Maple Sandbox is a place for sharing, learning and growing.
We encourage others to bring their own creative nuggets of information here for Show and Tell.
I will do the first Show and Tell by sharing information about the maple tree, the maple leaf and Canada.
A maple tree is calm, but strong and sturdy. She provides shade from the glaring sun, breaks the force of strong winds, cleans the atmosphere, produces oxygen to support life and offers nesting to birds, squirrels, raccoons and even spiders without prejudice.
Maple brings rebirth in her fresh leaves each spring, cools our bodies and souls on hot summer days and flares into a Blaze of Colour in the fall. She remains steadfast through raging Canadian blizzards and gives sweet syrup to add flavour to our lives at the end of harsh winters. I hope I can be somewhat like Maple in my own small way.
But, even the hardy maple tree must protect herself from pollution and toxins. If she doesn’t, Maple will wither and die.
So, like the maple tree, this Blaze will try to blow away contaminants, dig her Canadian roots deeper, grow her trunk firmer and taller, spread her branches wider and use her Blaze of Colour to try to make a difference in a different way.
By working together, we can find a way to ensure our fundamental Canadian maple leaf values remain strong.
MAPLE LEAF AND CANADA:
Through Outraged Canadian’s personal blog, I learned some really cool stuff about the maple leaf and Canada.
Did You Know?
Well before the coming of the first European settlers, Canada’s aboriginal peoples had discovered the food properties of maple sap, which they gathered every spring.
According to many historians, the maple leaf was a symbol of Canada as early as 1700.
In 1834, the St. John Baptiste Society made the maple leaf its emblem.
Since 1860, the maple leaf has appeared on badges or lapels of Canadian troops.
The Maple Leaf Forever was written in 1867, the year of Canadian Confederation.
The maple leaf has appeared on the Canadian penny since 1867. (Yikes! What happens to the maple leaf when the penny disappears?!?)
In 1957, the colour of the maple leaf changed from green to red on the Canadian Coat of Arms.
On February 15, 1965, the red maple leaf flag was inaugurated as the new flag of Canada.
Learn more about the maple leaf and Canada at Canadian Heritage.
Do you know why Canada is called Canada?
In 1535, two native youths told Jacques Cartier about the route to “kanata”. They were referring to the village of Stadacona; “kanata” was simply the Huron-Iroquois word for “village” or “settlement.” But for want of another name, Cartier used “Canada” to refer not only to Stadacona (the site of present day Quebec City), but also to the entire area subject to its chief, Donnacona.
Canada was later expanded to a much wider area from Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic. Canada is now the second largest country in the world in land area. Only Russia is larger.
Canada is now truly a global village with citizens of many nationalities, races, faiths and beliefs. While US is a melting pot, Canada prides itself on being a mosaic.
Learn more at Canadian Heritage.
CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. The Charter guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights of everyone in Canada from the policies and actions of all areas and levels of government.
The important section for our purposes is:
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Check out Charter of Rights and Freedoms or through Canadian Heritage.
As I understand it (and I’m not a lawyer!), under current Canadian banking, human rights and privacy laws, Canadian banks have no legal authority to demand to know where we were born. They have no right to release information about us to a foreign government without our consent. They have no right to close our accounts for failure to provide that information or consent.
According to a prominent lawyer whom Tiger, Somerfugl and I consulted, if our banks violate those laws, we may have grounds for a lawsuit against our banks. If the Canadian government changes the law to accommodate a foreign government, we may have grounds for a lawsuit against the government for violating our rights under Section 15 of the Charter.
So, Canadian laws and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are our greatest protection against the outrageous demands of the IRS to intrude into our responsible, honest, law-abiding, tax-paying lives as Canadian citizens and residents.
Canada Revenue Agency and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have publicly and clearly stated that CRA will not collect any penalties for failure to file FBARs with the IRS for any Canadian citizen or resident. They have further stated CRA “does not and will not collect the U.S. tax liability of a Canadian citizen if the individual was a Canadian citizen at the time the liability arose (whether or not the individual was also a U.S. citizen at that time.)”
