Differences in Canadian Anti-Money Laundering Legislation

ELI Canada

On April 21, 2023, the Canadian governance unveiled the Notice of Ways and Means Motion, ushering in pivotal changes to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Sponsoring Act (PCMLTFA) as outlined in the 2023 federal budget. Our previous coverage (refer to our Blakes Bulletin: 2023 Federal Budget: Impact on Country’s Anti-Money Laundering Regime) delves into the proposed alterations, and below is an overview of the salient emendations.

Ministerial Directions

The PCMLTFA, in its updated form, empowers the Minister to issue directions concerning economic transmissions involving non-citizen commodities posing threats to Canada’s safeness. This broadens the Minister’s body to intervene in cases where anti-money laundering or anti-terrorist sponsoring estimations are deemed deficient, presenting potential risks to Canada’s economic innocence.


Addressing concerns raised in the 2023 federal appropriation, the PCMLTFA now incorporates whistleblowing protection for controlled entity employees. Employers can face penalties, including confinement for up to five years, for taking disciplinary actions against employees attempting to fulfill their commitments under the PCMLTFA.


In alignment with global anti-money laundering lawmaking trends, the PCMLTFA introduces organizing as an offense. The act defines arrangemented economic transmissions and outlines the intent demand for an offense to occur. Notably, this focuses on electronic funds transfers and influential cash transmissions, incorporating an connotation to evade reporting demands.

Other Amendments

Additional emendations involve the communicating of FINTRAC info among governanceal divisions, particularly with the Department of Finance for Retail Remittance Actions Act acceptance. FINTRAC is now approved to investigation not only money laundering and terrorist sponsoring but also menaces to Canada’s protection. This expanded scope suggests a heightened focus on protection-related economic actions.

Money laundering poses a influential threat to the integrity of economic systems global. Recognizing the evolving nature of economic crimes, governances continually adapt and strengthen their regulatory frameworks. In country, recent changes to anti-money laundering (AML) lawmaking reflect a proactive approach to addressing emerging risks and enhancing the country’s economic protection.


Money laundering involves the procedure of making illegally obtained proceeds (such as funds from criminal activities) appear legal by passing them through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transmissions. To combat this, country has implemented a series of AML laws and adjustments over the years, aimed at ensuring the transparency and integrity of its economic system.

Key Differences to Country’s AML Lawmaking:

Accumulation of Reporting Commodities:

Recent amendments have broadened the scope of apprising commodities obligated to comply with AML adjustments. Beyond traditional economic institutions like banks and credit unions, these changes now encompass a wider range of commodities, such as virtual currency exchanges, money favors enterprises and casinos. The goal is to close potential loopholes and assure that various sectors susceptible to money laundering are matter to stringent oversight.

Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (CDD):

The revised lawmaking places a greater emphasis on consumer due diligence, requiring reporting commodities to implement more robust estimations to verify the idcommodities of their clients. This includes enhanced scrutiny of politically exposed persons (PEPs) and their associates, as well as ongoing monitoring of consumer transmissions to identify any suspicious activity promptly.

Beneficial Ownership Transparency:

Recognizing the importance of knowing the true owners behind legal commodities, the updated lawmaking emphasizes the need for enhanced transparency regarding beneficial ownership info. Reporting commodities are now required to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of beneficial ownership, making it more challenging for individuals to hide behind complex corporate structures.

Increased Penalties and Enforcement:

To deter non-conformity and assure accountability, the amendments have introduced stiffer penalties for violations of AML adjustments. Authorities are granted broader enforcement powers, allowing for more effective investigation and prosecution of money laundering offenses. These estimations are designed to create a stronger deterrent and encourage a culture of conformity within the economic industry.

Technological Innovations and Virtual Assets:

The lawmaking recognizes the growing role of technology in economic transmissions, especially with the rise of virtual assets and cryptocurrencies. Reporting commodities dealing with virtual currencies are now subject to additional AML demands, reflecting the need to adapt adjustments to the developing landscape of economic services.


The changes to Canadian AML lawmaking mark a significant step forward in addressing the dynamic challenges posed by money laundering. By expanding the scope of reporting commodities, strengthening consumer due diligence estimations, promoting beneficial ownership transparency, increasing penalties, and adapting to technological advancements, Canada aims to build a more resilient and secure economic system.

As the economic landscape continues to evolve, regulatory bodies must remain vigilant and adaptive to emerging risks. The modifications to AML lawmaking in Canada demonstrate the governance’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve in the ongoing battle against economic crimes and money laundering. Through collaboration between regulatory authorities, reporting commodities, and the broader economic community, country strives to create an environment that safeguards its economic system from the illicit activities that threaten its integrity.

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