2015 Year in Review

It’s incredible to believe that 2016 marks the sixth calendar year many of us have been living this nightmare.

Here is a review of what happened in 2015.


Government of Canada claims it has over 100,000 documents to review relating to FATCA.

United Nations has not responded to complaint submitted to them in August 2014.

Schubert refuses to renew his CCLA membership because of Canadian Civil Liberties Association`s inaction on FATCA.

US Senate Finance Committee establishes working groups on tax reform.

ADCS reaches its $100,000 goal for the third $100,000 payment towards the $500,000 five days ahead of the February 1 due date.


Stephen Kish launches an appeal for the next $100,000 payment that is due May 1.

Seize the Day Event is announced for Valentine’s Day in Toronto, including a call for people to send their stories and videos about the harm of CBT to be forwarded to US Senate Finance Committee. .

MARCH 2015

U.S, Senate Finance Committee announces a bipartisan effort to begin soliciting ideas from interested members of the public and stakeholders on how best to overhaul the US Tax Code.

CCLA advises they are reviewing their possible involvement in the FATCA lawsuit and will advise “soon.“

ADCS writes to Leaders of Conservative, NDP, Liberal and Green Parties and to some MPs asking for their party’s position on FATCA.

APRIL 2015

Shadow Raider makes a brilliant proposal to Senate Finance Committee for the elimination of citizenship based taxation.

Republicans Overseas makes submission to Senate Finance Committee

American Citizens Abroad make a submission to Senate Finance Committee

ADCS Directors John Richardson, Stephen Kish and Patricia Moon make a monumental submission to Senate Finance Committee telling the devastating horror stories of CBT.

US Senate Finance Committee posts submissions made to them.

MAY 2015

Arvay team files Motion for a Summary Trial

JUNE 2015

After prodding, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau responds to ADCS request for position on FATCA. He says the “Government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for Canadian citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights. He calls the IGA “inadequate” and “insufficient,” but does not say what a Liberal government would do.

JULY 2015

82 Page U.S. Senate international tax reform report is released, indicating the Senate Finance Committee disregarded the multitude of letters, submissions, surveys, reports and pleas submitted to them.

ADCS announces that a lawsuit against citizenship-based taxation is coming against the U.S. government.

Republicans Overseas files FATCA, FBAR and IGA lawsuit in U.S. District Court with seven plaintiffs from six countries, including ADCS Chair Stephen Kish.

Canadian Government responds to Summary Trial Filing

NDP continues to be silent on FATCA.


On August 1 we have not raised enough money to meet our next $100,000 installment due to the Arvay team.

Summary Trial is held in Vancouver with Justice Luc Martineau on August 4 and 5.

John Richardson does a Summary of Summary Trial.

Lynne Swanson requests a CD of the Summary Trial, including a request for consent to post on line.

US government responds to FATCA lawsuit, claiming “The challenged laws are essential to tax enforcement, and the injuries that plaintiffs allege they have suffered as a result of such laws are self-inflicted, speculative, or even illusory.”

Mid-month ADCS reaches the $500,000 goal from small pockets across Canada and around the world.

On the day we reach our goal, IRS announces the cyber breach of information was larger than originally reported.

Marcio Pinheiro dies in Brazil.

Canada`s Privacy Commission essentially says “Don`t Bug Us“ about FATCA. Lynne Swanson replies asking for the Privacy Commissioner`s position on FATCA.

After considerable prodding, Murray Rankin responds on what an NDP government would do about FATCA, including undertaking an urgent study, reopening the IGA and ensuring compliance with the Charter. He advises the NDP is following our lawsuit.

Lynne Swanson receives a CD of the Summary Trial. Request for consent to post on line is denied by Federal Court.


Green Party promises to repeal FATCA.

U.S. Department of State announces $2350 U.S. fee for relinquishing U.S. citizenship matching the fee established a year earlier for renouncing U.S. citizenship.

We anxiously await Justice Martineau’s decision.

On September 16, we receive the Decision We Do Not Want. Justice Martineau rules the FATCA IGA does not violate the Income Tax Act or the Income Tax Treaty. This is a decision on the Income Tax Act and Treaty, but not on the constitutional or Charter of Rights issues. This decision authorizes CRA to transmit information to IRS.

John Richardson declares Justice Martineau’s decision is worse than a root canal.

ADCS directs Arvay-Gruber team to appeal the Martineau decision and to proceed with the constitutional and Charter challenge.

Two days after Justice Martineau’s decision, on September 18 at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon, IRS announces countries with a Model One Agreement may request a delay in reporting to September 30, 2016.

ADCS informs Arvay-Gruber team of the possible IRS extension and instructs them to contact Government of Canada.

Arvay-Gruber team contacts government informing them of the IRS announcement and requesting the government not turn any information over to IRS.

Arvay team submits motion for an injunction.

ADCS launches a social media campaign to #StopFATCA.

Stephen Kish and John Richardson Write to Minster of Revenue Kerry-Lynne Findley on behalf of ADCS requesting that Canada delay reporting to IRS.

Stephen Kish begins a new fundraising drive for costs of Summary Trial .

