US wants their cross-border officers to be exempt from Canadian law

Cross-posted from the Isaac Brock Society website: there is an article on the CBC News website (also in the July 30 Toronto Star) that every loyal Canadian must read. It reports that the Americans are demanding that our government agree that US cross-border agents operating under a proposed cross-border enforcement agreement, not be subject to Canadian law when operating on Canadian soil.
www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/07/31/pol-cp-us-police-sovereignty-cross-border-rcmp-memo.html

I sent the following email to the PM, my MP and the opposition party leaders about this story:

“I am absolutely opposed to any exemption from Canadian law of US law enforcement, security or military personnel operating on Canadian soil. That would be a total violation of Canada’s sovereignty. Any agreement by any Canadian government to something like this would, in my opinion, be akin to an act of treason — a sell-out of our sovereignty to the Americans. No cross-border economic “benefits” can possibly justify something like this. I will hold you personally accountable (and also your political parties) in the next election for whatever stance and actions you and your parties take on this matter, as I suspect will a lot of my fellow Canadians.”

To my family and friends in the US I sent the following message:

“If you were in any lingering doubt of American imperialist arrogance being continued by the Obama administration, read the link below. Canada and the US have been negotiating cross-border policing operations at the border, supposedly to facilitate cross-border tourism and commerce, but now the US wants its cross-border officers operating on Canadian sovereign soil to be exempt from Canadian law while operating on our soil. Do you imagine for a second the Obama administration would accept a parallel demand from Canada for its officers on US soil to be exempt from US law? Would the American people accept that? Why does anyone in the Obama administration dream for a second this would be acceptable to Canadians?” Or, I might add, to the citizens of any other country on this planet.

I forget which major UK publication it was, The Guardian or The Economist, that a few months ago described Obama, with respect to foreign and military policy issues, as “George W. Bush on steroids.” I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, and it doesn’t flatter either of those two presidents.

The implications and extensions of this US demand, re IRS and taxation, are rather obvious.

Maybe your US family and friends are already converted, maybe they are so wedded to US “exceptionalism” they can’t listen any more, maybe it won’t matter, but I think it’s important that former USPs living overseas ensure their US friends and family are aware of examples like this. It may or may not change anything to keep them informed, but it certainly won’t change anything if we all sit quietly and say nothing about these outrages. And you can bet your last dollar that the so-called “free” mainstream US press aren’t covering stories like this and reporting them to Americans.

At the very least, make sure your MP and your neighbours are aware of this story and of what you think about it. To paraphrase a famous aphorism: all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to say and do nothing when evil raises its head. And unless a lot of Canadians write their Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister to object to this proposal, and also Heave Steve in 2015 if his government succumbs to this US demand, we can kiss our sovereignty and our precious country goodbye. Remember 1812, and fight any attempt by the US to take us over. This demand, if accepted by our government, would be a dangerous and significant step toward a US take-over of our country.

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About schubert

I've had a CLN (Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States) since 1976, quite by accident (DOS mailed me one after I wrote a long anti-US letter to Henry Kissinger on July 4, 1976, telling him I'd become a Canadian citizen several months earlier and why, then confirming on a form I got in the mail that I had done so willingly - duh! - and with the intent of relinquishing my US citizenship). I filed the CLN away and forgot about it until August 2011 when I first heard about FATCA and FBAR and realized I needed to find the proof I am not an American in spite of my birthplace. My wife, who came to Canada with her ex before I did and also became a Canadian citizen, believed she'd thereby lost her US citizenship but didn't write Kissinger, didn't know anything about CLNs or the need to get one (nor did I at the time), and applied for a relinquishment CLN a few months ago. Until August 29, 2012, we were waiting to get her CLN, and it has been in her interests that I'm monitoring and occasionally participating in this and the IBS website. However, joy of joys, wonder of wonders, my wife's CLN arrived in the mail on that date, so now we both have CLNs. I will continue to monitor and contribute to this website as I have time and when I think I have something constructive to add, but after 12 months of Hell we're going to get our sanity and lives back, and that means a prolonged vacation from anything related to CLNs, IRS, FATCA, or any other such crap, unless it rears its head and threatens Canada and Canadians to the point where I have to come out of my corner fighting again ...

