Budget 2023: Liberals add foreign interference office, new money-laundering rules

Fighting foreign interference

The Liberal government says it will launch a National Counter-Foreign Interference Office, amid ongoing scrutiny of allegations that Beijing interfered in recent federal elections.

The federal budget unveiled today earmarks $56 million over five years for measures including establishing that office and increasing the RCMP's capacity to investigate threats and proactively work with diaspora communities at risk of being targeted by foreign interference.

It also includes proposed legislative amendments that would task a federal banking watchdog with determining whether large financial institutions “have adequate policies and procedures to protect themselves against threats” including foreign interference.

Ottawa is also planning to beef up its money-laundering regime to enact whistleblower protections and to crack down on people who avoid reporting requirements using small transactions.

Proposed legislative changes would also compel banks to report on assets held by people who are subject to sanctions, beefing up an existing rule that only compels such reporting on clients suspected of terrorist financing and money laundering.

The budget says the Liberals plan to implement a Federal Beneficial Ownership Registry by the end of this year after recently introducing legislation to that effect.

More Canada News