>Sent via e-mail to Minister of Justice Minister November 17, 2015
Dear Ms. Wilson-Raybould:
Congratulations on being elected as a Member of Parliament, on being appointed Minister of Justice, on ending the government’s defence on the niqab issue and on “welcome(ing) (Zunera Ishaq) to the Canadian family.”
I ask you to also ensure one million Canadians remain an integral part of the “Canadian family” with the same rights as all other Canadians in our sovereign country.
You can do that by ending the government defence of the lawsuit of Ginny Hillis and Gwen Deegan who have been Canadian citizens since birth.
Ginny was born just across the Canada-U.S. border 69 years ago. Gwen was born in the United States 53 years ago. Both came to Canada at the age of five with their Canadian parents. They have lived their entire lives as Canadian citizens. They were educated in Canada, married Canadian men, built their careers here, earn their incomes here, own homes here and raised their Canadian-born families here. Ginny is now a retired lawyer and Gwen is co-owner of a graphic art business with her husband. They have always paid taxes to Canada.
Ginny and Gwen are in the midst of a very costly lawsuit ($600,000 so far) against the government of Canada that is fighting them with their own tax dollars. The Conservative government surrendered Ginny, Gwen, one million other Canadian citizens and residents and Canadian laws, rights, constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and sovereignty to a foreign bully.
Under American threats of economic sanctions and penalties, the Conservative government mandated Canadian financial institutions seek out Ginny, Gwen and one million Canadians for reporting their private financial information to the United States simply because they were born in the United States or have some other bizarre connection to the U.S.
After finding these “U.S. Persons,” Canadian financial institutions will report total assets, account balances, transactions, account numbers and other personal information to Canada Revenue Agency to hand over to United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes joint accounts with Canadian spouses and business partner. It even includes accounts where a “U.S. person” has signing authority with a Canadian charity, employer, or, in the case of lawyers, trust accounts.
As a proud and patriotic Canadian citizen for 42 years, I never thought I would see the day when the Government of Canada would pass a law that would prevail over all other Canadian laws (except the Income Tax Act) on demands of a foreign government. Yet, that is exactly what the Conservative government did last year.
One Conservative M.P. even told Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance “Congress has spoken.” How can this be in a free, democratic and sovereign country?
Many of the Canadians caught in this nightmare have been Canadian citizens for three, four, five or more decades. Some, like Ginny and Gwen, have been Canadian citizens their entire lives and were simply born in the U.S. when their Canadian families were living there temporarily. Some are “Border Babies” who were born in the U.S. when their Canadian mothers were sent there to give birth.
“Why do our most heinous criminals have more Charter rights than I do,” asks a Nova Scotia police officer who was born in Maine when his mother was sent there to give birth over a half century ago.
If Canadians born in China, Russia, Iran, India or Eritrea were being ferreted out by their Canadian banks for reporting to those countries, there would be outrage. Canadians born in the U.S. should have the same rights as all other Canadians.
Ginny and Gwen are represented by Vancouver constitutional lawyer Joseph Arvay. The lawsuit was filed 15 months ago, but no trial has yet been held or even scheduled on the constitutional or Charter of Rights issues because your Ministry is delaying the case.
Please ensure Ginny, Gwen and one million Canadians remain part of the “Canadian family.” Stop FATCA now.
I ask you to immediately:
`1) End the government defence of this lawsuit
2) Repeal or amend the FATCA enabling legislation
3) Ensure Canadian laws prevail over a foreign law in Canada.
4) Inform U.S. government that FATCA will not be enforced in Canada on Canadian citizens and residents
In the attached letter to me, Justin Trudeau said the “government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights.”
FATCA encroaches. It is time for the Government of Canada to stand up for Canadians.
P.S. Many of your Liberal colleagues are also opposed to FATCA. Attached are a few of the statements made by some of them.