24 thoughts on “US wants their cross-border officers to be exempt from Canadian law

  1. ArcticGrayling

    “Situational belief system”.

    Excellent choice of words. I will use that from now on. I hope you don’t accuse me of plagiarism!!

    Makes me think of the Vichy French, or Linda McQuaig.

    Obama is portrayed by his media lackeys as the President who is all for the “little guy”.

    Here is a link that shows how cumulative Cash balances of the S&P 500 companies have grown under Obama’s watch.

    http://www.factset.com/insight/2012/9/cashinvestment_9.26.12#.Ug002ZL2YUV

    You don’t have to be a mathematician to see who has been getting rich since January 2009.

    Reply
  2. atticusincanada

    Shubert said: ” forget which major UK publication it was, The Guardian or The Economist, that a few months ago described Obama, with respect to foreign and military policy issues, as “George W. Bush on steroids.” I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, and it doesn’t flatter either of those two presidents.”

    Yes, exactly this is what I see. Everything from his horrible so called health care law which originally was taken from the Heritage Foundation’s blueprint, to giving big Pharma and the insurance industry tons of otherwise not realized perks behind closed doors, to droning, to FATCA. To me he’s Bush on steroids. It’s worse though because he gets away with far more being a democrat doing these things. If Bush was actually doing them democrats would rise up in horror but, he’s one of “theirs” so they justify, ignore, and excuse. Situational belief system on display with many, many of these issues.

    Reply
  3. AtticusinCanada

    @Blaze @Tortured. I want to know too if the RBC is saying they “jumped the gun” do they plan on freezing RRSP’s? Surely someone must have brought up doing this. The employee maybe jumped the gun but, they didn’t just think up that idea on their own.

    Reply
  4. schubert Post author

    For whatever it’s worth (likely very little), here is the email reply I got this afternoon from the one of the PM’s correspondence officers. No reply yet from any of the opposition leaders or my MP.
    ********
    I would like to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to the Prime Minister.

    Please be assured that your comments have been noted. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, for his information.

    Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

    *****
    I don’t expect I’ll be hearing from Blaney, but if I do, or from any of the party leaders or my MP, and the reply is anything other than a simple acknowledgement (such as the above), I’ll post it on this thread. Otherwise assume my messages have gone unanswered. But if we keep it up, maybe it won’t happen — certainly the MSM in Canada are jumping all over this issue with (so far unanimously negative) editorial comments.

    In other news: while my wife and I were in Germany for two weeks last month, I read in Deutsche Welle that the opposition parties are comparing the behaviour of the US NSA by spying on Germans and others as being exactly like the Stasi. The Merkel government isn’t exactly happy about it, either. Only the Harper and Cameron governments seem to think it’s no big deal (and Baird the lapdog of the US has joined the US chorus in condemning Putin for giving Snowdon asylum in Russia), but that’s because the Canadian and UK governments have been complicit in the NSA spying all along. So far MSM Canadian media seem to be ignoring that, which is disgusting.

    Having been born before the Cold War began and having lived through it, I find the irony and sanctimonious hypocrisy of the Obama and Harper governments on the NSA/Snowdon issue absolutely delicious.

    Reply
  5. Blaze

    @Outraged: I was actually being cynical when I made that comment about making being part of the “homeland” work for us. I also want no part of US.

    Huffington Post Canada now has an article about NSA map.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/02/us-homeland-canada-mexico-map-nsa_n_3697189.html

    It seems it also includes Central America, Caribbean.

    Either someone doesn’t know geography very well or there is something very scary going on here. Or both. What do you think?

    Reply
  6. OutragedCanadian

    @Blaze, I see the logic, but I balk at being part of the ‘homeland’. When I first heard that the US had introduced that term and that department, I had a bad feeling in my gut on what that meant. My fears, I fear, are coming true. I want no part of the US, personally.