Our Canadian citizenship certificates say: (Blaze) “is a Canadian citizen and as such, is entitled to all the rights and privileges and bears all of the responsibilities, obligations and duties of a Canadian citizen.”
See Blaze’s Canadian citizenship certificate.
It is important we keep up the pressure on the Canadian government to ensure we do, in fact, have all of the same rights and privileges as all other Canadians.
Please join us in Show and Tell by sharing your knowledge, information, stories and questions.
22 thoughts on “Show and Tell”
I will be commenting more on this thread but one thing you might to take a look at this of the Department of Justice(Canada) main website.
As the government’s legal adviser, the Department of Justice helps federal departments develop, reform, and interpret laws. For example, one of the most important questions about any new law is whether it will be fully consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Department examines all new legislation in detail to identify any areas which might lead to a law being challenged in court on the basis of the Charter.
Once Cabinet has decided what new laws should be introduced during a session of Parliament, work begins on preparing bills (drafts of proposed laws). When the subject in question is the responsibility of a department other than Justice, specialists in that department work with Justice lawyers, who provide the legal expertise to draft the bill. Justice is consulted in the early stages of the work and continues to be involved through each step, from obtaining Cabinet approval to drafting – and redrafting – the bill until it is enacted by Parliament. At that point, it becomes part of the law of the land, and is referred to as an “act” (also known as a “statute”).
The Department also ensures that all draft regulations are legally valid, that they are clear in both official languages, and that they take into account both of Canada’s legal systems (the civil law in Quebec and the common law in the rest of the country). Regulations set out rules, standards, procedures and other details related to particular statutes. Justice lawyers draft the regulations or examine those sent by other departments, and provide advice and other services as needed.
My understanding is all legislation must go through this review process including tax legislation.
@Tim: Thanks. That’s really useful information.
The second piece of puzzle regarding the Charter to look at is Sec. 1. Now conceivable this shifts to burden back in favor of FATCA(or whatever Canadian law in the future tries to implement it) however, in fact a Sec 1. test commonly called an “Oakes Test” would be an absolutely disaster for the US diplomatically. The entire policy of citizenship based taxation would on trial for its compatiability with a free and democratic society. In particular the circumstances of someone like yourself I think would be particularily compelling to the justices on the Supreme Court of Canada. Additionally all of the previous public statements against FATCA by the government would be used against them in court.
Additionally I suspect a challenge to a FATCA IGA might have to be done under S.52 of the Charter as an argument could be made that the FATCA IGA imposes the obligation of enforcement on the Financial Institution and not the natural person. S. 52 cases which themselves are somewhat unique create a bit a legal grey area because they render laws unenforceble but leave them on the statute books.
@Tim: You posted two court decisions at Brock about IRS trying to collect revenue in Canada. One was from 1989. The other was from 1963. Essentially, those decisions seemed to me to strongly confirm IRS has no jurisdiction in Canada.
I know they’re quite old, but would you be able to post them here with any comments you may have about how they relate to today’s situation?
Yes they are the following:
United States of America vs Harden
Van deMark vs Toronto-Dominion
Chua vs Minister of National Revenue
Chua is perhaps the most interesting not because it is the most recent but because it also involves Charter Rights. (Note: it is not directly applicable to the situation here though).
@Tim, yo have such valuable and pertinent information, if you’d like to be able to create your own posts, just let me know and I’d be happy to set you up. If not, that’s fine, I will take all the info and incorporate it into one, but the offer is open.
Excellent, thank you! I’m eager to read them again.
We live in the Maritimes – that’s the collective name for three of the eastern provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Our home is very close to the Bay of Fundy which is known for its high tides and rocky coasts. It is not unusual to see a difference between low and high tides of 12 m or 40 feet.
Sights like this can be see twice a day all along our coast.
One of the places we take visitors is the summer estate of Sir William Van Horne, the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Getting there really is half the fun. A short drive outside St. Andrews, New Brunswick you come to a beach where you can look across to the island. If you time it correctly you can sit and have a picnic lunch while you watch the tide retreat. After the ground has had time to dry a bit you can drive across the seabed to the island for a tour of Covenhoven (his summer house) A tour of the house, barn, outbuildings and grounds which must include the swimming pool he had carved into the rocks and which filled at high tide and warmed during the low tide.
Follow up this excursion with a day whale and you know why we made our home here.
(Picture from Travel with Tracy)
Here is a link to an interesting document that was produced during the Sarkozy era to encourage integration by immigrants to France (and, hey, who am I kidding? I’m not a “temporary resident.” I’ve been here long enough to qualify for long-term EU resident status. That makes me an immigrant (emigrant from the US) and I am going to own that term proudly.
This Charter is to be signed by all immigrants to France who wish to become citizens of the Hexagon: http://www.lefigaro.fr/assets/pdf/droitsetdevoirs.pdf
Please note this paragraph:
En acquérant la nationalité française, vous bénéficierez de tous les droits et serez tenu à toutes les obligations attachées à la qualité de citoyen français à dater du jour de cette acquisition. En devenant Français, vous ne pourrez plus vous réclamer d’une autre nationalité sur le territoire français.
By acquiring French nationality, you will benefit from all the rights and will be held to the obligations of French citizenship from the day you acquire it. By becoming French you may no longer claim another nationality while on French soil.
I like that but here’s an interesting question that I asked in a Flophouse post:
“What if the the individual’s other government attempts to impose their obligations of citizenship on a naturalized French citizen on French soil? Does this mean that the French will tell the other government to go to hell if it tries to tax that dual citizen or ask him to go into the army? Is this unconditional protection for that new citizen as long as he or she is on French soil? Something worth thinking about because that is a serious obligation assumed by the state on behalf of new citizens and everyone needs to think carefully about the international repercussions.”
(Entire Flophouse post is here: http://thefranco-americanflophouse.blogspot.fr/2011/11/new-rules-for-acquiring-french.html
@Victoria, very interesting, indeed. It certainly seems to imply complete protection for French citizens, doesn’t it, if they are insisting that by becoming a citizen of France you must give up all other citizenship? A wikipedia entry about Sarkozy says he promised ‘closer cooperation with the United States’. I know wikipedia must usually be taken with a grain of salt, but I wonder how that ties with FATCA, and the protection afforded by French citizenship. Of course, you have a new president now, has the socialist party, or Hollande, addressed the FATCA issue?
@outragedcanadian, Sorry to reply so tardily. No, Hollande has not said one word about it to my knowledge. The media is more interested in reporting on his proposal to tax the rich at 75% and the new exit tax which just went into effect.
Roger Conklin has said however that the US and France have been known to help each other out when it comes to grabbing each others “tax evaders.” That doesn’t surprise me. On the other hand I would very much like to have more particulars. How many of the folks that were caught were French citizens? How many were duals? And how many were “Accidental Americans?” I suspect that there weren’t many (if any) Accidentals since a few stories about them would probably enrage the French public.
As I recall there is something on one of the U.S. tax forms where they ask if you have citizenship in another country. Now why would they ask that? Does the IRS look at this information before making a decision to audit or to go after someone? Does it make a difference?
My Show and Tell:
Inuvik in the mid-80’s was a place of contradiction. I flew in at the end of February, mentally prepared for cold, snow and dark. I found those, but my lasting impression is of colour from the Easter egg houses and the colourful parkas. It was a place where I experienced the warm welcome of Inuit grandmothers feeding me endless cups of boiled tea, listening to them laugh and talk in Inuktitut, but somehow not feeling left out. I sat in bright and modern kitchens while the women sewed and beaded, enveloped in the comforting smell of wood smoke, yet spiced with the unfamiliar tang of fresh seal skin. Inuvik was having a friendly and generous woman from Aklavik measure my legs to exacting specifications, drawing my feet on paper, just to make me a pair of mukluks because I looked after her child for an hour while she saw the doctor. She didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Inuktitut, but somehow that didn’t matter.
