I am pleased to report that a number of us who have been blitzing Mulcair and other NDP MPs finally got an email from Mulcair today, which takes exactly the position he should have taken in Toronto on September 20 in that public meeting when he said the NDP had no policy on FATCA. I’d like to think it’s more than a coincidence that this comes after a flurry of emails from several Brockers and Sandboxers to Mulcair challenging him on the “no policy” statement, given the BC Caucus’ very strong letter to Flaherty two years ago. Perhaps some of us, including me, having sent letters and reminder copies of the September 2011 letter to the eleven remaining MPs who signed that letter and asking “what gives here” may have helped too.
Here is the full text of the email from Mulcair, which I got and which I know at least one other participant on both websites also got today:
Thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns with current US tax and foreign bank account reporting laws, and, more specifically, the U.S. Foreign Account Compliance Act (FATCA).
I share your concerns that FATCA’s sweeping provisions on financial disclosure will have significant consequences for dual Canadian-American citizens and Americans with landed immigrant status lawfully living here in Canada. Please know that New Democrats have consistently challenged the over-reaching aspects of FATCA and have urged the Conservative government to negotiate protective measures for those citizens who would be affected by FATCA’s onerous regulations.
We are also troubled that the secrecy of these negotiations with the US is detrimental for citizens with legitimate concerns relating to privacy and financial pressures. They must rely on media reports for developing news and have no opportunity to have their views considered in a meaningful way.
In discussing this matter with my NDP colleagues, we felt that it was important to reinforce how serious and unfair the consequences of FATCA could be for Canadians if unilaterally imposed. In taking the lead on this issue, Official Opposition critic for National Revenue, Murray Rankin, has written to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty calling on his government to reject any agreement that may violate the privacy rights of Canadians, erode Canadian sovereignty, or fail to offer Canada equal benefits to those provided to the United States. Please see the attached copy of Murray Rankin’s letter to Minister Flaherty.
Going forward, please be assured that New Democrats will remain vigilant on this issue. We will continue to pressure the Government to help address the above-mentioned concerns and ensure the rights of Canadians who hold dual citizenship with the United States are protected.
Again, I appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns with me.
Thomas Mulcair, M.P. (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada