Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament through a request to the Governor General.
In an e-mail, Tim said (posted with his permission)
And I feel strongly there is a constitutional argument that no IGA or any other international agreements shall be signed prior to the next Throne speech in October. Some including many in the government might feel differently but there is a strong case that Harper right now is only a “caretaker” government.
In a follow up e-mail, Tim said:
One very real consequence is even after they sign an IGA(or any treaty) it must be put before Parliament for 21 sitting days prior to any further action that can be taken to ratify. If they were to sign an IGA lets say tomorrow the 21 sitting days of Parliament would only start whenever Parliament comes back(October??). If October 21st were to be the return of Parliament and a throne speech the government can’t introduce legislation to ratify and implement an IGA until November 26th which brings us pretty close to the Winter recess.
I hate the way Harper and McGuinty have misused prorogation (I didn’t even know the word until a few years ago!) to avoid political controversies. If it helps to Stop FATCA, I love it!
31 thoughts on “Harper Is Proroguing Parliament–What Will This Mean For FATCA?”
Tim’s understanding of the prorogation implications for an IGA would also be my understanding.
Harper is setting some unfortunate constitutional precedents by proroguing Parliament to avoid political unpleasantness (in this case, the Senate scandals). If we had a Governor General with a pair and a spine, I’d hope he’d deny this request, but he’s a Harper appointee and is likely going to serve as Harper’s doormat on this one. (The Senate isn’t the only political institution in Canada that needs reforming; the office of the Governor General is looking like another institution in need of serious re-thinking.) I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad to see further delays on any IGA, but I’m not glad to see yet another unjustified prorogation.
I still hold out some hope the whole FATCA/IGA thing will eventually collapse under its own weight and go away or be significantly modified. For a variety of reasons mentioned by others better-informed than I, I don’t think it’s workable even for the IRS. I’m beginning to suspect our government is just dragging its feet on the IGA negotiations, hoping the whole FATCA/IGA thing will collapse, or maybe they’re actually holding out for protecting our sovereignty and demanding full reciprocity (which of course we know they’ll never get from the US, but I think they’ve figured that out too, hence the impasse I suspect).
In any case, I don’t see signs that an IGA has any serious priority with our government right now. I think if Harper, Flaherty & Co really wanted an IGA, or were prepared to accept a Model 1 or Model 2 IGA, it would be there by now. It’s not, and that speaks to me. I don’t have any contacts in the Tory party or with the current government, but I fancy myself as being reasonably good at reading chicken entrails. Wishful thinking perhaps, but perhaps not. If there ever is an IGA between Canada and the US, I don’t think it’s going to look like Model 1 or Model 2.
CBA must be crapping bricks over the delays and uncertainty as to how this is playing out, but I have no sympathy for them. Too bad, so sad. Why did you open branches in the US anyway, you idiots? Deal with it. (My money is entirely in a Canadian credit union and Canadian-only investments, so I’m not losing sleep over this. If you have US-source investments, for your sake, sauve qui peut! What on earth are you waiting for? Why invest in or lend money to a neighbour whose debt load is about ten times his annual income and climbing? Especially when the neighbour is a foreign country that doesn’t respect anyone else’s rights, sovereignty or laws. Doesn’t sound to me like a good investment plan. Hence my comment about the intelligence of certain Canadian banks.)
And gosh, since the Treasury announced in early July the six-month “extension” to FATCA impementation, there haven’t been any more IGA announcements from them, at least none I’ve heard about. Why is that? Summer doldrums? Or maybe the more cautious countries in the world have figured out Uncle Sam is just screwing everyone with these agreements, and everyone who hasn’t already signed/slit their own throat is waking up and balking.
As most people know (and many disagree with me), I personally don’t think Canada will be signing a standard Model 1 or Model 2 IGA.
Since last November, Flaherty has said negotiations were nearing completion. Nine months letter, we still don’t have an IGA baby.
Kevin Schoom now says they should finalize negotiations in the “near future.” (whatever that means).
But, recently the Posey and Levin letters surfaced and were sent to Schoom. and Flaherty. I don’t know if they will make a difference or not.
Now we have prorogation.
If Canada was going to sign a standard Model 1 or Model 2 IGA, why wouldn’t they have done it by now?
I believe Canada is holding out for something. I don’t believe it is “reciprocity.” I believe it’s because they know caving to a standard IGA would be political suicide and would not stand up to a Charter challenge.
I suspect Flaherty and Harper also are outraged the US is trying to trample on them like this. They are both control freaks who don’t like to be told what to do. In this case, that is a good thing.
Despite that, the fact Flaherty and Schoom won’t assure us we have the same rights as all Canadian citizens and residents is indeed troubling.
Here is an Apology To Canada article from the perspective of an American that since 1600s, Canada has:
Wow. Strong words. “Resisted destructive domination…Example to the world…Overcame internal divisions to unite and survive…Rest of world can follow suit”
I don’t always feel Canada has stood up to US bullies as this author seems to think. But, I certainly hope Canada is doing it now on FATCA.
I tweeted the article and important quotes to Flaherty and to Finance Canada.
Blaze @LynneBlaze 6h
Since 1600s, Canada “resisted destructive domination” by #USA http://bit.ly/1d035bv “Example 2 world” @JimFlaherty Resist #FATCA Say No!
Blaze @LynneBlaze 6h
@FinanceCanada: Will #Canada continue 2 b “example 2 world” 2 “resist destructive domination” by #USA? http://bit.ly/1d035bv Resist #FATCA!
On the subject of delays, in their press release announcing the delay of FATCA by six months, US Treasury insisted this was due to “overwhelming interest abroad.
They also said:
Hmm. They expected to have 50 IGAs last December. They had eight by the time of the press release seven months later in July. Since they declared “overwhelming interest” around the world five weeks ago, they have signed one IGA. Malta. Now,that’s truly an “overwhelming” accomplishment!
I am not aware of any response they have made to Congressman Posey’s letter challenging their authority to even negotiate IGAs.
“It’s not over till it’s over.” (Yogi Berra) Let’s score some runs for our side!
Thanks for the new post, Blaze.
Only the US could pen such drivel — “Due to overwhelming interest from countries around the world, a six-month extension…” Makes a strong stomach churn.
After badger bringing up at Isaac Brock what was published by CARP last year, I have just submitted the following at http://www.oto-boc.gc.ca/systmc_nqrs/cmmnts-eng.html.
I have posted this to the isaacbrocksociety.ca: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2013/08/19/usd-school-of-law-procopio-international-tax-2013-international-update-u-s-mexico-canada-cross-border-tax-issues/.
I am pleased to read that “Mr. Dubé gained a reputation as an effective advocate for all people, especially the economically disadvantaged. Mr. Dubé has demonstrated a career-long commitment to procedural fairness and protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In fact, his specialty as a lawyer has been defending people’s Charter rights.”
US Persons in Canada are in touch with constitutional lawyers on the signing away our rights and Canada’s sovereignty with an Intergovernmental Agreement with the US for FATCA.
I would like to see Minister Flaherty’s strong promises regarding US Persons in Canada (if they are still in effect; if not, I’d like to know that) in the Government of Canada Taxpayers’ Ombudsman — Upholding Your Service Rights section “Information for Canadian citizens that are subject to American tax laws.”
Every US Person in Canada should absolutely have this critical information provided by Finance Minister James Flaherty.
As published by CARP, June 2012:
Minister Flaherty: Canada continues to press for fair tax deal with United States
Faced with the knowledge they have an obligation to file U.S. tax returns (even if they most often do not actually owe any U.S. taxes) and FBARs, we appreciate that many dual citizens want to fulfill that obligation. But we also understand that the threat of large fines for simply failing to file a return they were never aware they had to file has become a frightening prospect causing unnecessary stress and fear among many honest, hardworking individuals.
As such, we have called on the U.S. government to look upon those individuals in Canada with leniency.
I am happy to report the U.S. government has listened to our concerns and the concerns of Canadians.
Last December, the IRS released new guidelines for U.S. citizens living in Canada and other countries for their U.S. tax return and FBAR filing requirements.
According to the guidelines, U.S. taxpayers who owe no U.S. tax are not subject to any penalties for a failure to file a U.S. tax return. In the case of a failure to file an FBAR, where the IRS determines that it was due to reasonable cause, there is no penalty. For more information, visit the IRS website.
We have also been clear that penalties imposed by the IRS under FBAR will not be collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on behalf of the IRS.
While the Canada?United States Income Tax Convention contains a provision that allows for the collection of taxes imposed by another country, this does not apply to penalties imposed under laws that impose only a reporting requirement.
Furthermore, our Government has been clear that 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 (whether or not the individual was also a U.S. citizen at that time).
Many individuals are also concerned that the investment or interest income earned in their Canadian Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) may be subject to U.S. tax.
While TFSAs and RDSPs – both introduced by our Government in recent years – do not yet receive an exemption from U.S. income tax under the existing Canada-United States Income Tax Convention, the Government will argue for such an exemption as the Convention is renegotiated with the United States.
Another piece of U.S. legislation causing concern is FATCA, which is proposed to come into force on January 1, 2014.
To be clear, Canada respects the sovereign right of the U.S. to determine its own tax laws and combat tax evasion. However, Canada is not a tax haven and people do not flock to Canada to avoid paying taxes. In addition, we have existing ways of addressing these issues with the U.S. through the exchange of information provisions of our bilateral Income Tax Convention.
That’s why the Government is actively seeking a solution with the U.S. government that both countries will find agreeable. The U.S. has been receptive to the concerns we have raised. This is reflected in the U.S.’s openness to alternative approaches that will minimize the red tape burden, minimize conflicts with privacy and other laws, and improve collaboration between governments.
We continue to work with our U.S. counterparts towards a fair and reasonable solution that will address the concerns of Canadians and protect their interests.
Minister of Finance of Canada
I missed the Malta IGA somehow. Can’t imagine how. Malta has such a high profile. I wonder how many US persons there are in Malta. I wonder how many Maltese persons there are in the US, about whom Malta could get information if the IGA were actually reciprocal anyway. I wonder if anyone in either country did a cost-benefit analysis on how much of an effect the IGA will have on either country’s national debt, or budget, or anything else other than screwing over a few more innocent residents trying to eke out a living and pay a mortgage. Versus the administrative cost and burden …
As someone (Einstein?) once said, the difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has limits. And, “you can’t fix stupid.”
@Schubert: You missed Malta?!? How could you?!?
Maybe it was because I found this so “overwhelming,” I neglected to post release from Malta Inland Revenue. http://www.ird.gov.mt/news.aspx?newsid=201
I now note, I was wrong. Again, this was so “overwhelming” and I was so excited to see Malta on board that I didn’t understand that they have merely completed negotiations. This says: “Malta and the US will endeavour to sign the IGA as soon as possible.”
Who know what “as soon as possible” actually means in Treasury time?
@ THE FORUM…
We have had some good Finance Ministers in my life time, but to me it has been more a function of who the leader of the party in power was at the time. I make my judgement based on performance rather than on party lines.
To me, Trudeau and Mulroney, plus their respective Finance Ministers, were disasters. They ran debt up to monstrous levels. I give high marks to the Chretien/Martin team. and also to Harper/Flaherty.
I hope Flaherty has a sense of history, because if he does, he will want to go down in history as being a good Finance Minister, and one way to do that is to call the bluff of those ignorant and arrogant buffoons south of the border.
There are about 6 million American expats world wide. If those morons who drafted and passed FATCA (the Congress), and signed it (the President) think that applying FATCA to 6 million people (almost all of which pay taxes in their resident countries) can make any meaningful impact on their government debt, every one of them, right from the bottom to the top, needs a brain transplant.
How anybody can be so stupid is mind boggling. American public schools are the laughing stock of the industrialized world. Apparently Congress is full of their graduates. Obama said he wanted “common-sense tax reform”. If this is his concept of “common sense”, I can see why he needed Affirmative Action to get into Harvard.
Or maybe the rest of Harvard’s graduates are as stupid as he is?
Speaking of history, I just read the Apology to Canada article again.
This says Lydon B Johnson grabbed Canadian Prime Minister around the neck and screamed “You pissed on my rug”
Does anyone know if it’s true?
The PM was Nobel Peace Prize winner Lester Pearson. The issue was Vietnam.
According to Apology to Canada, Pearson wrote a letter to Johnson thanking him for speaking so frankly. Wouldn’t we love to have a Lester Pearson on the FATCA issue?!?
Various sources report on this confronation, but most refer to it as “legend.”
Vancouver Sun reports the Johnson’s words were were “Don’t you come into my living room and piss on my rug.”
Wikipedia questions if it ever happened
CBC reports that it occurred after a scathing speech by Pearson on Vietnam. CBC makes no mention of a legend
I had never heard this story before (I was 14 in 1965) and it was five years before I came to Canada.
What would Lester B Pearson say about FATCA? Of course, there wasn’t even a Charter of Rights then or many of the other laws we think should protect us, but .
In reporting on this incident, Apology to Canada says: “I’m sorry you’ve progressed from there to greater subservience.”
Me too. I hope we can get back to that “resisting destructive domination” soon.
I can’t personally attest to the exact truth of the LBJ-Pearson incident, but I do remember reading about it. I can’t swear as to having read about it in 1965 at the time (I was in university and wasn’t generally following the news then, also in 1965 I was still an American with no thought yet of becoming a Canadian and like most Americans then (and now) knew little of Canada or of Pearson and probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the story in 1965. I’m pretty sure I read an account of the incident no later than 1968 (when I was very active in the McCarthy for President campaign against LBJ) and certainly by 1969 when I moved to Toronto as a landed immigrant with no intention ever of returning to the US. The exact wording I can’t remember, but it had to do with Vietnam, pissing, and a rug, and the description of the incident sounds precisely like what that clod-hopper bully would have said or done. Diplomacy and politesse were never LBJ’s strong suits, if he had any strong suits other than ruthlessness, arrogance and hunger for power. Not unlike some other US presidents, come to that …
I wish Flaherty and Harper would now say to US: “Don’t piss on our country.”
Or, even better, more diplomatic and less offensive would be them saying. “You can’t and won’t FATCA Canada.”
With Parliament prorogued, maybe they will find time to do it.
@Schubert: Sorry, I forgot about Eugene McCarthy (although McGovern did make a brief run at the nomination in 68 after RFK was killed.)
America: Love It Or Leave It was also a huge part of my reason for leaving US.
I lived in Montreal and went to school there. In 1969, Montreal was still on a high from Expo 67 and Trudeaumania was still popular. Young people in the bars I went to were standing on chairs, waving Canadian flags and singing “Canada, we love thee, Canada strong and free” (Yes, in Montreal!). It was such a huge contrast from the way young Americans felt about Nixon, the US government and Vietnam.
I returned to US (NYC). Kent State happened about a week later. The whole atmosphere was so oppressive. I was working in lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center was being built. I had to walk by construction sites every day with construction workers ogling me, making lewd comments and waving signs “America: Love It Or Leave it.”
So, 18 months later, I did just that. I applied for Canadian citizenship two days after I was eligible with the clean understanding I was “permanently and irrevocably” relinquishing US citizenship. I’ve never looked back. Even knowing how obscene US can be, it never occurred to me that in early phase of retirement after a lifetime living and working in Canada that US and IRS would try to reclaim me.
Thanks Schubert I wondered if you and some of the others who came to Canada in that era would remember it.
Wasn’t it McGovern (not McCarthy) who was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1968 after Robert Kennedy was killed (RFK died the day I graduated from high school)?
You may have used McCarthy because I think the McCarthy era of hunting communists is on the mind of a lot of us as we deal with FATCA.
Were you in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention? What a horror story that was.
NO it was Eugene McCarthy I worked for (the commie hunter was Joseph McCarthy, no relation). McGovern was the Democrat nominee in 1972; in 1968 it was that loathsome slug Hubert Humphrey, LBJ’s toadying VP, who ran for the Democrats after the Chicago Convention and Police Riot. I decided to leave after that convention, when I realized that after all the anti-war efforts and electioneering, America’s choice was between Nixon, Humphrey, and George Wallace (racist former governor of Alabama paired with “nuke ’em back to the stone age” Curtis Lemay, former US Air Force general). That wasn’t much of a choice — Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dum Dum, and Jack the Ripper, as someone said. “America, Love It or Leave It” proclaimed the bumper stickers. I left it, gladly.
One thing I have always wondered(directed to Blaze and Schubert) is how well received the two of you were when you started working in the Canadian civil service. I have always heard rumors that the Civil Service at that time was very pro American(the British Civil Service even more so and to this day). Remember Pearson a long time civil servant during World War II and the period afterwards was strongly supported by the Americans at first because they hated John Diefenbaker so much(Diefenbaker’s role in Canadian history is too forgotten). Diefenbaker’s political strength though kept Pearson to minority governments and led the way for Trudeau who the Americans liked even less. However, at that point the situation in Quebec was quite tenuously and Trudeau seemed like the man who could resolve.(Not widely reported today but Pearson and Trudeau did disagree on some key policies).
Some of this still relevant today because I still can’t figure whether Flaherty is the one who wants the IGA or the civil servants like Shoom, Cook, and Ernewein. Shoom is ex Bank of Canada which has its own share of political intrigue and history.
If we’re going back in time here’s something from comic artist Kate Beaton whose work has appeared in The Walrus and the New Yorker among other places. (Full disclosure- I’ve known her parents for many years).
Check out her comment below the comic.
@Tim: I never felt any pro or anti-American feelings in the public sector. I worked, however, for Ontario government and an Ontario college, not the Canadian government.
By the time I worked for the government, I was a Canadian citizen. I did have to provide my birth certificate and because I was born outside Canada, my citizenship certificate. This was only after I was hired as documentation of my legal right to work in Canada. If I had not been a citizen, I would have had to have provided my landed immigrant card.
I did, of course, have to swear the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen both in 1975 and again in 1985 (when I rejoined after working in a college for five years).
I have copies of both of those Oaths tucked away in my safety deposit box. When I requested it, my former colleague asked “You mean you’re trying to prove you’re not an American citizen?” My response “Yep.” Her reply: “Why would anyone think you are?” My response: “Exactly!”
I was quite stunned that the original 1975 oath was in an old archived HR file, but I had it in just a couple of days.
I was only aware of two other “US persons” working for the government in any of the four Ministries or the college where I worked. There may have been others, but I wasn’t aware of it.
In one case, a colleague only became a Canadian citizen in 1995 after living in Canada for over 25 years. That was because he did not want to give up US citizenship.
In the other case, I only became aware when an employee was leaving in the early 1990s to return to the States. She requested a letter from me confirming she had not signed an Oath of Allegiance because if she had done so, she could lose her US citizenship. She began her employment after the 1986 Supreme Court decision, but I don’t think she was aware of it (as most of us weren’t!)
I discovered then that, because she did not sign the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, she was formally still on probationary staff even though she worked there six years.
About a year later, we had another employee, a Canadian citizen, but from Northern Ireland who refused to sign the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. I had to explain to her she would remain on probationary staff even after the one year probationary period of she did not sign.
I wondered at the time if that would be upheld if the employee ever filed a grievance or a Human Rights complaint, but she didn’t.
That’s a very long answer to your question about pro-Americanism in the civil service.
@Hazy: LOL. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
“I’ve come to realize there isn’t a man in Parliament I can trust…Therefore there is not a man in Parliament you can trust.”
Just add or woman to the sentence and you capture today’s Parliament–and even worse– the unelected Canadian Senate!
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I remember reading something about Diefenbaker and Kennedy, and went and looked this up, it’s from the University of Saskatchewan site. Harper – take note!
“Following a meeting with Kennedy in May 1961, the Prime Minister discovered a paper left behind by an American advisor. The infamous “Rostow Memo” outlined several desired results that the United States hoped to “push” Canada toward during the meeting. Diefenbaker was livid, as this incident reaffirmed his nagging belief that the United States wished to dominate Canada. The Kennedy camp was equally enraged: Diefenbaker refused to return the memo even though proper diplomatic decorum required him to do so. Their relationship would never fully recover from this incident. ”
The US is still trying to dominate Canada, and we can only hope that Harper shows half the gumption of Diefenbaker!
As I’ve said, Harper and Flaherty are both control freaks. They don’t like to be pushed around. Although we are getting the silent treatment, I suspect they are seething over FATCA.
Harper’s anger has probably quadrupled since Obama snubbed Keystone XL. He’s probably also an Outraged Canadian.
Your comment regarding the attitude of construction workers in Lower Manhattan and the Kent State killings brought back vivid memories of what became known as the “Hard Hat Riot”
I was at a small, very peaceful demonstration near the New York Stock Exchange on May 8, 1970. At about Noon, the demonstrators were viciously attacked by construction workers. In the melee, I only suffered a bloody nose as I tried to help someone who was being beaten. Others landed in the hospital.
I also received threats from some workers that they were going to kill me.
The police did little to stop what was going on.
I remember looking for help at the crowd of Wall Street workers who were now on their lunch breaks. Instead I saw many urging the construction workers to continue their attack. It was very ugly.
I decided then and there (after I had gotten safely away), that I no longer wanted to live in the U.S. Before the end of the year I had moved permanently to Canada. A move I never once regretted.
There’s a mostly accurate Wikipedia article on the Hard Hat Riot. I disagree with the positive portrayal of Wall Street workers. Although I’m sure some tried to help, that’s not what I saw.
Regarding not feeling so bad about relinquishing. I am BUMMED today. I was raised on activism and so have been following many issues. One being Bradley Manning’s trial. 35 years?!! If you see something DO NOT say something! The U.S. has gone off it’s rocker with Manning now nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the one who actually got one in charge of his imprisonment. Glenn Greenwald’s partner and the Guardian offices being searched all because the U.S. was yet again under they eye of a whistleblower.
FATCA and all the rest. Something about this all does remind me of the sixties and the horrible way anybody who tried to do anything was spied upon, harassed, beaten or worse. Maybe getting rid of the blue passport will be looked back upon as a happy accident.
No accident, my renunciation. I wish it could have been my claimed relinquishment.
All of this reminds me more of the (Joseph) McCarthy Years, but our activism shown here is reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s, the time my then-husband and I came to Canada. My husband had spent four years in the US Marines, but we fully supported Canada’s welcoming of “draft dodgers.” We objected to drafting those without other options, very young men to fight in Vietnam. Muhammad Ali was right: Muhammad Ali on the Vietnam War-Draft
“Those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end…”
We need those activism skills with us now in standing up to IRS bullies.
@Hazy: I had forgotten about the Hard Hat riots until you reminded me. I was living in New York City then, but didn’t begin working in Wall Street area until a few months after that.
We have wonderful memories of the late 60s and early 70s, but there was some truly horrific stuff going on at the same time.
As we’re tripping down memory lane, here is a transcript of a fascinating and surprising conversation between Nixon and Trudeau.
I thought they hated each other.
Nixon: ..and then you have to let ’em go, and it breaks your heart, but that’s the way it happens.
Trudeau: Well, exactly, and you’re quite right. The sad thing is, they do it with good intentions, and, uh..
Nixon: That’s right, and this is all such a picayune-sish damn thing, but it was wrong.
Trudeau: Well, I..
Nixon: But I’ll tell ya, we’ll survive it, Mr. Prime Minister..
Trudeau: I’m sure you will. Mr. President.
Nixon:… but your call I will always remember.
Trudeau: Well, I , I certainly never forgot that you called me when I was..
Nixon: Ha, ha, ha, ha! Well… We pol- you know, we should have a union, we politicians have got to stick together.
Trudeau: Well, that’s the way we gotta to do it, and I think we see things the right way.
Nixon: Well, I appreciate.. Incidentally, I wanted to tell you, Kissinger just left, he’s going over to see [North Vietnamese politician] Le Duc Tho, it will be announced today in Paris next week, and as soon as he gets back, I’ll have him be sure that you get a report, because I know your decision on this thing is imminent.
Trudeau: (unintelligible) .
Nixon: And, uh, that way, we’ll, we’ll have a better fix on whether.. how, how to let you know how the thing is coming. But we do appreciate what you’ve done, and I’ll keep you totally posted on his visit, which will be next Thursday.
Trudeau: Certainly appreciate that. Thank you very much, Mr. President!
Nixon: How good of you to call.
Trudeau: (unintelligible) Bye.
Yikes! Do you think Obama and Harper are talking about sticking together? Probably not, considering that Obama stuck it to Harper on Keystone XL.
Was interviewed today by WSJ, used my real name again. I DO feel nervous about that but, I don’t think they want people under fake names. Since that publication reaches those inside the U.S. a lot more I went ahead.
