24 April 2024

Budget 2024 Announces Additional Measures To Combat Financial Crime

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In Budget 2024, the Government of Canada announced its intentions to amend the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA)...
Canada Criminal Law
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In Budget 2024, the Government of Canada announced its intentions to amend the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the Criminal Code, the Income Tax Act, and the Excise Tax Act, and to take additional measures to strengthen the supervision, enforcement, and information-sharing tools of Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/ATF) framework.Key aspects of these proposed measures are summarized below.

Legislative Amendments

Proposed amendments to the PCMLTFA would

  • enhance the ability of reporting entities under the PCMLTFA to share information with each other to detect and deter money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion, with privacy protections in place for personal information, including an oversight role for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner;
  • permit the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to disclose financial intelligence to provincial and territorial civil forfeiture offices to support efforts to seize property linked to unlawful activity;
  • help strengthen the integrity of Canada's citizenship process;
  • extend AML/ATF regulatory obligations to factoring companies, cheque cashing businesses, and leasing and finance companies;
  • allow FINTRAC to publicize more information regarding violations under the PCMLTFA when issuing administrative monetary penalties to strengthen transparency and compliance; and
  • make technical amendments to close loopholes and correct inconsistencies.

Proposed amendments to the Criminal Code would

  • allow courts to order that a financial institution keep an account open to assist in the investigation of a suspected criminal offence; and
  • allow courts to issue a repeating production order to authorize law enforcement to obtain ongoing, specified information on activity in an account or multiple accounts connected to a person of interest in a criminal investigation.

Proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act would ensure Canada Revenue Agency officials who carry out criminal investigations are authorized to seek general warrants through court applications to simplify the evidence gathering processes and to help fight tax evasion and other financial crimes.

Canada Financial Crimes Agency

As announced in Budget 2023 (see our April 2023 Update, Budget 2023 Announces Measures to Combat Financial Crime), the Canada Financial Crimes Agency (CFCA) will become Canada's lead enforcement agency against financial crime. Budget 2024 proposes to provide $1.7 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to the Department of Finance to finalize the design and legal framework for the CFCA.

Fighting Trade-Based Fraud and Money Laundering

Budget 2024 proposes to provide $29.9 million over five years, starting in 2024-25 (with $5.1 million in remaining amortization and $4.2 million ongoing) for the Canada Border Services Agency to support the implementation of its new powers under the PCMLTFA to combat financial crime and strengthen efforts to combat international financial crime.

Looking Forward

Goodmans Financial Services Regulatory Group will continue to follow the implementation of these measures.

For further information concerning the measures announced in Budget 2024, and what they might mean from a compliance perspective, please contact any member of our Financial Services Regulatory Group.

The author would like to thank Cathy Costa-Faria, Associate for her assistance in writing this Update.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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