Safe Canadians, Secure Economy: FINTRAC’s 2020-2021 Annual Report
Recently, I read through every FINTRAC report looking for some clues as to the effectiveness of Canada’s counter-terrorist financing regime. While the jury is still out on that question (which also happens to be the subject of my dissertation), the exercise allowed me to pull out some interesting data and points for comparison with this year’s report. This newsletter focuses on that report, but also includes some comparative analysis with prior years. I should note – since my focus is on terrorist financing, I’m largely ignoring a lot of the money laundering information (for now, anyway). Let’s get into it!
Twenty-One Years of Reporting
Since its inception in 2000, FINTRAC has put out an annual report every year (except 2000-2001). Reading through twenty-one years of FINTRAC history is an exercise in and of itself, and re-reading the reports from my time there (2009-2013) brought back some very fond memories. It also provides some interesting data that we can use to start to answer the question about what FINTRAC’s role is in Canada’s counter-terrorist financing regime, how it goes about fulfilling it, and how effective it is in that role. While those are some big questions (and well beyond the scope of this newsletter, and probably FINTRAC’s annual report itself), let’s talk about some interesting data from these reports. First of all, there were far fewer disclosures made on terrorist financing / threats to the security of Canada, a level not seen since 2012. Does this mean there is less terrorist financing in Canada than in prior years?