B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association Speaks Out Against FATCA

“We oppose (the FATCA IGA) on a number of grounds, but we will restrict our comments to the large scale infringement of privacy rights.”

That is the beginning of a four page Submission by the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association to Finance Canada.
BCFIPA challenge several aspects of the IGA as well as question the jurisdiction of the federal government to regulate credit unions which fall under provincial jurisdiction.
They also state clearly their agreement with Peter Hogg.
BCFIPA Concludes:

There are considerable difficulties involved in any attempt to implement a FATCA IGA in this country and those will almost certainly result in extensive litigation and damage to people and institutions which are in no way connected to tax evasion in this country or in the United States.
Therefore, we urge you not to proceed with this wholesale infringement of the constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights of Canadians.

Thanks to privacy lawyer Michael Power who e-mailed me BCFIPA Calls For Halt to FATCA with the link to the actual submission.

9 thoughts on “B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association Speaks Out Against FATCA

  1. It is good to know that there are more Canadians taking a stand against FATCA and finding it an infringement of our Constitution.

  2. This is great news! However, did you notice that we are referred to as ‘Americans who happen to live in Canada’? Whenever I hear that I cringe.

  3. Indeed it does say just that. Thank you for pointing that out *again*, WhiteKat.
    “This IGA does not just affect Americans who happen to be living in Canada…” Is this just not the most demeaning description?
    There are those who DO think of themselves as “Americans who happen to living in Canada”. They think of them as people who decided to come to Canada to work and DO PLAN TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND to live one day. However…
    – WhiteKat was born to Canadian parents and came back home to Canada as a very young child and has lived here ever since.
    – I chose to move to Canada in 1969 and chose to become a Canadian citizen in 1975, to live and work here, to pay taxes here for the benefits I receive here, to raise my family here and to be a full Canadian member of this society.
    – My son was born in Canada and has never lived anywhere else, including the USA.
    We ARE NOT “Americans who happen to live in Canada”. Can I sue anyone for calling me that? We are Canadians who happen to have the UNWANTED indicia of ‘US Person’ stuck on our shoes (as George as so well analogized).
    I have really lost respect for our Canadian leaders who cast ‘who we are’ aside, giving more importance to what the US says we are instead of to the Canadians that we are.
    Some do not want to fit the description of “Canadian” / do not think of themselves as “Canadian” and that is their right.
    How did my choice and my right to be described as anything other than the “Canadian” I became, the “Canadian” my son was born as and never lived anywhere other as or the “Canadian” WhiteKat was born as to Canadian parents and Canada the country she moved back to as a very young minor child and lived the rest of her life in no longer important in this “democratic” country?
    How many times must I, my son, WhiteKat and others here be referred to as “Americans who happen to be living in Canada”, as “US citizens resident in Canada” or as “US taxpayers resident in Canada” until that is what we are thought of as by our fellow Canadians in?
    Talk about discrimination by brain-washing! Canada should weep that this can happen in our country who has a Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms.
    PS — In fact I (nor my son, nor WhiteKat) can even be described as a Canadian snowbird who chooses to be “a Canadian who happens to be living in the US” for a big part of the year and who might choose to live there much longer were it not that I could lose my Canadian provincial healthcare by being “a Canadian who happens to be living in the US” for too long.

  4. hear, hear, Calgary 411 – well put!  While I’m glad there’s another powerful voice fighting FATCA, I, too, get tired of being referred to as if I did not consciously make a choice to become Canadian, fully Canadian, only Canadian.
    Whomever put together the media strategy around FATCA deserves a raise, because it worked really well – unfortunately for us.

