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.
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.”
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.