Globe and Mail is reporting Canada’s Information Sharing Deal With US Is Under Fire
The article covers many points we already know. It also misses some really important points.
The lead on the article says:
A debate over fighting tax evasion versus protecting personal privacy looms large for Canada as it prepares to announce a deal with the United States to share banking information.
As we know, this is NOT about tax evasion. Canadian citizens and residents pay tax on their income from bank accounts and other assets in Canada. Many of us have not had a connection to US in decades. Others have never had a connection to US other than being born there when parents were working in US or because their mother was sent to an American hospital to give birth.
The author reports on what Canadian banks want:
Canadian banks have urged Ottawa to take on the reporting duties through the Canada Revenue Agency, which could ensure that privacy laws are respected when information is sent south of the border.
He is not getting the point that does not resolve the problem. Why should Canadians with some obscure tie to US have to report all details about their finances to CRA when other Canadians do not.
More importantly, our information should never be submitted to a foreign government–and especially not to a foreign government which has significant problems with identity theft and protection of personal information.
He does get one point right:
There has been little debate on the issue so far, partly because no details on the talks between Canada and the U.S. have been released. However, Ottawa is promising to make the deal public once it is signed.
Queen’s law professor Art Cockfield sums it up well:
“No foreign government should be able to come into our country and demand personal information about our own citizens and residents.”
However, that statement is followed by:
The negotiations are aimed at smoothing over this problem by ensuring exchanges are mutual and at the government-to-government level.ad
No, that does not resolve or smooth over the problem. We should have the same rights as all other Canadians to manage our finances in confidence and privacy with our banks without involvement of either the Canadian or any foreign government.