A "Thank You" to all "Brockers & Sand Boxers"

Along with the many donations we received for the Canadian Charter Challenge Fund, people sent comments, notes and letters. The sender of the letter in this post specifically requested that it be posted on Brock. Since most of us consider Maple Sandbox our sister site, I will also post it there to make sure no one is missed as I am certain this is in keeping with the intention of the sender.

When I read this letter, it brought tears to my eyes because it reminds me exactly why we are doing all this. This blog, other blogs by Brockers, commenting on articles, submitting articles, endless letters and emails to MPs, organizing meetings, the protests, We Are Not a Myth, the Challenge Fund, Facebook pages and groups, Twitterers, etc. So much has grown and developed since Brock was started in December 2011. Its one thing to feel one must fight back; the government(s), the negativity of the Homelanders, the lawyers and accountants who gauge innocent folks. It is quite another to be in touch with those affected by this hideous assault. I personally, have no idea how many people read the blog and who might reflect the same feelings. One of the reasons I try to attend as many of the information meetings as I can, is to meet people directly, some of whom I have communicated with via email and feel I already know. What binds us together is the fact that we are experiencing a human tragedy; we are a community. Whatever type of contact we have gives a powerful motivation to keep moving forward, with direct action to fight this miserable situation. It can be rather depressing at times and feel hopeless, regardless of where each of us stands in this process or effort. I think I can speak for all of those who are upfront, we appreciate such letters more than you can ever know. It helps us to renew our energy to continue. And thank you so much, whoever you are, that sent this letter. You took the time to sit down and put these thoughts out so that we could read them.

Dear Dr. Kish,

Enclosed please find our xxxxx donation for the Canadian Charter Challenge Fund. While we know …..(the rest of this paragraph must be redacted as it contains possibly identifying information).

On behalf of my family and those friends and colleagues that we have referred to The Isaac Brock Society website, I would like to say thank you to all of the “Brockers” who have braved exposure to help those of us without that courage. We have been faithful readers since our OMG moment back in 2009. As is the case with so many others, our first exposure to this nightmare came when we heard a story on CBC Radio. Our first reaction to the story was that there was no way this could be true. Panic set in and as for me, I spent weeks without sleep and lost more weight than I could afford to lose in such a short period of time. We are middle-aged, law-abiding people that were uninformed. We were typical Canadians, living a typical Canadian life not realizing that our birth place made us indentured servants to the US government for all the days of our lives.

Since our OMG moment/month (at least), we have frequented The Isaac Brock Society website, weekly if not daily. Like so many others out there in the shadows, those that contribute to this site have become family to us. We speak to each other about what Em or Blaze posted today or what Petros or Calgary411 had to say. You have all become household names, at least in this household. We know your stories and have followed each of your progress to enlightenment, whatever that end was for each of you. We have watched every linked video and have praised each of you that sat in front of a camera to be interviewed. We have become educated, in great part because of all of you. While I can’t say that with each new development (eg. Canada’s IGA signing, etc.) I don’t feel some new wave of fear and anxiety; I do know that we have become stronger in our conviction to refuse to surrender our futures to a “bad law”. We have also come to understand that both of us have completed an act of relinquishment, though we have not pursued a CLN to support it. To do so is a risk we are not sure we are ready to take. Statistically, I know that we are not only the norm, but the majority – eager to move beyond all of this mess, but not knowing how or being brave enough to do anything to risk exposure – deer in the headlights.

So, on behalf of those of us who sit in the shadows and look to the brave “Brockers” and others to carry the torch for us and to work towards change, I thank you but also, I apologize. If only we were all able to stand together to fight can you only imagine what power and strength we would have if a million plus “US persons” in Canada and 6 million plus worldwide stood together as one voice against citizenship based taxation. Your letters and emails being sent out to educate our MPs and those who may be able to make a difference represent the position of so many of us who sit in fear of repercussion.

Therefore, please accept this donation as our support for your efforts. We will be proud to contribute for any and all future steps as well. As everyone is saying, just post the need for more to get this legal opinion paid for and we will answer the call.

Finally, please pass the sentiments conveyed in this letter to all “Brockers” as you see fit. Though it would require effort to re-type, we would be thrilled to have this letter posted to The Isaac Brock Society website to express the depth of the feelings of those of us that remain in the shadows and in your debt.

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fear the people there is liberty.”   Thomas Jefferson

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.

