Monthly Archives: December 2014

FATCA in Canada 2014: Year in Review

2014 was the year Canadians born in the United States became second class Canadian citizens. It was the year our own government betrayed our loyalty and violated our rights. It was the year discrimination based on a U.S. place of birth became mandatory.

It was the year we united to fight back. Here is the Year in Review.

JANUARY

IRS Taxpayer Advocate cites Maple Sandbox and Murray Rankin in her report to U.S. Congress.

NDP issues a news release Canadians Deserve Answers on FATCA. Murray Rankin says “Canada cannot accept an agreement that violates Canadians’ rights.’

From George in the UK, we learn of Paramount Allegiance-Predominant Claim and no requirement for a CLN on relinquishing.

John Richardson holds the first of his many information sessions on Solving the Problem of U.S. Citizenship.

FEBRUARY

On February 5, Canada Caves to FATCA.

The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is announced in a news release from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Finley.

Canadian Bankers Association issues a news release supporting the IGA.

Proposed legislation overriding all Canadian laws for FATCA violating Canadians’ rights is announced.

Canada Revenue Agency issues information on FATCA, including that financial institutions are not required to ask for place of birth.

Constitutional lawyer Joseph Arvay advises it is time for us to begin building our war chest. He suggests we first obtain a legal opinion.

John Richardson travels in winter weather to provide more information sessions. Here is a synopsis of one session in London Ontario.

Finance Canada (nearly invisibly) again asks for submissions from Canadians who will be impacted by FATCA.

The month closes out on February 28 with launching a fund raising drive at Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock Society urging Canadians to stand up to the American bully by donating to the Charter Challenge Fund for a legal opinion.

MARCH

Six days after the fund raising campaign was launched, we achieve our goal and cease receiving donations.

Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson retain Joseph Arvay for a legal opinion.

Allison Christians and Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson and Stephen Kish and B.C, Freedom of Information and Privacy Association make professional submissions to Finance Canada opposing FATCA and make then public,

Lynne Swanson submits an Access to Information request for copies of all of the submissions.

Jim Flaherty resigns as Finance Minister.

Joe Oliver becomes Finance Minister a day later.

John Richardson continues to travel.

March comes to a close with the Conservatives hiding the enabling legislation for the FATCA IGA in the budget bill C31.

APRIL

NDP, Liberal and Green Party MPs speak out against the FATCA IGA in the House of Commons.

Lynne Swanson and Schubert submit an amendment suggested by Anne Frank at Isaac Brock Society to opposition members of the Finance Committee that would exclude Canadian citizens and residents from FATCA reporting.

Jim Flaherty dies.

The legal opinion is received from Joseph Arvay on a Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday morning, Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson announce they intend to commence litigation against the Government of Canada after the FATCA IGA legislation is enacted.

John Richardson is still on the move.

April closes out with the announcement of the establishment of Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty. (ADCS)

MAY

Debate on citizenship based taxation is held at University of Toronto.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Conservative MP Gerald Keddy claim FATCA does not impact Canadian citizens.

Conservative Mike Allen says “Congress has spoken.”

Lynne Swanson asks if Finance Committee members or other MPs will receive copies of submissions made by Canadians. The answer is no.

Lynne Swanson asks Finance Canada for her March Access to Information requests to be provided to her before her testimony to Finance Committee. The request is denied.

Republicans Overseas announce they will launch a legal challenge to FATCA in the United States.

NDP and Liberal members of Finance Committee question the FATCA IGA, including whether it meets the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

NDP launches a Protect Canadians from FATCA petition.

Roy Berg testifies at Finance Committee and warns Committee members they will hear “jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”

Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson and Lynne Swanson testify in opposition to FATCA IGA enabling legislation. They do not disappoint Roy Berg.

Also testifying are the Privacy Commissioner and representatives of Canadian Bankers Association, Investment Funds Institute of Canada and others,

Canadians submit briefs to Finance Committee.

