FATCA IGA Questions from Liberal MP in House of Commons

As always, Tim is a phenomenal source of information.
Yesterday (October 25), Kingston and the Islands Liberal MP Ted Hsu,presented an Order Paper with numerous questions about an IGA and FATCA in the House of Commons (see question 121-2)
His questions range from the authority for negotiating an IGA to who was consulted to  the Charter, privacy and other legal issues. They also include questions on Canadians who believed they relinquished decades ago and questions on dual citizens and Canadian residents.
Mr. Hsu is AtticusinCanada’s MP. She has been in touch with him several times about FATCA. She thought she hadn’t had much success. This may be a game changer.
A few weeks ago, I discovered Mr. Tsu was born in United States (Oklahoma). He came to Canada when he was six months old. His American birth is not mentioned in any of his political information. He refers to himself as the son of Chinese immigrants. No one knows if he still is a U.S. citizen, but he has studied and worked in United States, so either he maintained U.S. citizenship or he had a Green Card to work there.
Plus, his wife is an American. She immigrated to Canada a few years ago after she married him. One daughter was born in Canada. The other may have been born in U.S.
Atticus spoke briefly with Mr. Tsu at the protest on Parliament Hill. I will let you fill you in on the details.
I’m not sure what the requirements or time lines are for Flaherty or others to respond to these questions. Does anyone else know? Tim?
 
 

50 thoughts on “FATCA IGA Questions from Liberal MP in House of Commons

  1. Thanks for the post, Blaze. Thanks for the good work, Atticus. We’re so glad you’re back in the game!
    I’ve also posted at Isaac Brock.
    This is just what we need to see happening.
    Thank you so much, Mr. Hsu.
    …and, right Hazy, who are the other government representatives or their family members considered ‘US Persons’?

  2. Wow! Things are really starting to ramp up! What a lucky coincidence that Atticus’s MP and family members are (or were) ‘US persons’. I wonder if she knows that. Hsu walked by our group at the Ottawa protest. He didn’t stop to talk and we got the impression he was ignoring us. I am happy to see this turn about!

  3. @WhiteKat: Yes, Atticus does now know Hsu and his family are “US persons”.
    I e-mailed information about Hsu to her and a few others when I discovered it a few weeks ago. Tim replied that Hsu’s wife was American, which sent me on a further scavenger hunt where I found more information in the Kingston newspaper article.
    Atticus was stunned because she had no idea until then even though she had spoken with him in the past. His official information is silent on U.S. place of birth–just says he is the son of Chinese immigrants.
    http://www.tedhsu.ca/about-ted/complete-bio.html
    http://www.liberal.ca/mp/ted-hsu/
    Atticus told me she did manage to have a brief conversation with Hsu as he was trying to slip by in Ottawa.
    The important thing, of course, is that he is now speaking out against FATCA.

  4. In answer to Blaze’s question about how long it takes to get an answer to a question tabled on the Order Paper: that will depend on the question(s), complexity, and number of departments that need to be consulted. This one is a doozy, because the answers will have to come both from Finance and Justice, and it isn’t “a” question, it’s a whole wonderful shopping bag of questions.
    I addressed the issue a bit earlier today in a private email chain, which Blaze is on, giving my take (based on some years in the federal government in Ottawa) on how this will play out, for the benefit of non-Canadians on that email chain. My answer was a bit lengthy; I’ll edit it here:
    Just to elaborate a little on what this question is going to do to the federal bureaucracy on Monday morning — by way of illustrating what “pressure” means.
    Where I worked in the bureaucracy, I and some of my colleagues occasionally got one of the dreaded QP (pronounced kewpie as in the doll) dockets, with red stripes on the covers. Unless you were working on another file that addressed a clear and present danger to public health, public safety, or national security, that docket took priority over everything else in your work life, and probably a good chunk of your evenings and weekends, especially if it was as wide a net as Tsu has cast.
    A significant number of senior managers and senior policy analysts both in Finance and Justice are going to be scrambling to identify for Flaherty, who likely will be the point man on the answer (though there are rather a number of Justice questions laced in there, please note!), all the studies and findings etc., coming up with advice of how to summarize it, how much of it to release, guessing what would happen if they don’t release it, drafting replies, getting comments back from the Minister’s office. And, I suspect, if (God help both the Ministers and the bureaucrats) they actually haven’t ever done some of the analysis that Tsu is asking for, there may be some rather pointed internal questions like “why the hell haven’t we, what do you mean you didn’t…” and if there are some studies, “how do we summarize this with damage control or do we dare release the documents or …”
    Ministers want answers yesterday when this happens. Lots of pressure on the officials. They all could just try to stonewall, but given everything else the government has had thrown at it the past couple of weeks, that isn’t going to look good nor play well in the media, with the opposition, or even probably with some of the “base,” especially the true “fiscal conservatives” among them. You don’t play games like that IGA without thinking through what the economic impacts might be, if your base includes people who have a clue about public finance and economics and care about those things. Which I think at least some of their caucus actually do, and I strongly suspect Flaherty is one of them.

    Anyway, I’m very glad I don’t work in Finance or Justice and especially not next week. Workloads are going to go up, bigtime, and overtime, paid or not, voluntary or not. No one ignores QP dockets in the bureaucracy, when they get one.
    Or to pick a different metaphor, look Jane look. See the herd of cats. See the herd of cats among the pigeons. Every try herding one cat, never mind multiple cats? Have fun.

    It would be speculation to guess how long it will take to get an answer, but I think you can bet this isn’t going to drag out more than a few days before there will be a follow-up question, where is the answer guys? Until it comes.
    As I said in another email chain:
    I think this question from MP Ted Hsu, and whatever replies we get from Flaherty and crowd, will provide a wealth of information and ammunition with which to batter this IGA thing to its knees, or use it to defeat the government in the next election if it ever happens and is remotely as bad as we all suspect it has to be if it gets signed. The question is on the public record, the government MUST provide some answer to it, and if they waffle or lie we can follow up and, if necessary, go after them with a political meat-cleaver. There’s nowhere for the government or the CBA to hide, the way they can with a private information request from a citizen. I don’t know what the time limit is, if any, for a response, but they can’t drag it on forever, and we can keep the pressure up as I’m sure Hsu will do.
    See also my comment on this story over on the Isaac Brock Society website.
    As others have said, this can be a game-changer. Let’s keep our eyes on the Parliamentary website, where written answers to questions like Hsu’s Q-121 are published.

  5. Mr. Hsu is my MP. I have been writing to him about this issue for over a year and a half. At the protest I saw him and questioned him again. He knows who I am. He mentioned he had read all the emails and was about to address this issue. I really didn’t hold out a lot of hope because he had been slow about doing anything in the past.
    Mr. Hsu was born in the same state I was but, he left at six months of age. I don’t think he even remembers a thing about living there of course. He and his wife may be duals but, trust me on this, they have enough money to afford the best tax attorneys and accountants. Being that his wife is American they may not have been as impacted in a negative way since his spouse is not a Canadian only citizen. However, the fact that he has some ties to the U.S. would give him a better perspective of how the U.S. plays in these situations. Some MP’s may trust them more or see them more benignly if they are not familiar with the way the U.S. bullies others.
    I remember at my citizenship ceremony how odd it was that he and the citizenship judge made a huge deal as I went up to get my certificate about my birth place, the state specifically. I remarked to my husband about it. After all there were new citizens there from China, Africa and all over the world. WHY would someone born in Oklahoma garner such interest? Probably because Ted Hsu and I are the only Oklahoma born people in Kingston! LOL!
    He assured me that day at the protest that he WAS getting ready to do something on this issue. I’m glad he kept his word.
    As far as getting this brought up in Parliament. Mr Hsu sent me a petition to get 25 names on before he could bring it up. Another citizen of Kingston had already done so. That was early this year.
    After that I had written to him just before I was to relinquish and urged him again to do something on this issue.
    I think he had already been formulating something but, moved more quickly after the protest. To say I drove the poor man batty with letters and such is probably accurate. I was about to give up except one of my main goals at that protest was to be able to speak directly with my MP! I told White Kat after I spoke with him that I felt if nothing else happened that day I was satisfied because I’d got to speak with my MP. He had to see me there from Kingston at the protest and speak to me. That’s all I wanted. The first words he said were “I know who you are.” LOL! I thought he meant that in a negative manner perhaps because I have been so insistent with him for over a year and a half.
    Well, he may take a while but, when he moves on something he really moves! His questions were comprehensive and satisfy me that he DID hear his constiuents on this matter. I am grateful to him as it has been exhausting and trying writing so letters and I felt like an absolute nuisance calling him out to speak with me at the protest though he was kind about it. Thank you Mr. Hsu for such a straight forward and comprehensive response.
    Now let us see if the government answers him with out wishy washy pie in the sky answers. His questions really point up so much that if the conservatives DO answer will show the very serious problems with FATCA. If they do not answer they will look like they are hiding something. Rock meet hard place. I await their response to Mr. Hsu.
    I also want to say I think it is very fitting that the MP from Canada’s first capital city has brought this sort of questioning forward. Go Canada! In no way should Canada sign something that in any way shape or form causes this country to hand over their banking industry to another nation, nor should they bend the laws of our Charter or Privacy rules to please the U.S.A. Any other nation would have been told to go to the devil if they asked Canada to do what the U.S. is demanding here with FATCA. Now is the time for ALL MP’s to be asking these questions and getting answers, honest answers.

  6. @WhiteKat, yes he did speak with me! He started to walk by but, I called out to him. “Mr. Hsu! Mr Hsu! I am from Kingston, please speak with me about FATCA!” He did turn around and told me he was hurrying at then. “I got all your emails and am about to address this.”
    I was chuffed because one of my purposes that day was to get my MP to talk to me directly in person. Didn’t think much would come of it but, I was pleased he recognized me. Felt I might have been driving him a little looney but, I wasn’t about to let him rush by me and not speak to me about this. I thanked him of course for talking to me. It was more shouting as he was rushing to get a car but, I did speak with him.

  7. URGENT
    Some of us are trying to figure a way of getting some FATCA coverage amongst the Conservative delegates to the convention in Calgary next weekend. Musing about circulating the FATCA flyer and maybe also a copy of Hsu’s Q-121 question to delegates as they arrive, but we’ve learned that (surprise surprise) the convention centre is private property and leafletting isn’t allowed on private property, there’s only one area of public ground near the convention where the police will allow this, and not many delegates are likely to wander by that spot. Sort of sounds like G-20 in Toronto, doesn’t it?
    If by some fluke of luck, any of you who are following this thread are delegates to that convention or have personal connections to people who are and who might be sympathetic – our information from Calgary is that there is a policy workshop starting at 8:30am and going until 2:30 (probably with lunch break) on Friday November 1 in Palomino Rooms E-H at the BMO Centre. The subject is “Role of Government, Taxation, and Crime” (sorry but that’s the only thing I can make out on the agenda that seems related to taxation). From 12:30-1:30 there is a “ministerial information session” in that same venue and for the same topic. I’m not sure where Flaherty will be (there’s also a parallel Economic Development session where he might go, in other rooms, but I don’t think FATCA can remotely be stretched to economic development except for tax lawyers and accountants). So who knows which minister(s) will be at Rooms E-H at that time.
    It would be wonderful if somehow we could get a delegate or two willing to raise some FATCA questions and maybe have a supply of the FATCA handout and Hsu’s questions to pass around at that session.
    I know this is a “Hail Mary pass,” but I thought why not give it a stab.
    If you think this might work, and are a delegate or are well-connected with someone who is and might be sympathetic, just try it. No need to reply on this thread, no real need to contact us about it.
    Hail Mary, full of grace, ….

  8. At a minimum can the Liberal and NDP confirm Flaherty position (no CRA help to IRS collection) plus assert that the US can not hassle Canadians in Canada. Any attempt by the IRS to use Canadian courts will void FACTA. The revenue rule is there but people should not have to hire Barristers.

  9. @Hazy and others
    The standard source of information on birthplace (and other biographical information) of Members of Parliament and Senators is the Canadian Parliamentary Guide, an annual publication. It is available at the reference desk of any academic library and any reasonably large public library. It is also available online, under licensed access.
    CPG asks Members to complete a form, which includes place of birth. Most provide that information, but not all do.
    I have consulted it online and have begun working my way through it. Just made it through the “A”s, with the following:
    Ablonczy, Diane (Conservative)
    Calgary – Nose Hill
    Ady, Cindy (Conservative)
    Calgary – Shaw
    Alward, David (Conservative)
    Woodstock
    I have provide riding and political affiliation, the most important info, I think. I will try to work through the rest, but arrived in France (from Ottawa) two days ago and am still settling in for a three month sojourn.

  10. @Kool,
    The last we heard from Flaherty I believe was at the Ottawa Camping Trailers mini-protest, where he indicated that negotiations with the USA were still on going. He has never stated that Canada would not sign an IGA, but the CBA sure thinks (or used to think…bet they are nervous now) that he was working towards getting one signed.

  11. @ NorthernShrike
    Thanks for your information. I hope you have an opportunity to get through more letters of the alphabet.
    I did notice that of the 3 names listed only one, Ablonczy, is an MP. Ady was an Alberta MLA and Alward is the NB premier.
    However, a list of all U.S. born persons that are now or were recently in a Canadian legislative body, can be very useful.

  12. @ Schubert
    Thanks for your peek inside the bureaucracy and the handling of kewpies.
    I did bump into Justice Minister MacKay early this month (literally bumped into him at a crowded Farmers Market). I tried to talk to him about FATCA, but he was quickly surrounded by a crowd and I didn’t get a response.

  13. Here is a twitter exchange between Ted Hsu and me.
    Lynne Swanson @LynneBlaze 20h
    Thank you @tedhsu 4 asking #FATCA #IGA questions in Parliament http://bit.ly/1eVNk3D When will @JimFlaherty respond?
    Collapse
    12:35 PM – 26 Oct 13
    Ted Hsu @tedhsu 10h
    @LynneBlaze 45 days is the limit for answering written questions, Dec 13, usually they take the full 45 days
    12:35 PM – 26 Oct 13 · Details
    Ted Hsu @tedhsu 10h
    @LynneBlaze much credit goes to Liberal MP Irwin Cotler
    For those who aren’t Twitter literate, I thanked Ted Hsu for his questions and how long it would be for Jim Flaherty to respond.
    Dr. Hsu said the government has 45 days (until December 13) to respond and they usually take the full 45 days.
    He also said much of the credit goes to Irwin Cotler.
    That was not a surprise to me. A few of us had identified Mr. Cotler as a possible ally on FATCA. I suspected some of the questions may have originated with someone who contacted MP Colter a while ago.
    It’s great to know Mr. Cotler is involved.
    Mr. Cotler was Justice Minister and Attorney General from 2003 to 2006. Mr. Cotler is considered an expert in international law and human rights law. He was a professor at McGill and director of its Human Rights Program from 1975 until his election to Parliament in 1999.
    The Conservatives desperately want Cotler’s Mount Royal seat. So much so, they used a private polling firm to spread false rumours in Cotler’s riding that he was planning to resign.
    Ted Hsu is clearly very open about crediting Cotler’s involvement on the FATCA questions. That means the Conservatives likely know it too. That means they know they are coming with the full participation and support of a lawyer, former justice minister, experienced MP and human rights advocate.
    Mr. Cotler’s involvement likely ticks them off even more than Mulcair, Rankin, May and Hsu.
    I would have loved to have seen the expression on Kevin Shoom’s face when he received the questions.

  14. @Hazy: Is Peter MacKay your MP? If so, have you thought about making an apppointment to talk to him about FATCA?
    He must have been relieved by that crowd.
    I would hate to be a politician. How do they ever have quiet outings with their families? I know they chose the life, but it must be awful never to have a moment of anonymity when you are out.

  15. Wow, I am so impressed. Great work you guys Atticus, Whitekat, Blaze and everyone else who keep on pushing and pressuring our politicians. It looks like Mr Hsu hit every point. I started highlighting each point that I was excited about, and then realized I was pretty much highlighting the whole thing. It’s obvious that not only did he listen, but he HEARD. And he’s concerned. I think this is a huge step forward.
    45 days isn’t a long time, BUT, our govt should have all of these answers already. If they don’t then they have been extremely remiss in performing due diligence and a proper cost benefit analysis.
    I can’t wait to hear the answers!

  16. @Outraged,
    It is getting very exciting isn’t it! Things seem to be going our way. Canada can be a leader in this! I am so impressed with how so many people, not only from Canada, but other countries, including the USA (Jim Jatras comes to mind), have all come together to fight the FATCA beast. The mosquitoes truly have turned their individual bites into a deadly sting.
    Of course, it is NOT over yet, and all anti-FATCANATICS throughout the world need to keep swarming. I can’t wait to see what comes of the Calgary protest! And I’m crossing my fingers the Swiss get their 50K signatures. 🙂

  17. @Outraged: They should have the answers, but they won’t want to answer them. i.e. Who did they consult. CBA: Yes. CCLA: Not on list. Will they want to make that public any earlier than they need to?
    I know everyone thinks I’m naive, but I continue to hope and believe Jim Flaherty will do the right thing on FATCA.
    You should be aware that I remember the Mike Harris years in Ontario and remember Flaherty was a huge part of those years. I hated Harris and his government.
    Despite that, I think Flaherty is trying really hard to do the right thing on FATCA. I don’t think the Americans are making it easy, but he’s a control freak just like Harper. Flaherty won’t walk away empty-handed.
    The pressure from May, Rankin, Mulcair and now Hsu and Cotler will make it even more difficult for Flaherty to throw out our rights for a foreign government.
    They know now they are being watched from all sides of the House.(although I have no idea where BQ stands on FATCA. I refuse to give much attention to a party whose mandate is to break up my country).
    I submitted an Access to Information request about 10 days ago, but I’m not optimistic I will receive anything. The time limit on that is 30 days.

  18. @Outraged: The answers to the questions are simple, but they will drag it out as long as they can.
    Here are some examples of the real answers:
    Who consulted: CBA: Yes. CCLA: Oops.
    Provinces and Territories: Oops.
    What studies and analyses: Oops.
    Conclusions: Oops.
    Specifics on privacy: Oops.
    Monitor and enforce: Oops.
    Costs: Oops.
    Vetted for 1867 Constitution, Charter, Bill of Rights: Oops
    All other questions: Oops.
    Will they want to make that public any earlier than they need to?Even when they do respond, they will be as evasive as possible.
    Oops would be honest and easy, but they won’t say it.

  19. Re: Calgary Protest
    I am at this point only a one-person Calgary protest for sure (although there are a couple of maybes — one for one day and one for two days. The logistics of what I would like to do those days is limiting for me.
    Any more to join me?

  20. @ Blaze
    Peter MacKay is not my MP. On that particular day he was campaigning with a PC candidate in the NS election (that candidate lost).
    My own MP, Rodger Cuzner,a Liberal, has never answered a single email sent to him by myself or my wife about FATCA.
    I agree with your assessment of Flaherty regarding FATCA. Remember before the G8 summit in Ireland, Canada appeared to be taking a different point of view about the problem of tax evasion and information sharing.
    BTW, did anyone notice Flaherty’s demeanor during Question Period in the past week. When other Conservatives wildly applauded Harper’s every statement, Flaherty could barely tap his hands together and he had a very unhappy look on his face.

  21. Hazy,
    Those of us in tune could read a lot into Flaherty’s body language and facial expressions during Question Period. I think we read correctly.

  22. For those of you who didn’t see Question Period, here are some clips from The National.
    http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV%2BShows/The%2BNational/About%2Bthe%2BShow/Peter%2BMansbridge/ID/2414357551/
    You can see Flaherty next to Harper around 2.22, 2.36 to 2.52.
    As Chantal Hebert said at the end, “Conservatives did a lot of damage to Conservatives this week…and that can’t be good news for a party that is fractious.”
    @Hazy: I think Flaherty is an honourable, fiscally responsible person (Yikes! There I go again) and I think this misuse of public funds by Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau has to go against his very core.
    Let’s hope Harper doesn’t decide to dump Flaherty from Cabinet for not being more supportive. What would be next for us if that happened?

  23. Irwin Cotler tweeted thanks to Ted Hsu
    Irwin Cotler @IrwinCotler 1h
    Thanks for putting the #FATCA question, @tedhsu – the Charter implications of its implementation in Cda are of great concern to me
    NOTE: Cotler’s focus on Charter!
    My replies:
    Lynne Swanson @LynneBlaze 8m
    @IrwinCotler Thank u too @tedhsu says much credit goes 2 u. Answer 2 many of questions simple: Oops. http://bit.ly/1ahYZKU
    Lynne Swanson @LynneBlaze now
    @IrwinCotler @tedhsu Thanks 4 ID Charter issues 4 #FATCA 2 Canada. Huge! Will @JimFlaherty listen 2 U, Peter Hogg? http://bit.ly/XvX28E

  24. and not to leave anyone out… .the others that will bring the giant down… Outraged, Atticus, Hazy, Schubert, NorthernShrike, Kool…. All Davids in this fight.

  25. Spot on Blaze – your summation is a great fast and effective illustration of the undemocratic and secretive skulking about we’ve seen re the negotiations with the US on FATCA. No consultation or conversation with ALL Canadians about this Made-in-the-US-for-the-US law. Only consultations with and by the Banksters and their investment arm buddies and lobbyists – behind the scenes lobbyists – being kept apprised while the voters and taxpayers and citizens and residents are kept deliberately in the dark. Funny how their vested interests are elevated above all the account holders and taxpayers who will pay dearly for FATCA with their legal local Canadian savings and Canadian taxes – to further only US interests – and pay for the ‘privilege’.

  26. and not to leave out JustMe, Swisspinoy, SwissTechie, UScitizenabroad, Northernstar, YogaGirl, Deckard, Pacifica777, Joe Smith, Tim, ShadowRaider, badger, Wondering, MarkTwain, Kalc, Petros, Tdott, Victoria, and I am sure there are others who I have missed in this list jotted off the top of my head.
    Thank you EVERYONE for being part of this fight! What an amazing group of people have come together through Maple SandBox and Isaac Brock!

  27. Thank you to all of us who have contributed in whatever way at Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock.
    It takes a village to raise a child — and it takes EVERY US Person Abroad who fights against FATCA and US Citizenship-Based Taxation over-reach.

  28. We were discussing Flaherty’s non-verbal messages during QP over the Senate issue.
    After meeting with private sector economists this morning, Flaherty said:

    “I don’t talk about the Senate because I want to have a long happy life. And I really have no interest in it, quite frankly, other than it’s disruptive of what we’re trying to do economically.”

    Whoa. I’m surprised he didn’t say anything about misuse of public funds. But, he did say:

    “I think just in this day in age to have a non-elected legislative body is an anachronism,”

    Flaherty also said he’s in favour of abolishing the Senate.

    “I always have been.”

    That’s not going to sit well with Harper, who wants an elected Senate.
    I wonder if Flaherty said anything about FATCA at the meeting. I’m sure CBA had reps there. Wouldn’t we have loved to have someone there to ask a question?!?

  29. I just got a response back from my MP to an email I sent the other day, and thought I would post the dialogue here for you all to read. At least he responded for a change. It is apparent that my MP either knows nothing or little about FATCA, or smply does not care. I am so angry right now
    WhiteKat Says:
    Treasury Department spokesman Robert Stack claims it’s a myth that ‘US persons’ living their everyday lives outside the US are being harmed by FATCA. See his article in defense of FATCA here: http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Myth-vs-FATCA.aspx
    Canadians living in Canada with the ‘US person’ curse know his ‘myths’ are clever cover ups for the truth because the damage FATCA has caused and is causing to our lives is real. Canadians harmed by FATCA have created this protest on Tumblir where we post our photos to show that we are real: http://we-are-not-a-myth.tumblr.com/
    We have also created a Canadian FATCA FACT Sheet that we are distributing to members of our local communities and at public protests:http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/What-is-FATCA-CAN-1-4.docx
    Please join us in our fight against FATCA.
    Sincerely
    XXXXXXX XXXXXX
    Canadian citizen since 1962 and resident since 1963
    Poilievre Says:
    Ms. XXXXX,
    Thank you for your note.
    I did check with Finance on this matter for you, and have received the reply below:
    “Talks are underway between Canada and U.S. officials to develop an approach that both countries find agreeable, with a view towards concluding an agreement in the near future.”
    An earlier response from Finance stated:
    Our Government has raised serious concerns directly with the US about FATCA.
    We strongly believe FATCA has far reaching extraterritorial implications and would raise significant privacy concerns for Canadians.
    While we’re pleased the US has taken note of our concerns by delaying FATCA’s implementation, this is only a first step.
    We are actively negotiating with the United States to reach a solution that both countries find agreeable, and that treats Canadian citizens fairly.
    And:
    November 8, 2012
    NEGOTIATION OF AN INFORMATION EXCHANGE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES
    Negotiations are being held between Canada and the United States on an agreement to improve cross-border tax compliance through enhanced information exchange under the Canada-United States Tax Convention, including information exchange in support of the provisions enacted by the United States commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
    The purpose of this bulletin is to inform persons whose interests are affected by the provisions of FATCA that the Government is actively seeking a solution to issues raised by such provisions. The Government of Canada has received input from many individuals and groups in relation to the implications of FATCA.
    Persons wishing to offer additional comments concerning the negotiations may send their views to:
    Department of Finance
    17th Floor, East Tower
    140 O’Connor Street
    Ottawa, Canada
    K1A 0G5
    Sincerely,
    Pierre Poilievre, M.P. Nepean-Carleton
    WhiteKat Says:
    Dear Pierre,
    Thanks for your reply. I have already heard all the comments by our government that you posted in your response, as I am involved in an anti-FATCA movement that has been following all developments very closely.
    What I was looking for was your take on FATCA, and hoping that you would start to take an interest in the subject and do some research on your own.
    The NDP and Green Party have clearly expressed their opposition to FATCA. Most recently the Liberals have begun to ask serious questions about FATCA.
    The Conservative party needs to stop NEGOTIATING a one-sided, so-called ‘agreement’ and say ‘NO’ to the bullies to our south. Canada has nothing to gain, and everything to lose by signing an ‘agreement’ which is nothing less than an extortionist threat.
    Thank you for taking the time to listen.

  30. @Blaze. I also wonder what if any information about IGA negotiations the “private sector economists” got in that closed meeting. None, I hope. Any information that Flaherty wants to share with anyone outside his department and office should be shared with ALL Canadians and not just selected hired guns of the banks and corporations.
    That being said, I find it wonderful to learn that Flaherty’s position on abolishing the Senate is identical to the official party resolution of the NDP, as well as different from Harper’s. Can we hope some tenuous bridges might exist between Flaherty and the NDP on other issues too, like FATCA?

  31. @Schubert: As I’ve said before, I’m not counting Flaherty out for the count on FATCA.
    I still think he’s in our corner despite his prolonged silence on FATCA.
    The more I see of him, the more I respect him (Yikes!). His statement today is an example of that. Maybe he’s more a Red Tory like the former Bill Davis Conservatives were.
    It’s really unfortunate Tim Hudak defeated Flaherty’s wife, Christine Elliott for leadership of the provincial Ontario Cons. I think she would be a far better leader than Hudak. Interestingly, it would also have given us female leaders of all three Ontario parties.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2009/04/26/flaherty_and_elliott_canadas_next_power_couple.html
    Flaherty supported her fully even though they have some differing political opinions (i.e. HST). Flaherty thought his position as Finance Minister might work against Elliott. He said

    “Some people don’t like me.”

    As one person said about Flaherty,

    “He’s not known as Mr. Oprah.”

    That’s OK. We don’t need or want Oprah. We need an Elijah Harper. I think Flaherty may just turn out to be our Elijah.
    Another simple”No” with an eagle feather could change history. Or, however Flaherty chooses to do it. I just wish he would do it soon!

  32. I just received the following email from Dr. Hsu’s office after sending him an email on Saturday thanking him for the FATCA question. Others have received the same email.
    Thank you for your email regarding FACTA. We are awaiting an answer to
    Mr. Hsu’s Order Paper question, which the government must provide
    within 45 days. I have passed your message on to Mr. Hsu, who has
    asked me to respond on his behalf.
    Mr. Hsu has recently posted a short write up about FACTA:
    http://blog.tedhsu.ca/2013/10/28/looking-for-answers-on-facta/.
    The government is required to answer the Order Paper question in 45
    days, but we encourage you to contact the Minister of Finance at
    flaherty.j@parl.gc.ca to demand that the
    – Hide quoted text –
    government provide a substantive response to this question. We also
    invite you to prepare a petition to be tabled in the House of Commons,
    and we provide instructions here:
    http://www.tedhsu.ca/services/petitions.html.
    Thank you for your engagement with this issue. If you have any further
    questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
    Thank you,
    Beth
    Beth Palmer
    Legislative Assistant

  33. Thanks Hazy. I didn’t think I had received it, but I found it in my Inbox a few minutes ago.
    Who wants to take on the responsibility of organizing a petition?
    I think Dr. Hsu already presented one, but it won’t hurt to do another one.

  34. The deadline for Flaherty to respond to Ted Hsu’s questions was December 14 and to respond to Scott Brison’s was December 16. I just received this information from Ted Hsu’s office:

    The House rose yesterday and we expect that the FATCA Order Paper question will be returned the next sitting day, which is now scheduled for January 27, 2014. It’s unfortunate that the government did not respond to the question before adjourning for winter break.

    So, there you have it folks. One more way for Finance Canada to avoid answering our questions or to drag it out as long as possible.

  35. Canadian Parliament FATCA Questions 121 and 127 – Oct 25,28 2013 not being answered, as well as getting answers to our many questions regarding the Canadian government negotiations with the US for an IGA (…and “Do ALL Canadians have the same rights?”) are in addition to these six things Canadian MPs didn’t do before taking a 6-week holiday.