    Reply
  7. Blaze

    @Schubert: Add Huffington Post Canadian edition to the list:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sean-casey/border-security-canada_b_3691387.html

    American Cops Don’t Belong In Canada was written by Sean Casey, a Liberal MP for Charlottetown. I will contact him to encourage him and the Libs to take a similar stand on FATCA. Others may also want to contact Sean Casey. I don’t know if we have anyone from PEI or Charlottetown here or at Brock, but if anyone is in his riding or nearby, a contact from you would be especially helpful.

    Here’s The Star’s position on the American demand. Surprise. Stephen Harper’s border deal does imperil Candian sovereignty.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/08/01/surprise_stephen_harpers_us_border_deal_does_imperil_canadian_sovereignty_walkom.html

    Christopher Walkom asks and answers: “Will all of this reduce Canadian sovereignty? Of course. Will this federal government balk at giving so much away? Don’t count on it.”

    Why doesn’t Walkom and others take a stand on FATCA and Canadian sovereignty instead of just regurgitating IRS press releases.

    Could NSA be a factor in alll of this? They now deem Canada and Mexico to be part of the “homeland.” In fact, Atlantic Wire has written an article: Welcome To The Homeland Mexico and Canada.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/08/welcome-homeland-mexico-and-canada/67874/

    Maybe we can work this to our benefit. If we’re part of the “homeland,” then our accounts are not “offshore,” our banks are not “foreign” and FATCA doesn’t apply to us. Right?

    Reply
  8. money1

    If you are a Canadian citizen or resident all the IRS should be able to do is take their 30% of US source income not allow you to cross USA border (big deal) and send you a limited number of nasty IRS letter. The Canadian government should allow only 4 of those letter and no phone call. A Canadian can sign a form saying “he will never go to US because he knows the consequences” and after that the IRS will not be permitted to mail those letters.

    Reply
  9. Tortured

    Blaze,
    Not sure what is going to happen in the future but when I said the employee jumped the gun I meant he could Not legally freeze that account at that time but was acting as if there was already a FATCA deal in place. This is just my interpretation of the events after I found out about FATCA & the banks. Hope that explains what I meant

    Reply
    1. ArcticGrayling

      @ Tortured..

      Suggestions…

      (1) Complain to the branch manager in writing. Tell them you know what the Charter in our Constitution says, and that you will take them before a human rights tribunal if they do it again.

      (2) Complain to the CEO of the bank in writing.

      (3) Carbon copy both letters to Harper and Flaherty.

  10. schubert Post author

    Over at Brock, Tim posted an editorial today in the National Post which takes the same position
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/08/01/matt-gurney-u-s-police-officers-on-canadian-soil-must-answer-to-our-laws/

    When you get the CBC, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette and the National Post all on the same page, you know this US demand is a total non-starter unless Harper wants to commit political self-incineration. He doesn’t strike me as politically stupid or suicidal, though I have to wonder sometimes about the people he had and still has in the PMO.

    So why don’t these same media “get” the point that FATCA is just as much a violation of Canadian (and other countries’) sovereignty and just as unacceptable? This point has already, I believe, been raised in some of the comments posted to the National Post story; we need to keep hammering this point, not just with Canadian media, but with our neighbours including true progressive conservatives who I think are as appalled by this nonsense as I am.

    The US government is over-reaching big-time; a line needs to be drawn in the sand, and they need to be told where to stop. We need to reach out to our fellow Canadians and Canadian media on this; the US, its media and the majority of its citizens (and certainly its politicos) are probably a long-lost and hopeless cause.

    Reply
    1. ArcticGrayling

      @ schubert..

      yes…reach out to the Canadian media and Canadian policy makers. Forget the American media. They are Obama’s biggest fans.

      I am not even that confident in the Canadian media. They seem to love Obama more than they value Canadian sovereignty. They seem to fear accusations of racism more than they value Canadian sovereignty.

