Here is an article FATCA Could Hit Unsuspecting Canadians.
It first appeared in Canadian Business. Then CNET. Then, it appeared in MacLean’s under a different title.
The article reports Hsu and Brison “have a bunch of questions” about FATCA.
It also says:
To say that FATCA is controversial is an understatement.
It has caused a stir in Canada as well, but the press here generally portrays it as something that affects only dual citizens and green-card holders. Given the number of Americans who live in Canada, that would be enough to make it a big issue (and a big headache for Ottawa). But the truth is FATCA has the potential to touch a much larger number of unsuspecting Canadians.
Want to know more about how it might all play out? Well, Hsu and Brison are a good place to start.
The final question the article asks is:
Is FATCA even constitutional?
The author posted a thank you to Allison Christians at McGill University for her help in researching the article.
I sent an e-mail to Maura Drew-Lytle and Terry Campbell last evening suggesting we have a Canadian Hat Trick with three opposition parties resisting FATCA.
Here is what I said:
Some might call it a FATCA hat trick. Three opposition parties standing up for Canadians on FATCA.
First, it was Elizabeth May and the Green party.
A few weeks ago, NDP Revenue Critic Murray Rankin joined the resistance:
Shortly after, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair sent e–mails to Canadians. Next was NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash.
Now, two Liberal MPs, Dr. Ted Hsu (supported by former justice Minister, former law professor and international law and human rights expert MP Irwin Cotler) and Finance and Revenue critic Scott Brison have asked several direct questions on FATCA in an order paper.
Here are the questions in a more readable format than in the Order Paper.
Canadians will not allow their banks and other financial institutions to violate their fundamental rights. We now have the clear support of three parties in our fight. We are also in ongoing contact with a prominent constitutional lawyer and Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).
What will CBA do? Will you stand up for Canadians or will you capitulate to a foreign government?
“You have a choice, Sirs. You could do better.”
Maura Drew-Lytle responded this morning:
Thank you for the information.
IRSCompliantForever is trying to organize a protest for Toronto Convention Centre November 13-14.
This one is not directed at the government. Rather, it is for the Canadian Institute’s 19th Annual Regulatory Compliance for Financial Instutions.
Included on the agenda is:
- Navigating the hurdles preventing you from achieving compliance with FATCA
What could that mean? It couldn’t mean finding ways to circumvent Canadian laws. Could it?
Can anyone join him?
It keeps getting better and better.
Just as with Ted Hsu’s questions on Friday, Liberal Finance and Revenue Critic Scott Brison submitted an Order Paper (Q~127) with just as many questions on Monday.
Many of these focus on financial aspects of FATCA. The last two don’t, but are gems:
(yy) has the government considered the correspondence of Peter Hogg regarding FATCA and if so, (i) with what impact on policy development, (ii) with what conclusion; and
(zz) what steps will the government take to minimize any infringement of Canadian Charter rights by any implementation of FATCA?
Just like with Hsu’s questions, the government should be able to quickly answer most of the questions with just one word:
PLEASE, everyone write to Flaherty and ask that he answer Hsu’s questions not only thoroughly but PROMPTLY. December 13 is his deadline; if there is going to be a Canada-US IGA at all, I strongly suspect it will be announced before then. Canadians should have the answers to Hsu’s questions BEFORE then, or no later than when it is tabled in Parliament. Timing isn’t good, if it drags to December 13, IMO. Also, let’s keep the pressure up.
I am providing below, for suggestions (but NOT for copy-paste, individual letters have more weight than petitions and boilerplate emails IMO but some might disagree), what I sent this afternoon to Flaherty, cc to Hsu’s office, my MP, and Murray Rankin (NDP Revenue Critic and point-person for the NDP caucus on FATCA).
It would be ESPECIALLY useful for those of you living in ridings currently held by Conservatives to do this today or tomorrow, given that on Wednesday or Thursday most Tory MPs will be off to their convention in Calgary — where I would hope FATCA will come up.