18 thoughts on “A "Thank You" to all "Brockers & Sand Boxers"

  1. Thanks Noble Dreamer.  That is why we do it.
    To the person who wrote the letter and sent the donation: Thank You. Hearing from you helps us to continue the battle.
    We know from our stats that we have far more people following Sandbox than ever post. We know people from 120 countries have viewed Sandbox.  We don’t know who they are or why they are and we don’t need to know. If they want to join us in Sandbox explorations, they are welcome to do that. If they want to just watch quietly in the background, that’s OK with us because we understand.
    We consider them our friends even if they don’t actively join in. We don’t even mind if the bad kids at IRS, Finance Canada or Canadian Bankers Association may check us out. They can learn how determined we are and what we can accomplish by sticking together.
    Whenever anyone posts, you are likely reaching someone somewhere whom you will likely never meet.
    This week, I received a call from an elderly man. He and his wife have only recently learned of this horrendous situation.  They don’t have a computer, but I have sent his daughter links to a thread here and information on how they can access information from their Citizenship and Immigration Canada file. He contacted me as a result of a one line quote from me in a Globe and Mail article the day the IGA was signed. He and his wife are part of the reason why we do this– even though they don’t even have a computer and were totally unaware of Sandbox or Brock.
    The letter reminds me of a woman who posted last year. She was caring for her husband, who was dying of cancer. She–like me–has MS.   She said her greatest fear was that we would all give up. She did post again several months later and we then learned her husband had died.
    I don’t know if she is still following us or not. If she is, I want to assure her and others we aren’t giving up.
    Unfortunately, I think the Canadian government is going to make this a long, brutal and costly battle for us. But, we’re in it together.

  2. @Noble Dreamer, thanks for taking the time to post here – it’s a beautiful letter and I will read it again and again. I’ll come back and read it when I am tired of writing letters which I know will be ignored. When I am tired of being referred to as a tax cheat. When I’m told that I just should ‘get rid of US citizenship’. When I’m accused of being obsessed with FATCA.
    Like Blaze, I’ve been in touch with people who don’t post here, or at Brock, but who are reading us. Some are so afraid that they can’t even bring themselves to comment under a pseudonym in case somehow their true identity is bared to the US government.
    I had a discussion just this morning with my husband – if I am successful in getting a CLN, would I continue to be as involved and incensed and outraged. The answer is yes. Just like so many others who are out of the clutches of the IRS, I’ll keep on fighting until we win.
    And I know there are many, many more who feel the same way.

  3. @Outraged: This fight has become much more to me than the IRS.
    I now feel totally betrayed by Canada for what they have put us through. I feel betrayed because they think I should have to prove to a foreign government I am Canadian and only Canadian. I feel betrayed because Canada is allowing a foreign governments demands to prevail over Candian rights, citizens and sovereignty.
    I personally feel quite safe with the oath from my Citizenship and Immigration file showing I renounced US citizenship in 1973.  This is not about me.  It’s about what’s right and fair. It’s about what Canada does or doesn’t stand for.
    I was delighted at the Supreme Court decision yesterday which overruled Harper’s game of trying to appoint someone from Quebec who hasn’t lived in Quebec for 20 years.
    As Elizabeth May tweeted today:
    Elizabeth May MP ?@ElizabethMay 2h
    Harper must stop forcing thru unconstitutional laws. http://www.greenparty.ca/media-release/2014-03-21/greens-urge-harper-accept-supreme-courts-decision-marc-nadon-appointment …
    #cdnpoli #honourCharter


  4. @Blaze,
    I have been in contact with the lady you are mentioning and expect to meet her this week. She is holding her own!
    It was my great pleasure to post that wonderful letter. Just as it is to do what I can to add to what all of you are doing! So many are done with their personal battle but recognize this is a “pay it forward’ time!

  5. @Blaze– I feel betrayed by the present Canadian government which has sold us out, but not by Canada itself. I am, however, fairly optimistic that the IGA will be overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada.
    Part of me wonders, in fifty years, will Canadians of American descent receive an apology from the government of the day for the discriminatory treatment we received at the hands of the Harper government?

  6. @BCDoc: That’s a good distinction you make between the Harper government and Canada.
    However, I never thought I would see the day when foreign demands would prevail over long-standing Canadian laws and values. In addition, except for Elizabeth May and one question from NDP’s Murray Rankin, all opposition parties have been silent since the IGA. As Elizabeth May said, “What’s Up With FATCA?” Why are they all silent?
    That is alarming me and increasing my feelings of betrayal even more.

  7. Blaze,
    All I can say is that this battle is far from over. We must continue to be vigilent in the coming months as FATCA moves toward Parliamentary ratification.

