Canada: Realtors Call For Land Registry To Crack Down On Money Laundering

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With billions of dollars in dirty money being laundered through Toronto real estate each year, realtors are questioning why Ontario hasn’t taken action to implement the simple reform that’s chased criminals out of overheated property markets around the world: requiring the real owners of property to identify themselves.

The U.K. and the U.S. have brought in ownership registries to force those who own property via numbered companies and trust funds to reveal their true identities. British Columbia will soon implement one of its own.

“Ontario realtors don’t want to see a single dollar of dirty money coming into the housing market,” said Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak. “When criminals hide their money here, it drives the price of real estate out of reach for regular Ontarians.”

Hudak said a beneficial ownership registry for property in Ontario is “well past due.”

“Back in the day, there may have been a reason to protect corporate privacy, but to think that drug dealers and arms dealers are recycling their cash in our province … a reform like this is a no-brainer.”

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