Will Canada's Privacy Commissioner Finally Speak on #FATCA?

Why has Canada’s Privacy Commissioner been quiet on #FATCA since the IGA was signed?
Her office has ignored four e-mails I sent.  Is she about to break her silence?
Chantal Bernier is scheduled to testify before Senate on Tuesday May 13 at 9:30 am.  I’m not available then. Can anyone record it and post it here?  (There always seems to be a problem with the video from Senate hearings afterwards that we don’t have with House of Commons meetings).
Thanks Tim for alerting me to this.

8 thoughts on “Will Canada's Privacy Commissioner Finally Speak on #FATCA?

  1. In preparation for the hearings on Tuesday, download (free fulltext) and read the study the previous Privacy Commissioner funded via a grant to Prof. Arthur Cockfield of Queens University (which was only posted at SSRN on May 6, 2014:
    ‘FATCA and the Erosion of Canadian Taxpayer Privacy’
    Arthur J. Cockfield
    Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    April 1, 2014
    Report to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, April 2014
    In 2010, the United States enacted a tax reform known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Under FATCA, all non-U.S. financial institutions, including Canadian banks, must review their records to determine if any accounts are owned by “U.S. persons,” which include U.S. citizens residing abroad and individuals with significant social and/or economic ties with the United States. The United States threatened to economically sanction any foreign country that did cooperate with the new regime. Accordingly, Canada has agreed to implement FATCA via an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the United States; at this writing the implementing legislation, Bill C-31, is before Parliament. This report discusses how FATCA and the IGA unduly harm the privacy interests and rights of Canadians in part because detailed financial information concerning hundreds of thousands of Canadians would be transferred to a foreign government for the first time. Canada is getting nothing in return for this privacy giveaway other than the relief of the threatened economic sanctions. The Canadian government should not implement the IGA until these privacy concerns are addressed.
    Note that this paper was not available on the Privacy Commissioner’s site. Why not?
    There is no other result for the keyword search for FATCA on their site. Why not?
    Why would the Privacy Commissioner’s office, who said that they were ‘following’ this issue not speak up when the IGA was signed, and has not highlighted the very significant privacy research that they thought important enough to fund with a grant?
    Suggested Citation
    Cockfield, Arthur J., FATCA and the Erosion of Canadian Taxpayer Privacy (April 1, 2014). Report to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, April 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2433198

  2. @Badger and others: Murray Rankin’s office told me this morning the Privacy Commissioner will only speak about this in Committee.  They believe she will be testifying before the House Finance Committee in addition to the Senate one, but they did not have a confirmation of the date.

  3. The Privacy Commissioners written comments are online now. Link in the comments over at IBS.
    It reads better the third time through.
    First read not good for those of us that have developed anxiety disorders.

  4. A hot cup of tea made with last weeks tea bag.
    Anyways your testimony because its from the heart and the fact that you represent who the legislation is going to harm, will do great good.
    A banker is a banker, a lawyer is a lawyer but you are a Canadian. Maple syrup runs in your veins! (That sounds corny but you know what I mean.)
    But the best part of all this? We have learned that we are not alone.
    I feel so sorry for those out there facing this all alone.

  5. @George: “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
    I plan to be a stronger brew than our Privacy Commissioner.

  6. Thanks for that Lynne.
    Though Bernier was the Assistant for several years https://www.priv.gc.ca/au-ans/bio_cb_e.asp , it is really Stoddart who was the Commissioner during most of the period – leading up almost to the signing of the IGA (Feb 2014), and only just stepped down in December. She was the Commissioner from 2003 – 2013) http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/compilations/OfficersAndOfficials/OfficersOfParliament_PrivacyCommissioners.aspx
    So why could they not call Stoddart and invite her to answer questions too? Funny that it is left to the Assistant who was only recently appointed – as the INTERIM Commissioner only.

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