Inuvik is also where I became accustomed to being called a white bitch on a daily basis and where I had beer bottles thrown at my head for stepping into the wrong bar. Some of the contradictions were interesting, even intriguing, but some I found hard to accept. Outside of Inuvik, most of the towns and settlements were ‘dry’, but the government-run liquor store in Inuvik would accept welfare cheques for booze, and plane loads of alcohol were loaded up for transport out to the the settlements.
People from all over the world came to work in Inuvik, but, to me, it seemed to be filled with maritimers from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. It’s no wonder, then, that living in Inuvik meant a constant round of kitchen parties; dancing to the Eurythmics, John Fogerty, and Dire Straits. That it was brunches and potlucks and cross-country skiing in January. However, living in Inuvik also meant an increase in assaults, knife fights and suicides in February.
Life in Inuvik was waking up from a nap in July, not knowing if it was time to go to work or time to go to bed. It was waking up in January with the exactly the same confusion all over again. It was a place where it was cheaper to eat caribou than celery, and The Bay sold hamburger, shoes, screwdrivers and furs side by side.
Most of all, when I remember Inuvik I think of friendly and warm people, of amazing generosity, of endless cups of coffee and tea and disgustingly stinky muktuk.
It was a place of contradiction, but it was an experience I will never forget. I’m sure I’ll never visit Inuvik again, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing, because I don’t doubt that it’s completely different from when I lived there, with the proliferation of cell phones and internet access. I suspect it was the extreme isolation that helped create a warm community out of such diverse people, and I don’t know if that’s possible anymore.
I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, below, as it’s been sitting in a photo album for about 26 years.
Thanks for sharing that wonderful story and the photo. I will show it to my oldest son. He worked there one summer while he was a student at University of Victoria. He still talks about the experience and is so happy he had the experience.
@Tiger, when did your son work there? I’d be very interested to know, actually, if things have changed as much as I expect they have. I’m sure one big change was the shutting down of the Canadian Forces base, which would have removed several hundred young men from the town!
I’m glad your son enjoyed it. It’s not for everyone, but for those who go for the experience, it is certainly that!
I am fairly certain it was the summer of 1987. My late husband had a client who was a contractor there and he hired my son.
My son is a history major (teaches it today) so he loved learning about the Inuit peoples. I remember him saying he probably learned more that summer about the Inuit than he ever learned in school.
Another clear memory I have is a picture he had a co-worker take of his wrist, when they were on the job. Dave wore a watch with a fairly large ‘face’ on his left wrist. The mosquito in the picture was as big as the face on the watch.
And of course he still talks about being able to play baseball at 2 A.M. (no lighted field!)
Ah, so he would have experienced pretty much the same far north that I did. Oh yes, the mosquitoes! such fond memories. Although, I found the ‘no-see-ums’ worse, since they could squeeze through the screens on the windows! Tin foil on the windows in the summer so you can sleep also helped keep out the mosquitoes and no-see-ums. I remember friends visiting and wanting to take a picture outside at 3am in the sun. All the photos were a blur from the constant swatting of mosquitoes. Good thing there were lots of bars to ease the pain!
@Outraged: What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. We are all so diverse with equally diverse experiences. I hope others will join in Show and Tell with theirs.
@Blaze, I hope so, too. It would be great if people could share what they like most or find most interesting about their countries or towns. I love the fact that our country has desert and also has permafrost, and everything in between!
My parents are in town and they brought me a copy of Chuck Thompson’s Better Off Without ‘Em. In a nutshell, Chuck is proposing (a bit tongue in cheek) that the US ought to split itself in two. The Reds should go off to their little corner of the universe and the Blues can do the same and all will live happily ever after.
Interesting idea. I think there might be some merit to it. What do you think?
Only question I have is who would get custody of the aircraft carriers?
I think they tried that in 1860 and it didn’t turn out well.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again….
Or my personal favorite,
“The Americans will always do the right thing… After they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.”
You just have to love Churchill!