FINTRAC Withdrawing Temporary Pandemic-Related Measures—What You Need to Know

Some people mark the passage of time by watching the familiar patterns of the seasons; the call of the first spring robin; watching leaves change colour as summer drifts into fall. Others do so by notching lines on the kitchen wall as their children grow up.

As for me, well, like the cold-hearted lawyer I am, I measure time by watching the ebb and flow of government bureaucratic announcements!

How so, you ask? Well, back in March and April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, FINTRAC announced a series of temporary measures, which helped REALTORS® tackle some of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19. The most notable measure was the ability to verify the identity of a client using Zoom, FaceTime or other video technology. Well two-years and four (or is it five?) COVID-19 waves later, FINTRAC has now announced it is withdrawing those measures as of March 31, 2022.

Take a closer at FINTRAC’s announcement because it’s not completely back to square one (especially when it comes to an expired ID), but if you were relying simply on Zoom to ID your clients, it’s time to change tactics, for example by using video technology that allows for more sophisticated remote authentication of ID.

Other changes on the horizon?

Well, many of you will remember that Canada’s anti-money laundering laws changed significantly on June 1, 2021. However, around that time FINTRAC announced until March 31, 2022, FINTRAC would be assessing compliance with the regulatory requirements in effect prior to June 1, 2021. Well, that grace period, as it were, is fast coming to an end. So, it’s time to up your game if you haven’t done so already.

Finally, FINTRAC has also announced its first-ever virtual forum aimed at real estate professionals. Register online and check out the on-demand online sessions until March 18, 2022 (Editor’s note: the forum is now available until April 30, 2022). I especially recommend the panel discussion where experts, including yours truly, go over current topics and developments impacting the real estate sector (bonus points for anyone who emails me the titles of three books that are on the shelf behind me when I am speaking).

So, there you have it: a busy FINTRAC spring to usher in 2022’s new normal. Singing robins? Bah! I’ll take regulatory statements any day.


The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

Simon Parham is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at the Canadian Real Estate Association. He has expertise in a variety of federal laws and issues, including anti-money laundering and privacy law. Prior to joining CREA, Simon worked as counsel for the Department of Justice, where he provided legal advice to the Department of National Defence.

2 thoughts on “FINTRAC Withdrawing Temporary Pandemic-Related Measures—What You Need to Know”

  1. Hi Simon,

    I keep searching for suggestions if video technology that allows for more sophisticated remote authentication of ID. I am stumped. Where do I find FINTRAC’s suggested technologies?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *