Calgary411 and I set up on one corner of an intersection across from the BMO convention centre. Fortuitously, it was a great location, as anyone who wanted to go up to Macleod Trail to get a coffee had to walk right past us.
We got out there about 10am and immediately garnered a lot of interest from people driving by, as well as pedestrians. I quickly lost count of the thumbs up we received. Quite a few horn honks, as well.
Not too long after we got there, the first of the bicycle cops showed up. I was a little apprehensive, although we weren’t blocking the sidewalk, or doing any of the things we weren’t supposed to do. However, to my relief these guys were, to a person, very nice, very interested and quite supportive of us! In fact, several of them took away with them the fact sheets that Calgary411 brought with her. At one point, we were pretty much surrounded by 7 policemen on bicycles – that got us a bunch of looks, thumbs up and honks!
The first couple of hours it was quite beautiful out – a little cool, but with sunshine, and I was enjoying myself a lot, which is an odd thing for an introvert to say, but it’s true. It was great catching up with Calgary411 and I was actually kind of having fun, odd as that sounds.
Unfortunately, no one else was able to join us, so it was just Calgary411 and me. However, a member of Anonymous had shown up down the street, and his people didn’t show, so he came, stood with us, and held one of our signs. The moral support was very buoying.
Another person who spent some time with us was someone who came down from Edmonton. He’s hoping to start up as some sort of independent news media and thought the convention would be a great place to start.
Both Calgary411 and I gave him little interviews. I don’t know what will come of it, but I wish him well. He was a very interested, and eager, and took the fact sheets and said he’d get in touch with us through our site here, as I have my email posted here, of course.
Around noon-ish we started seeing more members of the conservative party. Some saw our signs and made sure they didn’t cross over to our street. Others, however, came across anyway and just ignored us. That’s okay – they saw the signs.
Best of all, though, is that many actually stopped, asked us what FATCA is, and engaged us in conversation. Several took the fact sheets with them back to the convention.
Only 3 of perhaps around 20 or so that stopped to chat had actually heard of FATCA. One of the ones that hadn’t asked me (rhetorically, I assume), “how could I not have heard about this?” And I responded, “Exactly! That’s a question that needs to be answered, don’t you think?” And he agreed.
Another knew quite a bit about it (!) and said that his opinion of FATCA was that it meant that anyone affected would lose 40% of the retirement savings. Not quite sure where that came from, but hey, I’m sure it’s true for many people.
The third said he knew all about it, and told us emphatically several times that we needed to look into non-sift trusts. We had NO idea what that meant, but agreed we would. Below is the CRA page on Specified investment flow-through (SIFT) trust income and distribution tax
The rest of the investigation will have to wait for another day, though.
As the afternoon wore on, the sun was hidden by clouds, a wind came up and it became quite chilly. About 2:00 I had to admit to Calgary411 that I’d had it for the day, so we packed it up and were gone about 2:30 or so.
So, I drove home back to Canmore. Now, my legs are sore, my back is tired, and I feel chilled to the core. However, I feel quite jubilant about the day. I really do think our little 2 person protest has made a difference. We informed a lot of people, and we got the word FATCA out there in people’s subconscious.
Calgary411 is coming to Canmore on Sunday, weather permitting, and I hope we have as successful a day then as we did today.
A hot bath and a hot chocolate await me, so I’m off for now.