John Richardson journeys on.

May closes out with Finance Committee Conservative members voting against all amendments put forth by the NDP, Liberals and Green Party to uphold Canadian rights.

Here are clips of the Finance Committee events.

JUNE

Stephen Kish, John Richardson, Lynne Swanson and the Board of ADCS research and explore choices for legal counsel for our lawsuit.

ADCS launches a fundraising drive for the litigation.

Stephen Kish makes an appeal for money and for people to be plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

FATCA Warrior Don Whitley (Arrow) dies.

Many NDP, Liberal and Green MPs stand up and fight for us in the House of Commons.

Conservative MPs joke and laugh at the plight of Calgary411`s son and the rest of us in the House of Commons shortly before they vote for the FATCA enabling act.

BETRAYED! Cons pass FATCA law as part of C31. “Congress has spoken“ for Canada’s Parliament.

Three months after her ATI request, Lynne Swanson receives copies of submissions from Canadians to Finance Canada. These range from passionate one sentence submissions to comprehensive technical ones.

John Richardson is still on the go.

FATCA Act receives Royal Assent.

JULY

FATCA becomes effective on Canada Day.

The Maple Brock Sovereignty Alliance issues a Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July.

ADCS and some Brockers and Sandboxers reach out to potential large donors and prominent Canadians affected by FATCA. The requests for help are ignored or declined.

It becomes apparent it will be Little People funding our legal challenge.

John Richardson is still on the road.

A Human Rights complaint is submitted to the United Nations. The complaint has 41 signers, representing the countries of Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland and Belgium.

By the end of July, the first goal of $100,000 is met by donations from Canadians and friends around the world.

AUGUST

ADCS retains Joseph Arvay.

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber file the first lawsuit in the world challenging FATCA in Canadian Federal Court with plaintiffs Ginny Hillis and Gwen Deegan.

U.S. Department of State announces fee to renounce citizenship increasing from $450 to $2350.

Stephen Kish makes an appeal for witnesses.

John Richardson treks on.

SEPTEMBER

Stephen Kish continues to appeal for funds and witnesses.

Where in the world is John Richardson now?

OCTOBER

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber file an amended—and strengthened–Statement of Claim in Federal Court.

With donations from Canadians and friends around the world, ADCS reaches the goal of $100,000 ahead of the November 1 deadline. Stephen Kish quickly begins the fund raising drive for the next $100,000 due on February 1, 2015.

Despite CRA information that banks are not required to ask for place of birth, there are reports that some banks are asking about U.S. place of birth.

TD website identifies only a Certificate of Loss of Nationality as documentation that one is not a “U.S. person.”

John Richardson show is still on tour.

NOVEMBER

Muzzled No More receives confirmation that the United Nations received our complaint from July, but there is no indication that the Complaint has been read or considered for acceptance into the complaints process

Government of Canada files their Statement of Defence to our lawsuit.

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber reply to the Government Statement of Defence with three sentences.

Liberal MP Ted Hsu asks questions in an Order Paper about the IGA.

Fierce opponent to citizenship=based taxation Roger Conklin dies.

John Richardson is rolling on.

DECEMBER

Isaac Brock Society marks its third birthday.

TD declares itself as America’s Most Convenient Bank complete with image of two American flags proudly flying over a TD branch.

ADCS fund passes the halfway marks for both the $100,000 goal for February 1 and the $500,000 overall goal with over $50,000 raised for February and over $250,000 for the overall goal with donations from united Little People in Canada and around the world.

Republicans Overseas is still fundraising and has not yet launched any legal action in the U.S.

Despite numerous requests, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation has not provided the video of the May CBT debate nearly seven months after the event.

Toronto Consulate is booking renunciation appointments for October, 2015.

Joe Oliver responds to letters sent to Jim Flaherty over a year earlier with Rah Rah Rahs for the IGA but no answers to the multitude of issues and questions sent.

