BREAKING NEWS: Cons Hiding FATCA Law in Budget Act!!!!

The Cons continue their sneaky games. They have hidden the law to enable FATCA and the IGA in the 375 page omnibus Budget Implementation Act 2014..
The enabling law begins on page 72 (Clause 99). The IGA begins on page 313.
A source tells me it is possible the FATCA legislation could pass by late May or June.
So, now we know what Finance Canada did with all of our submissions.  Nothing.
UPDATE Saturday, March 29, 2014: Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson remain in contact with Joe Arvay, including this weekend.   He continues working on our case and has assured us that he wants to get this right for us.
One more lawyer told us this week that Joe is the best Charter lawyer in the country. We respect that view.
We understand that people are anxious, especially with the omnibus move by the government yesterday.However, we encourage you to be patient.

Mr. Arvay hopes to have the full legal opinion in April, but there is a possibility it could be later than that. As we mentioned in our fundraising through C3f, we will provide you with what information we can while protecting our case to the best of our abilities.

19 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Cons Hiding FATCA Law in Budget Act!!!!

  1. @Blaze
    Looks like a challenge to the Charter is inevitable. Can you let us know what is happening with Joseph Arvay and the legal opinion? Thanks for the news about FATCA hidden in Budget Act.

  2. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
    Remember this, any of you who read this blog and who voted for the so-called conservative party in the last federal OR provincial election (at least in Ontario).
    The so-called Conservative Party of Canada has again revealed its true undemocratic, unparliamentary colours, with the inclusion of FATCA and a lot of other unrelated matters in its latest omnibus “budget implementation bill.”
    By bundling these matters in with the budget, they have made FATCA and all other unrelated matters part of a confidence motion – which means any member of the Conservative majority caucus who votes against it will be expelled from the caucus and denied the ability to run for re-election on the party’s ticket (though they could always try to get elected as independents, which in Canada is a recipe for a significant and involuntary career change).
    The government caucus invited our input and comment on their enabling legislation, as well as comments from our country’s financial institutions. The deadline for the latter isn’t until April 4; they didn’t even have to decency to wait for that deadline to expire. This should demonstrate to those financial persons in Canada who thought the Conservative Party was “their” party and looking out for “their” interests, are as much fools as are any ordinary citizens who thought their submissions earlier this month were going to make any difference to anything or even be read and considered. “Consulation” with the people and institutions of Canada, by this government, is nothing but a sham and charade. It’s window-dressing and nothing more. They aren’t going to hold hearings, they won’t listen to your input, they won’t even read it. They just want to fool you into thinking you still live in a democracy where your opinions count for something with the elected government whose salaries and perks are paid for by the (Canadian) taxes you faithfully paid and will continue to pay. At higher rates than almost anyone living in the US and paying taxes to the IRS.
    As Tim has reminded some of us (if not also in a blog here that I missed), this fondness of omnibus legislation began with the late unlamented “conservative” government of Mike Harris in Ontario, from which government a number of MPPs and ministers “graduated” to the Harper cabinet, notably Flaherty, Baird, and Clement among others. The current party of Tim Hudak won’t be any different in its contempt for democracy and parliament, either, if they get elected. Hudak and his buddies are the spiritual descendants of Mike Harris.
    Shame on any Canadian on this blog who ever again votes “Conservative,” federally or provincially (at least in Ontario; I can’t really speak about provincial conservative governments in other provinces, as I’m not familiar with them, never having lived in any province other than Ontario). You will be a contributing author to your own misfortune, on FATCA and on other matters down the road, and will have no one to blame but yourself.
    Remember this, for the rest of your life, in every Canadian federal and Ontario provincial election. Never forget. Never again. Be resolved. Vote ABC (“anyone but ‘conservative’”), vote for whoever is best positioned in your riding to deny the seat to the “conservatives.” Or be prepared to continue to live under what is a thinly disguised dictatorship. As should now be obvious to all but the blind and those who can but will not see.

  3. Blaze, ironic isn’t is that the person our FATCA negotiation (re Dept of Finance notice Nov 2012) comments went to was the very same Kevin Shoom who is described as ; “….Kevin Shoom, Senior Chief, International Taxation and Special Projects at the Department of Finance, and the principle draughtsman of the draft legislation….”.
    Repeat, the person who we in good faith made our comments to was “.the principle draughtsman of the draft legislation..”. What an utter sham and mockery of Canadian citizens and ‘democracy’. They never had any intention whatsoever of seeking any public input ( See the contact person for receiving our comments and followup emails was the very same Kevin Shoom ). It was a done deal in a backroom with the US, with the CBA and IIAC and other members of the financial industry cheering from the sidelines and lobbying for themselves at the expense of the rest of Canadians.

  4. @Badger: It’s also very convenient that Kevin Shoom is currently “unavailable”as is Blair Hammond at CRA.
    @Everyone: It’s not much consolation, but we’re not alone.Several other pieces of  legislation that have nothing to do with  the budget bill are also included, according to the CBC.
    At least we got our own three paragraphs about FATCA (although the article does  not actually mention FATCA.
    In 1995, a young Stephen Harper implored the Liberal government:

    “In the interest of democracy I ask: How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?”
    “We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse?”

    That was relating to a bill that was 21 pages and incorporated 11 pieces of  legislation. Harper now gives over 350 pages and uses it for everything from the environment to immigration to a foreign law like FATCA.
    How can he look himself in the mirror?
    This is one time I wish he would prorogue  Parliament.Better yet I wish he would prorogue himself and all the other Cons.