Elizabeth May writes an urgent letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to stop transfer of private information to the United States.

NDP’s Nathan Cullen writes urgent letter to Ministers of Finance and Revenue requesting delay in reporting.

An,American judge denies the application for an injunction in the U.s. lawsuit,

CCLA says they are still reviewing through a law firm if they will be involved in FATCA. FATCA is conspicuously absent in letters they write or in public statements on Charter issues they make.

Canada Revenue Agency refuses to apply for an extension, claiming it does not apply to Canada.

Motion for an injunction is dismissed by Justice Rennie.

The first FATCA transfer of information is sent from CRA to IRS. CRA reports 155,000 “slips” were sent to IRS.


Canada votes on October 19.

A Liberal Majority government is elected led by Justin Trudeau. Stephen Harper resigns as Leader of the Conservative Party. Conservatives become the Official Opposition. Finance Minister Joe Oliver loses his seat to a Liberal candidate. NDP slips to third party in representation. Murray Rankin and Nathan Cullen are reelected, but some NDP who supported us lose their seats. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who has been a supporter, is reelected.

ADCS writes to Prime Minister Designate Trudeau, asking him to Stand Up for all Canadians, as he said in his letter to Lynne Swanson is the responsibility of the Government of Canada when “foreign governments are encroaching on their rights.”

Many individuals write to their new or reelected MPs.

ADCS gathers quotes of Liberals opposing FATCA and submits these to Arvay legal team.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet are sworn into office.

Stephen Kish urges Canadians to write to their MPs and Cabinet Ministers.

Canada’s new Justice Minister declares on CBC that she is a “Child of the Charter.”

Madame Justice Dawson agrees to “park” the appeal of the Summary Trial

Joe Arvay writes to Government of Canada legal counsel, giving numerous comments opposing FATCA made by Liberal MPs (some who are now Cabinet Ministers) and by our new Prime Minister. He asks if instructions have changed in defence of our lawsuit.

Alliance for the Defeat of Citizenship Taxation (ADCT) announces plans for a CBT lawsuit in the U.S. and launches a new fund raising drive.

On the last day of November, Government of Canada lawyer responds to Joe Arvay that instructions from the Liberals have not changed in defence of the Canadian FATCA lawsuit.


Stephen Kish makes a strong appeal for witnesses for the Charter trial.

In an article similar to those that began our nightmare in 2011, Globe and Mail insists we are tax cheats who must come clean before it is too late. Roy Berg spews his usual jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric and warns of Tax Bounty Hunters.

Marc Zell petitions Israel’s High Court of Justice challenging FATCA.

We have raised $530,017, but we need another $74,953 by February 1 to continue with the Charter Trial.

CCLA remains silent on FATCA.

Privacy Commissioner remains silent on FATCA.

Liberal MPs, Cabinet Ministers and Prime Minister are silent on FATCA.

United Nations is silent on our CBT Human Rights complaint.

Government of Canada has not provided documents to Arvay team.

The saga continues. We will prevail.

5 thoughts on “2015 Year in Review

  1. Lynne Swanson Post author

    @Embee @Badger I don’t think I captured everything. Just some of the major points in Canada.

    This, of course, is only one year in review. It does not cover everything we did in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 to try to get redress.

    I did a Year in Review for 2014, but I didn’t do a summary of the early years.

    I would like to think this will be resolved in 2016, but I now know how impractical that hope is.

    1. badger

      Don’t think any of us would have foreseen back in 2011 that we would have made it this far! Bet the US Treasury, IRS, and FATCAnatics are in disbelief that ordinary people could mount such opposition.

      Bravo Lynne and all those who have pushed the rock uphill this far!!


    2. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @Badger Back in 2011, I did not think it would ever reach this stage.

      I naively thought when U.S. Congress learned how average, responsible people were caught up in FATCA, they would correct it. I was wrong.

      More importantly, I did not believe that the Canadian government would so easily sign away Canadian rights to a foreign bully, especially with Jim Flaherty’s initial resistance. I was wrong.

      I did not believe for a minute that Canada would pass a law that would override all Canadian laws for a foreign bully. I was wrong.

      I believed Justice Martineau would see this for the sham it is. I was wrong.

      I hoped the Liberals might be different. I was wrong.

      Our only recourse now is the Charter trial. We will prevail. But we need to get this funded.  Where are the people affected who haven’t donated?!?  



  2. badger

    Thank you Lynne for such a comprehensive timeline of all the significant efforts and events of the past year. So much has happened that we needed a recap to fully appreciate how much effort and time and money has gone into trying to get redress.

    The Liberals, CCLA, the Privacy Commissioner, the US, none of them can say that they were not made aware. Any inaction on their part by now is past WILLFUL.

  3. EmBee

    Thank you for putting this year’s summary together Lynne. The saga should have been marked “The End” years ago and yet there are pages more to be written and miles to go before we sleep in peace. The only way to make sure we get a happy ending someday is to keep on educating the FATCA unwise media and public; keep on helping those who find themselves ensnared in the FATCA trap; and keep on supporting the lawsuits challenging the legality of FATCA. Keep on keeping on until the mean old FATCA lady finally sings “Uncle!”


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