Manitoba Premier, Wab Kinew, says the Unexplained Wealth Act, introduced in the Legislature this spring, is aimed at cracking down on crime and keeping communities safe.
"I know public safety is such a big topic for a lot of people," he said during last week's Premier Report, which airs on CFAM 950. The Premier noted, the Act is another tool for law enforcement to crack down on drug traffickers and other organized crime groups who profit from crime.

"We know that a lot of the issues we see with public safety across Manitoba are being driven by drugs," he said. "If someone is bringing a toxic drug into a community, they need to be held accountable."

The Unexplained Wealth Act would require corporations to disclose their beneficial owners to law enforcement and other tax and regulatory bodies including Manitoba’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Branch. The amendments would also allow the director of criminal property forfeiture to use unexplained wealth orders to require the disclosure of information from not just the owner of the property but also any responsible officer, such as business partners and corporation directors.

"If you have a fancy car, how did you get that? Or if you have some of the proceeds of crime, if you will, you have to be able to explain it and if not, then that could be used to build a case," explained the Premier. "For a lot of people that have been looking for action on public safety, this is a step that we're taking."

The Unexplained Wealth Act is one of two introduced by the Manitoba Government this spring intended to keep communities safe. 

The second, the Body Armour and Fortified Vehicle Control Amendment Act would make it easier for law enforcement to seize vehicles with aftermarket changes that are being used by organized crime to move money, drugs and firearms across the province and country. The legislation would prohibit the use of aftermarket hidden compartments in vehicles which the Province says have no legitimate function. "They are typically added to vehicles for the purpose of concealing controlled substances, weapons and cash proceeds of crime during transport," noted Justice Minister Matt Wiebe, "and therefore facilitate drug and firearms trafficking and money laundering."