Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not

 

British Columbia:
Laundromat to the world’s currencies

Our immigrant overclass sanitizes its cash here. How long
before foreign fortunes unite B.C. politicians with gangsters?

December 10, 2016

BC’s political culture threatened by foreign cash

Beleaguered taxpayers might not be the
only source of income for our political class.

Vancouver’s real estate woes have been obvious for decades but somehow gained prominence in public discourse only this year. Maybe that’s due to people like Justin Fung of Housing Action for Local Taxpayers, whose example negates what had been a PC impediment to discussion. In a two-part series (here and here) the Vancouver Sun’s Douglas Todd outlined how public institutional failure and political collaboration sustain the problem. But this is the Vancouver Sun, where on any subject even its best coverage shows limitations.

Todd criticized politicians and public agencies without mentioning any shortcomings among his fourth estate buddies. Nor did he recognize that one of the causes he acknowledged, Canada’s all-embracing system of immigration and citizenship, constitutes a suicidal disaster in progress that predates the housing problem. Todd also discussed foreigners laundering money here but didn’t mention the resulting danger of widespread political corruption.

He pointed to research by Christine Duhaime, who “has helped reveal how Canada’s tepid anti-money-laundering efforts have been hamstrung by bankers and realtors.” Vancouver’s one of the world’s top three havens for “trillions of dollars now being generated in China, to name the largest source,” according to another report cited by Todd. Any chance some part of those trillions makes its way to B.C.’s politicians?

Certainly at the federal and provincial level, they’re already ethically corrupt. Showing traits of narcissism and sociopathy, B.C. politicians couldn’t care less about what’s good or bad and what’s right or wrong. Their corruption actually goes beyond unscrupulousness of a merely expedient nature because they do profit from this. Their sole motivation is re-election, which rewards them with pay, perks and pensions that almost no B.C. politician could dream of in a real job.

Some of them might also take bribes in cash, gifts or other inducements, probably from corporations, unions, lobbyists or other fairly sophisticated interests. But in most cases B.C. politicians probably steer clear of outright gangsters. If so, that might be because B.C.’s drug trade remains under the control of punks with more tattoos than social skills, not to mention IQs that match their life expectancy. Can you imagine those lowlifes schmoozing with B.C.’s political insiders, dumb-ass suburban philistines that those politicos are?

Probably not, but as a money-laundering mecca Vancouver’s gaining a foreign criminal class with social prestige to match its money. Although their fortunes are of dubious origin, these people can connect easily with politicians on government business, at party events and on a social basis. They have plenty of opportunity to discuss business, legitimate or not. They could drag the ethically challenged weaklings of our elite even further down, to levels seen in Quebec and parts of the U.S., where criminals sometimes own politicians outright.

Fung says the B.C. Liberals have so far collected around $12 million in donations from the real estate sector, some of it coming from offshore. More likely all of it came from offshore, directly or indirectly. How did those donors get rich in the first place? Besides investing in real estate, how much are they putting into criminal endeavours? And how long before these arrogant kleptocrats, used to corrupt politicians at home and deferential politicians here, start buying public figures directly—if they haven’t already started?

Related:
Skyscrapers face the scrap heap as
Vancouver’s real estate demolition derby continues
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