I have just received a response to ADCS on the letter we sent to the leaders five months ago. Here is the reply from Murray Rankin.
RE: US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
Thank you for writing to share your ongoing concerns regarding the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Canada and the United States designed to implement FATCA in Canada.
New Democrats are deeply troubled by the implications of FATCA and the associated IGA, and we are closely monitoring the litigation your organization has commenced against the Government of Canada.
From the beginning, many organizations raised the alarm that the IGA for the implementation of FATCA in Canada may violate the privacy rights of Canadians and could be subject to constitutional challenge.
The NDP has repeatedly raised concerns about the FATCA agreement that was negotiated behind closed doors and rushed through Parliament without proper consultation or examination.
Previously, New Democrats called on the Conservative government to acknowledge the broad concerns expressed by Canadians and civil society organizations regarding the implementation of this IGA. We asked the Conservative government to agree to remove it from omnibus Budget Bill C-31, which granted the Minister of National Revenue sweeping powers to make any regulation necessary to carry out the agreement.
It is my belief that the decision to rush this legislation through Parliament was reckless and, as a result, it lacks the safeguards needed to protect many of the rights that Canadians so dearly value.
New Democrats have repeatedly questioned Conservatives in the House of Commons and at the Standing Committee on Finance. It became abundantly clear that the Conservative government has very little understanding of the consequences of FATCA and has been tone deaf regarding the very real concerns of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
Moving forward, New Democrats remain committed to ensure that Canadians’ voices are heard and that our laws are consistent with the constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadian sovereignty more broadly.
A New Democrat government will order a full and urgent review of the FATCA IGA to identify and address all measures that threaten the constitutional and privacy rights of all Canadians.
We will seek to reopen the IGA for renegotiation with the United States in order to address the serious concerns of Canadians and ensure that their rights are protected. We will do so in an open and transparent manner – instead of the secretive manner pursued by the Conservatives.
More broadly, we will ensure that all proposed legislation is subject to a more robust screening to ensure compliance with the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Conservatives have failed to uphold this duty, with the result that, in many instances, litigation was initiated that could have been avoided.
As noted above, New Democrats continue to closely watch the progress of your litigation against the Government of Canada.
We also understand that many people across Canada are now directly facing the consequences of the agreement. New Democrat Members of Parliament will continue to assist individuals access the information and resources they need regarding how the FATCA IGA affects them.
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.
NDP Candidate for Victoria
NDP Deputy Critic for National Revenue