CANADIANS TAKE FIRST LEGAL STEP TO PREVENT HARPER GOVERNMENT FROM IMPLEMENTING U.S. FATCA LAW

For Immediate Release March 10, 2014

Today a small group of Canadians began the long legal process to prevent the Conservative government from helping the United States impose a bad law on Canada.

With the announcement of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on February 5, 2014, Finance Minster Jim Flaherty makes discrimination against one million innocent Canadians and their families – those the U.S deems “U.S. persons” – mandatory.

Finance Canada has requested public input on the FATCA agreement, which will override federal laws to meet demands of a foreign power to seize private financial records of Canadians.

Canadian citizens Dr. Stephen Kish of Toronto and Lynne Swanson of London Ontario responded today to that request by retaining prominent constitutional lawyer Joseph Arvay of Vancouver to provide a legal opinion on whether this legislation violates Canada’s Constitution including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and if so how a constitutional challenge might be mounted.

“It’s time for Canadians to get angry. FATCA is a threat to all Canadians and cannot be captive to party politics. MPs must NOT be required to vote along party lines – They must vote their conscience in a free vote” says Dr. Kish.

In less than one week a funding initiative, organized by Dr. Kish and Ms. Swanson, raised the money required to pay for this legal opinion.

“It is despicable the Harper government thinks so little of Canadians that they are forced to raise money from those with limited means to retain counsel to ensure their fundamental rights are protected from foreign demands,” says Ms. Swanson.

“As a Canadian citizen for 41 years, I never thought I would see the day when demands of a foreign government would take precedence over Canadian laws. The implications of this for Canada and for all Canadians are chilling.”

CONTACT: Lynne Swanson maplesandbox@yahoo.ca

C3F Press Release

28 thoughts on “CANADIANS TAKE FIRST LEGAL STEP TO PREVENT HARPER GOVERNMENT FROM IMPLEMENTING U.S. FATCA LAW

  1. Rick

    I am becoming to believe that fighting FATCA within the Canadian legal context will eventually produce more results than fighting it in the mambo Jumbo of US politics. If Dave Camp thinks the congress is not even ready to consider looking at RBT, it means we still have way to go. I also looked at ACA website, I couldn’t find a mention that their proposal was not included in the Tax Reform Submission. Did anyone see any mention of that?

    Reply
  2. ArcticGrayling

    Mutual funds….

    Hmmmm…

    They can be as toxic as they want to be to the Kenyan messiah in the White House.

    But It will be a frosty day in hell before I place restrictions on my life in Canada (and thereby deny myself the rights that other Canadians enjoy) in such way as to keep that ghetto thug happy.

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  3. IRSCompliantForever

    @Rick, I asked my Congressman who is a senior member on the House W&M what happened to RBT and did not receive a straight answer. RBT has never really been “in favour” with Congress. We were all depressed when we read the “tax reform” package but we are back fighting again.

    @Dual Senior, If you are not IRS compliant I would not bring up this issue with your own bank. The banks (except the RB advisor you mentioned) already know what FATCA means to them.

    I wonder if the Royal Bank investment advisor knows about U.S tax rules. For example, would she ever advise as part of “wealth management” that Canadian mutual funds (highly toxic to U.S. citizens) be part of a retirement plan for a US person in Canada?

    I don’t recommend that you do this, but if I were in your place I would call the investment advisor this weekend and suggest that she ask this friendly question to Mr. Flaherty at the dinner:

    “Mr. Flaherty, I’ve been hearing about this U.S. FATCA law you want to impose on Canada and I know that some Canadians are very worried that this will take away their rights. Can you please confirm that the MPs in your party will be given a free vote on this legislation?”

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  4. Dual Senior

    I had a VERY strange conversation at a dinner party last evening. One of the guests was a wealth management advisor for the Royal Bank, downtown Toronto head office. When I asked her what she thought about FATCA she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about!!!!!! The lack of knowledge out there is astounding….A ROYAL BANK INVESTMENT ADVISOR!!! (She knows now).
    I’m wondering if we should start sending an overview of what FATCA means to the banks…crazy huh. Put out the stats of how much money will potentially be leaving the Canadian economy if we are all forced to become FBAR compliant. There is some kind of meeting/dinner party next week $100 a plate thingy with Flaherty that she is going to. (I also have my RIFF with Dominion Securities, my advisor is in Toronto. Should I send info to him also? Might this be exposing me to my own bank?)

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  5. Rick

    Hi all – I read the US tax reform proposal submitted by the Ways and Means committee headed by David Camp to the congress and I didn’t find it to include the residency based taxation (RBT). Although RBT was included in the original comprehensive document as proposed originally by the American Citizens Abroad ACA. I am wondering if RBT is falling out of favor or Dave Camp choose not include it for whatever reason. Does anyone know or heard anything about this? Thanks.
    Rick

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  6. Blaze

    My world keeps getting more Bizarro. Now I have tweeted a letter from a Republican Senator cheering for a Repug majority in the US Senate.

    #FATCA is “poorly thought out monstrosity” http://on.fb.me/1cYzj8W @robportman will help @SenRandPaul @RepubAbroadHK 2 @RepealFatca

    #FATCA requires banks 2 spy on #americansabroad http://on.fb.me/1cYzj8W “Time 2 put end 2 it b4 more damage” via @robportman

    In the letter, Republican Senator Rob Portman calls for repeal of FATCA.

    IRS Compliant Forever is gloating at my Republican conversion.

    Reply
  7. ArcticGrayling

    Places where I hang around to enjoy the sun do not include Florida or Arizona any more (not that they ever did very much before).

    When I re-enter Canada, I am always asked what I was doing in Colombia. I always reply that I am eating pineapple, drinking coffee, playing golf, and staying warm. I am a snow bird that flies to much more sensible sunny destinations than most snow birds do now. I generally advise the agent that where I go would be an excellent choice for him/her once he/she starts collecting that indexed pension.

    Reply
  8. Blaze

    Thanks for the update Arctic and for spreading the word.

    Enjoy the golf and sun. We’ve had snow in Ontario again. All schools in New Brunswick were closed today.

    Reply
  9. ArcticGrayling

    I was at a golf course in Colombia today. I was on the practice range waiting for my turn for a lesson from the local club pro.

    While there, I met a young Colombian woman who is being coached by that same pro. She studied in an American University on a golf scholarship, and is back in Colombia. She is prepping herself for the Q school in an attempt to qualify for the women’s pro golf tour in the States. She is an excellent player, but that is a very tough nut to crack.

    Without going into details, what I can say is that she is from a prominent Colombian family with large land holdings. So I told her I would give her some advice. I said I would not even send her a bill for that advice.

    I advised her that if she were fortunate enough to qualify for the women’s tour, do not, under any circumstances, take out US citizenship or even get the Green Card. She was astonished and asked me why.

    I asked her if she thought it appropriate for the IRS to be acquainted with the intimate details of her family’s finances and other holdings in Colombia and elsewhere, because her US citizenship or green card could potentially put all of that on the IRS radar screen. She was flabbergasted. She had no idea that this was the case.

    She has a tourist visa of course, and had previously lived there on a student visa.

    I have met others down here who lived in the States and have returned here. I know of at least one case where his US citizenship is becoming a nightmare.

    Reply

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