    MPs voted Tuesday night to adjourn a few days early and return to Parliament Hill on Jan. 27. As Kady O’Malley sees it, it’s easier to tabulate what they didn’t do since October’s throne speech than what they did. (Canadian Press)

  36. My thought is that Canada may never say “No” to FATCA, but it may stall (indefinately?) on signing an IGA by holding out for things the US will never give in about. Clearly, Canada is not just giving in to demands from the US, or something would have been signed long ago. I am hoping that Canada will refuse to sign anything that is unfair to Canadians. It is possible that the only thing that is stopping them is public pressure., and it can’t hurt to keep that up. But I want to think that , much as I am not a fan of the conservatives, even they are not prepared to throw “US persons” resident in Canada under the bus. By now, no one could claim that they wouldn’t know what the implications of an IGA under the current model would be. At some point, a failure to sign might become essentially a “no” but the US will do whatever it can to prevent that from happening.
    The other possibility is that if something was actually signed, just to get the IRS off the backs of the banks, it might never actually get acted on, although I’m not sure how these things can happen. I really can’t see the CRA ever actually sending the IRS all the banking information on duals and accidental Americans living in Canada.
    Maybe I’m just overly optimistic, but I live in hope. I heard on “Ideas” last night that the only rational people are the depressed ones, but I need to have hope to keep going.

  37. @CanuckDoc: I actually share your optimism–with some reservations.
    I don’t see how the government can sign a standard IGA. I agree if they were going to do it, they would have done it a long time ago.
    My feeling is Canada will sign some kind of agreement. It may even be called an IGA, but I don’t think it will be a standard Model 1 or Model 2 IGA. I think it would look more like to model suggested by Peter Hogg–i.e. provide information on residents of US.
    The only problem is, the US already receives something like that from Canada on US residents–but not with as much information as FATCA demands.
    I think the long-standing information exchange could be Canada’s “out” in all of this. But, then Minister Flaherty said in September 2011 he was “cautiously optimistic” Canada would have an exemption from FATCA because of the bilateral agreement. Twenty-seven months later and it hasn’t happened.
    The other barrier to my hoped-for model is the clause that Britain (and perhaps others) have in their IGAs–which essentially allow their IGAs to be changed if another country gets a better deal.
    Unfortunately, there is no way for any of us to know what is going on behind closed doors. That is why it is so important we keep up the pressure to ensure our rights are now violated.
    (and be ready to act if they are violated!)
    It also troubles me that Minister Flaherty will not make a simple statement. Do all Canadians have the same rights? The answer is equally simple: Yes or No. Their lack of response answers my question. We have been treated as second class citizens for over two years.

  38. Thanks for your opinions on what Canada may or may not do in protecting US Persons in Canada. Because I respect the opinions of you both, you help buoy me up as yesterday and this morning I would be among the rational described in “Ideas”.
    Can the plight of green card holders in the US be any worse, people who had no prior knowledge of what moving to the land of opportunity held in store? http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2013/12/12/amid-irs-abuse-record-number-of-americans-give-up-u-s-citizenship-fatca/comment-page-1/#comment-805284?
    Amid all of this, I am thankful to live in Canada rather than across that border. But, I too want to know: Do all Canadians have the same rights?

  39. Yikes! What won’t the US do to try to climb their way out of debt. At some point, Victoria and I may try writing an article on how FBAR, OVDI and FATCA are affecting immigrants. Is it possible for you to contact Nick and Christophe to see if they would be willing to participate.
    I’m glad we were able to buoy you just for a bit. I really don’t see how anything other than Hogg’s recommendation could possibly work in Canada.
    That is, of course, just my opinion. The fact Flaherty won’t answer our Simple Question is cause for concern and an indication we need to keep the pressure up.
    Hang in there Calgary and everyone else.
    Ferfet, if you’re still following us, we’re not giving up!

  40. We are among those persons who want certainty, an (as we see it) easy answer from Finance Minister Flaherty and the Government of Canada on whether ALL Canadians have the same rights.
    Of course, I had to go to “Ideas” after your comment, CanuckDoc. That “Ideas” segment has a psychologist who says that more people are easily swayed by confidence — that cognitive humility is not something that people want: more prefer to be part of the magical belief lottery.
    That pretty much sums up the ‘denial’ so many have that FATCA and US citizenship-based taxation (even if they’ve gotten to that relevant fact) doesn’t affect them.
    (I will contact, separately, Nick and Christophe with your contact info, Blaze — if that is OK.)

  41. Well, the cautious optimism expressed here does help a bit to temper my fatalistic feeling that we are about to wear tread marks from the bus tires. My magic lottery belief is that Canada will protect all of her citizens!

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