Joe Arvay Writes to Ministry of Justice

Today Joseph Arvay wrote to the Ministry of Justice lawyers regarding the ADCS lawsuit.

The letter gives numerous statements from Liberals opposing FATCA and includes a copy of Prime Minister Trudeau’s letter to me before the election.

Included in Mr. Arvay’s letter is:

Finally, Mr. Trudeau himself stated in the aforementioned June 25, 2015 letter to Ms. Swanson that the Liberal Party believes “that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect the affected Canadians.” Our view is that this statement clearly reflects an intention to repeal or amend the relevant legislation so that it does sufficiently protect affected Canadians and the sovereignty of Canada.

Given that the incoming federal government has expressed serious concerns that are the same or similar to the issues raised by the plaintiffs in this litigation, the plaintiffs request that you forward this letter to the new Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the new Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, and advise us as soon as possible whether your instructions have changed in respect of the defence of the litigation, and/or whether our clients can expect that legislative or executive measures will be taken to obviate the need
for this litigation.

As John Richardson said “This will be interesting.”

24 thoughts on “Joe Arvay Writes to Ministry of Justice

  1. Lynne Swanson Post author

    A government lawyer responded that they had a technical problem providing the documents but will do so by the end of the week. She also advised their instructions from the government have not changed, but they will let us know if they do.

  2. Lynne Swanson Post author

    On the suggestion of EmBee, I sent this e-mai l to Murray Rankin, who is now the NDP Justice Critic:

    Congratulations on your reelection. Although I am sad the NDP lost so many seats and so many MPs, I am delighted you, Nathan Cullen, Charlie Angus and others were reelected.

    I am also happy Mr. Mulcair has promised to “hold this new government to account and fight for your priorities every day.” Your appointment as Justice Critic is a welcome one. I’m sure you will use this opportunity to stand up for Canadians on numerous issues.

    Thank you for your strong and tenacious efforts on FATCA in the past. You are aware of the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty lawsuit.

    Given your new role as Justice Critic and your excellent knowledge and understanding of FATCA, I ask you to contact the Minister of Justice and Minister of National Revenue and request that they:

    1 End the government defence of ADCS lawsuit
    2 Repeal or amend the enabling legislation
    3 Ensure Canadians born in the U.S. have the same rights as all other Canadians

    Attached is a letter from Joe Arvay to government lawyers. This letter contains numerous statements of Liberal MPs. As Mr. Arvay points out, “Many of the concerns they have raised are the same or consistent with the issues the plaintiffs have identified in this litigation.”

    In addition, based on Mr. Trudeau’s June 25 letter to me (also attached), Mr. Arvay said “Our view is that this statement clearly reflects an intention to repeal or amend the relevant legislation so that it does sufficiently protect affected Canadians and the sovereignty of Canada.”

    Finally, Mr. Arvay asked the government lawyers to forward his letter to the Ministers of Justice and National Revenue and advise “whether your instructions have changed in respect of the defence of the litigation, and/or whether our clients can expect that legislative or executive measures will be taken to obviate the need for this litigation.”

    I am asking you “to hold this new government to account and fight for” the rights of Canadians. Please contact the Ministers and/or raise this issue in the House of Commons and request they take swift and urgent action to end the government defence of this lawsuit and to implement legislative or executive measures to protect the rights of Canadian citizens and residents.

    I may be reached at Phone Number) or (E-mail) if you have any questions.

    Please advise me of what action you will take.

    Lynne Swanson, Chair
    Legal Challenge Committee
    Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty

    Thanks EmBee for letting us know that Mr. Rankin is the NDP Justice Critic and suggesting we contact him.

    1. EmBee

      Thank YOU, Lynne, for writing an excellent letter. Murray Rankin is well versed in FATCA which means he can hit the floor of the House running … at least I hope he won’t let the FATCA football drop when the new parliament convenes. Your letter will remind and inspire him.

    2. Stephen Kish

      Lynne, thanks for writing this letter and EmBee for letting us know Murray Rankin’s position in the NDP Shadow Cabinet.

    1. Andrew Hubbertz

      Very good. Thank you for posting. Two thoughts:

      First, the letter lists fifteen priorities, some of them more challenging than others. It will be difficult for the minister to move on all of these simultaneously, so much will depend upon how the priorities are prioritized!

      Second, the letter includes restoration of the Court Challenges Program. This is good news. It means we might have some assistance in financing our case. That would be most welcome!

  3. Lynne Swanson Post author

    In those ministerial mandate letters Tim has taught us about, Justin Trudeau tells Cabinet Ministers You’ll be judged by how you treat others.

    so, will we be treated as “A Canadian is a Canadian” or will we be treated as “American citizens abiding here in Canada?”

    Whichever it is will be how we will judge Trudeau et al.

    1. Tim

      My personal opinion as they said in the movie Hunt for Red October all politicians(including Murray Rankin) are liars and cheats and when they aren’t kissing babies they are stealing their lollypops. However, good politicians(i.e. Not Stephen Harper) will try to keep their options open. So my guess is Trudeau will for as long as possible pending litigation try to placate both us and the IRS.

    2. Tim

      Look I wish I could give a cleaner answer so many people want over at Brock. If I did that right now I would just be making stuff up. One thing I will note is the Department of Finance no longer has the primacy it did under Flaherty and Harper. Just from looking at things to date it seems as some of the other ministers such as Stephane Dion and Scott Brison have a lot of influence relative to what the Finance Minister position had under Harper which I think is a good thing give the post advocacy of Scott Brison.

