British Columbians Would Appoint Anti-Corruption Commissioner

Most respondents believe the Cullen Commission enabled the public to learn more about how to curb money laundering.

Vancouver, BC [June 24, 2022] – Public satisfaction with the provincial government’s decision to establish the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia has increased since last year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 62% of British Columbians think the government made the right call in instituting the Cullen Commission, up five points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in October 2021.

“British Columbians of all political stripes believe it was prudent to set up the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “This is the view of 73% of BC New Democratic Party (NDP) voters, 70% of BC Liberal voters and 65% of BC Green Party voters.”

Three-in-five British Columbians (60%, +7) think we have learned more about why money laundering became a problem in British Columbia due to the Cullen Commission—a proportion that rises to 68% among those aged 55 and over.

More than half of British Columbians (54%, +5) believe we have learned more about what to do in the future to curb money laundering in the province—including 60% of men and 59% of residents of Northern BC.

When asked who they think deserves “all of the blame” or “most of the blame” for the current situation related to money laundering in the province, 41% of British Columbians (+2) mention the previous government headed by the BC Liberals.

One third of British Columbians (33%, -3) say the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) deserves “all of the blame” or “most of the blame” for the situation. The numbers are lower for the current federal government headed by the Liberal Party (27%, +7), the current provincial government headed by the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (20%, +3) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (18%, +1).

The provincial government announced its intention to establish the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in May 2019. The Cullen Commission’s hearings ended in September 2021. The final report was released earlier this month.

The survey also asked British Columbians if they regarded two statements as true or untrue. For almost seven-in-ten respondents (69%), the notion that executives at the BCLC allowed suspicious cash transactions to continue in their casinos because these transactions resulted in higher revenue and pay bonuses is “definitely” or “probably” true.

Two thirds of British Columbians (66%) believe it is true that former minister of public safety and solicitor general Rich Coleman knowingly ignored warnings about suspected drug-money laundering in casinos.

The Province of Quebec has established the Office of Anti-Corruption Commissioner “to ensure the coordination of actions to prevent and fight corruption in the public sector, including in contractual matters.”

More than three-in-four British Columbians (78%, +7) would like to see the province instituting an office similar to the one that is currently in place in Quebec.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from June 3 to June 5, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]