People remember the sixties fondly and it was exciting on many levels but, it was also dangerous as can be. Many do not remember how dangerous it was. My mother was very involved in the civil rights movement in the south in a place she didn’t have a lot of support. I still remember her holding meetings in our home that sometimes went over night. The white southern mean sheriff in our town lived right across the street so she would go one by one and pick people up and sneak them in our back door. The town officials DID find out thought….what followed was a few years of utter terror. I was proud of her. She never backed down and was not intimidated no matter what happened after she was found out. She offered to let my sister and I go live with our grandparents in a somewhat safer place…we didn’t go anywhere. We were so proud of what she was doing we stayed. There was nothing beneath those people. We had police dogs barking in our faces *her children* once when they pulled her over to search her trunk…right…a young mother was REALLY a dangerous person. They were the ones with the guns. I was terrified but, she taught me to never back down.
This is not as scary as that was. It’s horribly wrong but, looking back it all comes back to me with the way things are going these days exactly what they are capable of in so many ways. I do feel guilty though. WE DO need critical mass and activism on that level again at times. Sadly, I can’t complain as I have done nothing but, digital activism.. It is helpful though to remember that others have had to deal with a lot more than this when standing up to our “neighbour to the south”
Now we know why we have Atticus in Canada.
You are right, this is not as horrific as some things that happened in the 60s, KuKluxKlan, Vietnam, Kent State, assassinations, etc.
It is, however, one more example of US rage out of control.
You are your mother’s daughter. She would be proud. So would Atticus Finch.
I’ll second that thought, Blaze!
You’re all so KIND!
At any rate back to the IGA issue. I’m wondering, if Canada has no IGA signed by the so called deadline then where does that leave our banks? Some of them have already made statements about it, so are they going ahead IGA or no? And if so, then aside from suing them what other options are there? I suppose at that point you’d be asked to sign away rights or have your accounts closed? This is going to get very, very sticky if Canada hasn’t signed something by the time of a deadline.
I have such favourable terms at my bank or did have. Two percent interest mortgage and four percent on credit card. Sure, I WILL move to credit union mortgage and all but, damn their rates are so much higher. We’re not spring chicks here. I just wonder about everyone else’s situation, I’m sure there are MANY far more complicated than mine.
So, if we end up with no IGA and our banks intend to FATCA everyone there is no way they can do it without getting you to sign all kinds of waivers in order to “share” information with the USG. Thoughts? Where do we go with the banking situation should Canada not sign? I’m ready to sue but, do feel the government will likely want to have the back of the banks, not us.
@Atticus: First, take a deep breath!
If the government doesn’t sign an IGA, the huge dilemma for the banks is they can’t ask for your place of birth under Canada’s Bank Act, Human Rights Code and Privacy Act.
To allow banks to do that, the government would need to change the laws, which would take a huge amount of time. If the government does that, then we consider a Charter Challenge, but we would have the time it is working through Parliament to get our case organized and get CCLA and other organizations and lawyer solidly behind us.
If Canadian banks begin closing accounts of Canadians just because we were born in U.S, we will also immediately go to the media with the strongest stories possible. When we do that, I think they will stop singing their “tax cheat” song.
Even FATCA regulations don’t require banks to ask for place of birth on existing accounts. Rather, it directs banks to use the information they have.
That is why we in Canada are more protected that many other countries. I understand many, many countries require a birth certificate to open an account.
In Canada, only a Canadian birth certificate can be used to open a bank account. A bank cannot accept a foreign birth certificate as ID for opening a bank account.
We are protected by Canadian laws. We know it, the banks know it and the government knows it. More importantly, they know we know it.
Changing the laws would require a constitutional change. Remember Meech Lake. Is any politician prepared to go down that road again to appease a foreign government? Political suicide.
Investment accounts with US source income are different. I don’t know how that would be viewed if it was ever challenged in a Canadian court.
There is another Sandboxer who has some ideas on how we can organize in advance of an IGA or in advance of FATCA. I think something may be posted here with those thoughts soon.
Perhaps you would like to add to my comment to “J.N.” on Isaac Brock to his comment, http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2013/08/20/fatca-linked-with-us-surveillance-operations-and-broader-anti-privacy-offensive/comment-page-1/#comment-503760
Thanks so much for your detailed comment at Isaac Brock. Newcomers to both your site and IBS should be up to date on this issue. I’ll be interested in the other Sandboxer idea for preparing ahead of time.