John Richardson must be exhausted, but he journeys on.

Wondering outlines why the Canadian lawsuit is the one to support, including:. This is the only actual statement of claim against a FATCA IGA in the world. It has been duly filed in a Canadian Federal Court by expert counsel. It will advance.

Lynne Swanson dreams of a strong Canada just like the one we used to know.

WHAT’S NEXT?

2015 will be the fifth calendar year (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) many of us have lived this nightmare. It will also be the year we should get our day in court. We can only do it with your help.

You are making a difference. Please continue to support the only lawsuit in the world challenging FATCA. Give us back the Canada we used to know.

Plaintiff Ginny says:

No doubt in my mind but 2015 will be a very interesting year.

Help Ginny and Gwen who are risking everything for us. Donate to ADCS now.

Happy New Year.

I’m Dreaming of a Strong Canada

I’m dreaming of a strong Canada
Just like the one I used to know

Canadian flag

Where sovereignty glistens
And MPs listen
To hear us say “Tell FATCA No”

I’m dreaming of a strong Canada
With every letter I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may our FATCA lawsuit defend all our rights!

snowman canada

Merry Christmas from Blaze. Please donate for a strong Canada.

Here’s Why Canadian Anti FATCA Lawsuit the One to Support

Wondering outllines why The Canadian anti FATCA lawsuit is the lawsuit to support.

The anti-FATCA lawsuit worth funding now is the Canadian claim advanced by Alliance for Defense of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS). Here’s why:

– This is the only actual statement of claim against a FATCA IGA in the world. It has been duly filed in a Canadian Federal Court by expert counsel. It will advance.

– ADCS have retained Canada’s top Constitutional litigator and the resources of a major law firm.

– the Directors of ADCS are totally transparent; they are publicly known, and collectively have made numerous public statements and appearances in the press, on broadcast television, at public meetings, and in front of the Finance Committee. ADCS is also a properly incorporated non-profit corporation.

– the plaintiffs are publicly known and represent the most egregious examples of being harmed by FATCA due to incidental US birthplace.

– the suit has already been funded donations of almost $250K. So future donations are building on a foundation of strength.

– the ADCS suit is already being followed by the media, and we can expect a surge of publicity as the case moves forward.

– Canada is the battleground state for very concept of FATCA IGA’s. That is because of the vast number of Canadians who will be harmed by FATCA. Also, Canada is probably the world’s leader in so-called “illicit undeclared offshore accounts held by US-persons” – as defined by FATCA. Expect far more blowback, anger and awareness as Canadian banks and financial institutions roll out their FATCA programs.

– The success of the Canadian lawsuit against FATCA will enhance the credibility and possibility of success of the Bopp suit in the US.

– Finally, the US Republicans have access to Political Action Committee funding that Canadians can only dream of. So suggest that Canadian dollars focus on Canada’s homefront, to win in a Canadian court. Funding the entire Canadian AND US anti-FATCA suits is a rounding error for the Koch brothers’ various political action committees – if anyone has their contact info, maybe reach out to make the ask 🙂
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers

The timing is fortuitous as factors align in a perfect storm: Canadian lawsuit in Vancouver Federal Court + Harper Cons launch “do-or-die” election bid + Republican majority takes over Congress + increasing anger in Canada over “Buy American” laws + IRS hobbled with significant budget cuts (at the same time they must start to actively process and reciprocate FOR THE FIRST TIME with the rest of world’s FATCA input – much of which will likely be garbage data).

The warning: lawsuits move in slow motion – there are bursts of dramatic activity with months of waiting in-between. It is not like a labor strike, election or similar dramatic public action. A high court can take many months to issue a decision.

Over at ADCS, John Richardson thanks Wondering. So do I.

If you have not yet donated, Please Do So NOW at at stopfatca.ca for all of the above reasons. Plus, it`s just simply the right thing to do.