  4. OutragedCanadian

    aw, thanks, Lynne. I, too, hope that one day maintaining this site will no longer be necessary. Until that day, though, I’m committed, as you are, in making sure there’s a place for rational, thoughtful discussion (and yes, disagreements). After all these years, I’m reconciled to my polite Canadian nature that doesn’t like shouting, bullying, ranting or name calling. That’s why this site is important to me. I want to know the issues, and people’s POVs, but without the hyberbole and excess that often times comes with strong emotions.

  5. Lynne Swanson Post author

    @Marie: The new Prime Minister should have no choice other than to take action.

    Yet I remember how outspoken against FATCA Jim Flaherty was for several months. Then he went silent. Then he announced the IGA.

    I’m hoping Trudeau and the Ministers of Justice, Revenue, Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Finance will be stronger and “stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights.”

    I have written to all of them and to my newly elected MP. Because we have been betrayed so many times in the past, I am not allowing myself to get my hopes too high now.

    Please everyone write to your MPs, the Prime Minister, relevant members of Cabinet and anyone else you think may help.

    Please also continue donating to fund the lawsuit.

    1. Tim

      I have come to the belief that notwithstanding the public perception Jim Flaherty liked to give off over our issues I don’t think at any point along the line he ever really had our backs and the worship of Flaherty that still occurs both here and at IBS is way overdone given the actual historical record. However, if you look at the statements various Liberal MP’s have given they go much further in sympathy towards our side and will be much much more difficult to pull back than anything Flaherty ever said.

      I think the Liberals are pretty firmly on record they want a “better” FATCA deal(keeping in mind their idea of a better deal is probably not all that acceptable to most of “us”). On the otherhand Obama and the Democrats are pretty firmly on the record as saying there will not be a “better” deal for anyone including Justin Trudeau. So its hard to say who has the upper hand. I will add though that Obama is not going to be around for that much longer so I don’t know how firmly he can refuse to negotiate.

  6. Marie

    When the Prime Minister of Canada is on record, “We believe that the deal reached between Canada and the US is insufficient to protect Canadians”, he has no choice but to take action.

    1. Stephen Kish


      The pre-election statement by Mr. Trudeau in the letter to Lynne is helpful, but a stronger reason why our new Prime Minister “has to take action” is because of the lawsuit that you and others helped fund.

      Canada’s Federal Court will direct two Ministers of his Government to state their intentions regarding defending or not defending the lawsuit.

      If there were no lawsuit, there would be zero incentive for Mr. Trudeau to take any action. You made this happen.

  7. Tim


    It is my understanding that for the first time ever the ministerial mandate letters are going to be made open to the public. From my perspective I will be closely watching the contents of those to the Ministers of Finance, Justice, and CRA. Unfortunately I do not yet know of the date when these are going to be made available.

    1. Lynne Swanson Post author

      Thanks Tim.  Despite my years of public sector employment, I had no knowledge of Ministerial Mandate letters. Is this something new or is just making them public new?

    2. Schubert

      Well-spotted Tim! I worked for years in the Government of Canada (its proper name not that egotistical aberration Harper inflicted on us), and I’d never heard of these letters either. And I was even cleared for Secret, but that is always need-to-know and maybe at my level in the food chain the lord high mucky-mucks didn’t think I needed to know what “my” minister’s mandate was. Though I did know the department’s official mandate, and until Harper I had no reason to doubt that a ministerial mandate and a departmental mandate would/could/should ever differ. Not so sure since Harper took office, looking back on it …

      So yes it will be very interesting (and democratic in fact) to be able to read these when they’re released.

  8. Schubert

    Thanks to Arvay for sending the letter, for everyone behind the scenes who collected the quotes, and to Lynne (and Stephen over at Brock) for keeping us posted on this. It will indeed be interesting to see what the new government’s response will be.

    Personally I find this information and post a lot more relevant and information than some recent posts on the other website, which I am no longer following because the rants have gone off in directions that I don’t consider worth my following or even thinking of replying to …

    1. NorthernShrike

      @Schubert Interesting comment. I independently came to the same decision about the other website, maybe a week ago. I am interested in our lawsuit and political developments relevant to the issue. Maple Sandbox, supplemented by the ADCS website, suits my needs. I hope this continues to be a site for polite sharing of information and opinion on the issue at hand. Many, many thanks to Lynne!

    2. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @NortherShrike: Thanks for the thanks.  I’m glad you can find information here and participate in a focused way.

      I must stress that Outraged Canadian and I are partners in this site.  Although she is not as visible as I am, there would be no Maple Sandbox without her.  She really developed and maintains Sandbox. She is key to the functioning and operation of Sandbox.

      For you and others who may not know about our history, you might want to read Why We Built Maple Sandbox.

      We are quieter than Brock, but we are determined to fight in our own way. We remain allies and trading partners with Brock. We continue to aim to “arm ourselves and others with resources, respect and advocacy against the attempted intrusion of IRS into the lives of honest, law-abiding tax paying people.”

      It’s hard to believe it has been over three years since we set up Sandbox. It’s even harder to believe that common sense has not prevailed in Canadian, American and other governments on FATCA and other IRS issues.

      Speaking of it being three years makes me realize many of our resources, links and sidebars are very dated and need to be updated.  I just need to find some dedicated time to do it!

      I look forward to the day when we shut down Sandbox because the issues are resolved.  But for now, we continue to Blaze an Outraged Canadian Trail.

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