. “After weeks of avoiding to answer, Mr. Wilkinson refused our request. He also tried to confuse the issue by claiming our government picks and chooses when to respect the principle of cabinet confidence.”
“He couldn’t be more wrong. We will always defend and protect cabinet confidence of B.C.’s government, including past governments.”