  11. Blaze

    Here is an editorial from Montreal Gazette on US cops and cross-border officers being exempt from Canadian law

    It’s called A Threat To Canadian Sovereignty.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Editorial+threat+Canada+sovereignty/8737559/story.html

    Many of the points made could also apply to FATCA. Like:

    “There is one thing that we should not be prepared to do as we increasingly co-operate with the Americans on these matters: erode the right to apply Canadian law in Canada.”

    Reply
  12. money1

    Has Justin Trudeau made any comment on Canadian protection against FACTA? Canadian senior department appointees are career civil servent. In USA they fill up department with political hacks. Is there anyway that the Liberal will reverse Flaherty position on FACTA and taxes.

    Reply
    1. Blaze

      I am not aware of any comment from Justin Trudeau on FATCA. I have e-mailed him and tweeted him several times with no reply.

      I had a letter more than a year ago from Bob Rae when he was interim Liberal leader against FATCA. It was very partisan.

      NDP initially spoke out against FATCA, but they too have been silent for over a year. Again, I have e-mailed and tweeted Thomas Mulcair and others in NDP. There has been no response at all from Mulcair and no response from other NDP members for over a year.

      Hoang Mai was Revenue Critic for NDP and made asked superb questions in Parliament. However, it has since become known that he owes back taxes to Revenue Quebec. He has been moved from Revenue critic to Deputy Critic justice. Those back taxes certainly affect his credibility on the FATCA issue and on Revenue critic generally.

      When you ask is there any way Liberals would reverse Flaherty position on FATCA and taxes, do you mean on CRA will not collect penalties for any Canadian citizen or resident and will not collect taxes for IRS on any Canadian citizen?

      I think that is actually contained in the existing tax treaty, so I don’t know how easily that can be changed. I don’t think Liberals or NDP would do that even if they could, but that’s just my personal opinion.

      In addition, Canadian courts have consistently found against IRS trying to gain jurisdiction into Canada.

      As you probably know, Flaherty has spoken out against FATCA several times in the past, but has also said Canada is negotiating to “actively find a solution that both parties will find agreeable.”

      As I have said to Flaherty and many others, there should be no negotiating on fundamental legal and Charter rights of Canadian citizens and residents.

      I have asked Flaherty many times to reassure Canadians by saying: Canadian banks must adhere to Canadian laws. Canadian laws will not be changed to accommodate a foreign government.

      The fact he is not willing to make such an obvious and simple statement is cause for concern.

    2. ArcticGrayling

      @ Blaze…

      Yes…I agree….Flaherty should have said something by now on such a basic issue.

      But….maybe his strategy is simply to stall. By stalling long enough maybe he hopes FATCA will implode.

  13. Tortured

    ArcticGrayling
    Re: your comment on Maple Sandbox
    Just to clarify
    Turns out my RRSP was not frozen although I was told it was….. The bank employee “jumped the gun”

    Reply
    1. Blaze

      Thank you Tortured for clarifying that. I wondered what had happened in your situation.

      What do you mean the employee “jumped the gun?” Does that mean the RRSP could be frozen in the future or does it mean there is no reason to freeze?

    2. ArcticGrayling

      The bank employee should be canned for breach of confidentiality.

      I hope you make a stink about that.

  14. recalcitrantexpat

    In business there is concept called the law of “diminishing returns”. This law states that at a certain point in the production of any good or service that the profit that is gained from the production of each additional good is diminished by the added costs that are incurred in its production.

    I think that the Canadian government needs to really rethink the benefits that are to be obtained in any further integration of its security forces with the U.S. I believe that if such integration threatens the compromise the sovereignty of the Canadian government over those who reside within its territory that we have then reached the point of “diminishing” returns. Canada should not pursue further border security integration just because it will benefit Canadian businesses. Canadian businesses have no interest in Canadian sovereignty. For them the “border” is an artificial barrier that restricts their ability to make money.
    To give U.S. law enforcement personnel immunity from Canadian law while working in Canada would be a very foolish thing to do. The existence of Canada is already precarious. These guys are not diplomats and they should not be allowed to hide behind a privilege that historically has only been granted to diplomats and for very specific reasons. Which is that the diplomat and his/her embassy are considered to be boundary extensions of the state which employs them.

    Reply

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