Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on Monday, February 24, 2020. The head of B.C.’s money laundering inquiry has delayed the resumption of the hearings because of the B.C. election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on Monday, February 24, 2020. The head of B.C.’s money laundering inquiry has delayed the resumption of the hearings because of the B.C. election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

The head of B.C.’s money laundering inquiry has delayed the resumption of the hearings because of the B.C. election.

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26, two days after the provincial election is to be held.

Cullen says in a statement he delayed the hearings to preserve the independence of the commission and to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

The inquiry was to resume on Oct. 13, and Cullen says he was told the inquiry would hear about issues that had been identified, but not the complete evidence and that could invite speculation.

He says difficulty arises because some, but not all, of the evidence would be made public during the election, running “an unacceptable risk of undermining the public’s confidence in the independence of the commission.”

B.C.’s New Democrat government launched the inquiry after reports illegal cash was helping to fuel the real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors.

Cullen says the delay of two weeks won’t have a significant effect on the overall timeline of the commission’s work.

The Canadian Press

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money laundering