  5. It is galling, shameful and appalling to me that there are many excellent volunteer or not-for-profit organizations, not to mention individual MPs like Murray Rankin and Elizabeth May, who are indeed “standing on guard” for Canada and Canadians, as promised in the English version of our national anthem, but that our elected federal government seems only to be standing on guard for the IRS, the Canadian Bankers Association, and fat-cat individuals and corporations who support the so-called conservative party of Canada (and I deliberately use lower-case letters for the party’s name here).
    Harper and Flaherty are traitors to my fellow citizens and to my country and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Purely and simply, traitors. They are unworthy of public office, as are all their MPs who vote in favour of the IGA. And the chartered banks are unworthy of my business (but then, I’ve been with a credit union since the late 1970s and have had nothing to do with a bank since then, for other reasons like depositor ownership and much better customer service, so they really lost me decades ago — but they’ll never, ever get me back now).

  6. @calgary411…
    You ask an interesting question about whether you can sue over being called an American who happens to live in Canada.
    I am not lawyer, but in the course my business life, I did have some legal training. The criteria for making a civil suit successful in Canada are different than they are in the States. In Canada you have to demonstrate that there financial damages. So, can you argue that?
    Maybe you can. After all, being so identified does infringe upon your privacy, it may force your bank to disclose information about you to a foreign government, or it may force you to incur unnecessary costs to comply with the demands of those arrogant clowns in Washington, whose boss (the anointed one in the White House) probably does not not send an FBAR to Kenya.
    I did my final FBAR recently, and it cost me time to do it, time that I could have spent to do more productive, such as doing billable work for my customers. I also have to pay to get those 1040 forms done.
    Thankfully, these are my last. I handed in my citizenship last year and politely told them to stick it in a place where the sun doesn’t shine.
    I am not very happy about incurring costs to keep warlord Obama placated.

  7. @WhiteKat:  I don’t know if you have been following Arctic since the beginning.
    He, like you, was an “accidental American.”  He was born in the US to Canadian parents. He came to Canada with them at a very early age (I don’t remember the exact age).
    He made the decision to become compliant and then renounce.  I believe he renounced in a country outside of Canada, but I don’t remember which one.
    Do I have that information correct, Arctic?

  8. Came to Canada at the age of 1 year. Renounced at a US consul in Canada in September last year.
    I paid the costs to become compliant. I am thinking that should be cause for tort action.

  9. Put in the face of the american congress why USA beacame independant in the first place :
    Ok, let’s get down to a little bit of facts and history to better understand what’s at stake.
    First of all, why did the 13 first colonies in america go to revolution against the english empire. Yup, you bet, the main reason was taxes. The main reason the colonies started rebelling against ‘mother England’ was the taxation issue. The colonies debated England’s legal power to tax them and, furthermore, did not wish to be taxed without representation. This was one of the main causes of the Revolutionary War. Now how about that one for greedy little congressmen.
    Read on further : http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/american-colonies-declare-independence
    Second of all, the origin of citizen based taxation was the civil war. Yup again. To discourage soldiers from leaving the states they created citizen based taxes, just like the english they fought for independance did. Read on further : http://tax-expatriation.com/2014/04/01/the-u-s-civil-war-is-the-origin-of-u-s-citizenship-based-taxation-on-worldwide-incomes-for-persons-living-outside-the-u-s-does-it-still-make-sense/
    So the real question is : Is this taxation rule still relevant in the 21st century ?
    Not only is it very descriminating for US citizens like you and me abroad, but FATCA also creates serious damage to the United States and its economy!!!
    Over here in France the AXA bank has thrown out all it’s US citizenship customers and I have received a FATCA form from my bank. As I arived in France in 1975 at the age of 9 years old, I’m going to get naturalized French sooner than I thought and give up my american passeport and nationality if I have to. On top of that, my mother is Dutch so heck, I don’t care. Thanks dad for bringing me to this lovely country. But it’s something that american citizens working for a couple of years abroad aiming to go back to the states will probably not do. And that’s where the economic factor comes in.
    Most americans that are sent to work abroad are important people. Now, major companies don’t want to hire americans anymore, nore have them participate in their actions. You can easeliy mesure the negative impact on the US economy. read on : http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=121&title=News
    The only thing that will stop citizen based taxation is when the congress wakes up and realizes the harm it’s doing to the US economy, wich will come in the near futur.

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