Manitoba is getting crafty with dirty money.
The province will deposit proceeds of criminal activities seized or forfeited in a Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund that will pay for RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service training and equipment. The proceeds can be in the form of money or assets that are linked to crimes in the province.
Manitoba’s Attorney General, Gord Mackintosh, is calling this a “win-win.
He stresses, “Money will be taken out of unlawful activities that damage our neighbourhoods, then reinvested through a grant process to do good instead.
The RCMP will receive more than $350,000 to put toward equipment such as a road safety video, body armour systems for the emergency response team, specialized equipment, and several community projects.
The Winnipeg Police Service will receive $200,000 for a new laser scanner system for investigating traffic collisions. The WPS will also get another $120,000 for specialized officer training in areas including internet child exploitation, financial crime, and missing youth investigations.
Two other beneficiaries of the fund are Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship and Manitoba Finance, which will receive $65,000 and $4,200 respectively, to purchase new equipment.
All Canadian provinces and territories have provincial laws that deal with what to do with money and assets (proceeds) linked to unlawful activities. Manitoba passed the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act in 2004 to target criminal assets.
Under Manitoba law, proceeds can include real estate, personal property, and cash. An unlawful activity will be any act that is a crime under federal or provincial laws. The definition of an unlawful activity even extends to an act outside Canada that if committed in Canada would have been an offence here. The definitions are broad.
Since 2010, more than $12 million connected to unlawful activities have been forfeited to the province of Manitoba.