  5. @Joe: I wish Harper was an honorary US citizen.  That would make him a “US person.”  In  that case,FATCA would have been dead in Canada three years ago.

  6. I have also posted this comment on IBS:
    The more I think about it, the more I realize that the enabling legislation for Canada to cooperate with FATCA has an Achilles heel in its requirement that some Canadian citizens and permanent residents must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number. How will the Canadian government or Canadian financial institutions be able to determine which persons living in Canada have U.S. TINs? Is mere suspicion enough? And what if the suspicion is false? Can a Canadian citizen who does not have a U.S. TIN, but is suspected of having one, be penalized for not providing one? How can a person prove s/he does not have a U.S. TIN, since even a native-born Canadian citizen could have a U.S. Green Card?

  7. It is too bad our spineless government didn’t just take the FATCA / IGA from the USA and modify the document so the USA had to sign up and mirror the laws they are imposing on Canada.
    The exceptionalists would never do it.

  8. For Lafayette and Mother Teresa, the honor was proclaimed directly by an Act of Congress. In the other cases, an Act of Congress was passed authorizing the President to grant honorary citizenship by proclamation.
    Winston Churchill’s was an identification document as an Honorary Citizen of the United States, provided as a gift from President John F. Kennedy. Though similar in appearance, it could not function as a passport.
    Hmmm, what gift could our Great Leader give to the US Great Leader to be thus rewarded?

  9. Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson remain in contact with Joe Arvay, including this weekend.   He continues working on our case and has assured us that he wants to get this right for us.
    One more lawyer told us this week that Joe is the best Charter lawyer in the country. We respect that view. 
    We understand that people are anxious, especially with the omnibus move by the government yesterday. However, we encourage you to be patient.
  10. Elizabeth May tweeted that the Cons are shutting down debate on the omnibus monster budget bill that includes FATCA.

    1. Shutting down debate on #C31 #omnibus budget bill. Bill is 360 pages, complex provisions. Rewrite of copyright bill, Cdn banking info to US.

    2. Here we go! P van Loan moves to shut down debate on #omnibus budget bill 2014, #C31. Only 360 pages. Why take time to study? #cdnpoli

  11. Tim is always a fabulous source of information and resources.  He has provided a link to yesterday’s Hansard and has drawn attention to some key anti-FATCA arguments.
    From Peter Julian, House Leader of the Opposition NDP

    Mr. Speaker, I find it passing strange that the government House leader stood up and gave a speech, one of the few from the government side, and then promptly shut down debate for most of the government and most of the opposition members by putting in place time allocation measures, which means that most Conservatives and most opposition members will not have an opportunity to speak on the bill.

        We might ask why, when it is a Conservative budget bill, the Conservatives would want to shut down debate on it. Here is one of the reasons: the foreign account tax compliance act, which is something that has been protested by a million Canadians of American origin in this country, Canadians upon whom penalties are being imposed unilaterally by the IRS.

        The Conservatives said that they would stand up against this kind of unilateral action by the American government. In fact, I went to see the American ambassador myself, along with a number of NDP MPs, and we advocated strongly for those one million Canadians.

        This Conservative government has sold them out. Basically it is shipping that information to the United States, even though there are constitutional issues and privacy issues.

        My question to the hon. government House leader is simply this: is that why the Conservatives want to shut down debate? Is it because they are afraid of those one million Canadians finding out that they were sold out on FATCA?
    From Mike Sullivan (NDP)

    One of the things that is most frightening about this budget implementation bill is the attachment to FATCA. For those who do not know FATCA, it is the way that the U.S. government is going to tax some Canadian citizens, about a million of them. Some of them are accidental Canadian citizens, who have never lived in the United States in their lives. They were born in Canada, lived in Canada all their lives, and now are being told that they are somehow American citizens because of their parents.

        The government has in this bill suggested that it will now be all right, without notice to the individuals, for the banks to give information about the RRSPs, RDSPs, RESPs, and other assets that individuals have, to CRA, for the purpose of giving that information to another country. One assumes that the reason they are giving that information is so that somebody can come and take that money out of their bank accounts.

        This is outrageous. We are a sovereign nation. Canada is a country unto itself. The ability of this country to protect its citizens should include the ability against another country coming after those citizens’ money. I am talking about Canadian citizens here, not persons who are living in the United States and who are American citizens. Let the U.S. government come after them, but not Canadian citizens. We should not be assisting another government to manufacture a reason to come into a Canadian citizen’s bank and take that money. That is not something we should be doing, and it should not be in this budget implementation bill.

        If we need to have that discussion, let us have that discussion, but let us not do it in a budget implementation


    They are strong comments standing up for Canada and Canadians. I am concerned some of Mike Sullivan’s comments are misleading or inaccurate–i.e. RRSPs, RDSPs, and RESPs are not reportable under FATCA and neither FATCA nor the IGA gives the IRS or CRA the ability to take money out of our bank accounts.
  12. The NDP is again calling for the removal of FATCA from the omnibus bill.

    “Despite broad opposition, the Conservatives are charging ahead with the implementation of this agreement,” said NDP National Revenue Critic Murray Rankin (Victoria).  “Serious concerns remain about the potential violation of privacy and constitutional rights, as well as unknown costs to Canadians.”


    “How can the Conservatives justify burying this agreement – that could negatively affect 1 million people and that has nothing to do with the budget – inside a 359-page omnibus bill,” said NDP Finance Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley).”There’s no excuse. FATCA must be removed from the budget so it can be properly scrutinized.”

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