  8. I’m still here Blaze and hoping to meet Noble Dreamer later this week. I saw this posting yesterday, but I didn’t have time to write. I am on this website DAILY and I am very thankful for the people at Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock Society who continue to fight this fight for people like me. When I read the letter above, I felt like they were writing the letter for me. I too have been a faithful reader , lurking in the background, since my OMG moment back in 2009.
    All of you are fighting this nightmare for me at a time in my life I just don’t have the energy to do it. I lost my husband of 37 years after his four year battle with cancer , and then six months later I lost his sister. Loosing my husband and My children and grandchildren loosing their Father , Grandfather , and Aunt has been devastating for our family.
    I get SO angry when I think of the time and energy I spent worrying about this during my husbands last couple of years. My fear was not that we had money and I owed US taxes, but because we had so little. How were we going to hire an accountant and possibly have to pay penalties because I had never filed in the US for the last 40 years . We saved for our retirement. We have RRSP’s and a TFSA!
    I Didn’t have an income to report in the last twenty years, but now I collect a monthly survivor benefit of my late Canadian husbands Canadian Company Pension. I have never needed an accountant to file our Canadian taxes so I was shocked when Just recently, I Talked to two different accounting firms about filing in the US. I was quoted $900 to file a 1040; $500 to file form 3520 ; $500 to file FBAR. And they advised me , which assuming they have to do this, that I should get into the streamline program . So multiply these forms , times three years , and Six years for FBAR and it’s a lot of money. I mentioned to them that my husband just passed away. So they said I should take care of filing in the US now in case anything happens to me , then my children won’t have to deal with this. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but I told them I would not be entering any program .
    I get so overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry I end up doing nothing. For a person like me, this is not a good , because I just continue to worry.
    My husband lived his life ” never giving up ” and taught our children and grandchildren to live this way. I don’t think I’m giving up, I just can’t fight right now. I fought his battle with him for the last four years, just have nothing left. SO to ALL of you at Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock that continue to fight this fight for me…. THANK you from the bottom of my heart for not giving up!!

  9. @Ferfet: Thank you for posting here again. I know it is difficult for you to do so publicly even without using your real name.
    I’m glad to hear you are getting some relief by following us. I personally think you are doing the right thing by not entering Streamlined.
    I think I recall you are not a Canadian citizenship, so you don’t have the protection of CRA not collecting for the IRS on taxes. However, I suspect you would end up owning nothing to the US even if you did file.  In addition, CRA will not collect for IRS for penalties for any Canadian resident–even if they are not Canadian citizens.
    Please continue to hang out here and either play quietly in the background our join in more actively–whichever works best for you.
    Most importantly, take care of yourself. Try not to have sleepless nights. I know from having MS for 30 years that is the absolute worst thing for MS.m
    I’m glad you will be getting together with Noble Dreamer.  I’m sure she will be a source of support and information for you.
    Hang in there! You are not giving up.

  10. Ferfet, that’s fabulous news! If you became a Canadian citizen four years ago, that means CRA does not and will not collect for IRS from you at any time since you became a Canadian citizen.
    Since 2004, the IRS rules are that the date that your US citizenship ended is the date to report it to a US Consulate.  So, you need to decide if you want to report it now or if you want to just stay off their radar.  I hope your meeting this week with Nobledreamer will belp you make that decision.
    But, being a Canadian citizen is your best protection.  CRA won’t collect for IRS.  Canadian courts have ruled in the past that IRS has no jurisdiction in Canada.
    Plus, I personally don’t think IRS has the resources or interest in ever going after you.  In terms of FATCA, we all have that battle ahead of us.
    For your current bank accounts, your bank should have no information on your place of birth in their records. If they ask about your citizenship, just tell them you are a Canadian citizen.

  11. Ferret. Listen carefully to Blaze. She is a very smart lady.. You should not under any circumstances file anything. Repeat… Nothing!
    There are dozens of reasons. 1). You have nothing to fear. 2) you can’t afford it. 3) you don’t owe them a nickel. 4) the accountants just want your fees. 5) the former deputy commissioner of the IRS admits they only have resources to go after a few thousand people a year (out of millions). Therefore they pick only high profile cases in order to frighten the rest.
    Need I go on? Take care of yourself and your family. Forget about this mess. Try to put it right from your mind. Except you are always welcome here if you need encouragement.

  12. @KalC “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” (Franklun D. Roosevelt)
    Change fellow to woman and you have me. My “smarts” come from all my colleagues in this battle.

  13. KalC,
    Thanks for your continued words of wisdom. What keeps many of us awake at night is the concern for those like Ferfet and so many others who can afford none of this US immoral absurdity that has come into their and their families’ lives — just what that means in stress, worry, loss of finances, loss of time in lives that can and should be used for more important, more precious ventures. That their countries and the MPs who represent them are complicit is tragic.

  14. @ Ferfet.
    One of my major steps on this journey was realizing that the reach of the IRS into Canada was being greatly exaggerated. Both the IRS and the compliance complex actively promote this myth because they have a vested interest.
    Once one realizes how things really are, great relief follows immediately. Time to start taking care of yourself.

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