Tune In. Minister of National Revenue to Testify Thursday April 14

Tune in.

Show Time on Parl Vu. Thursday, April 14, 8:45-10:45 a.m.

Minister of National Revenue and the Privacy Commissioner will appear before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics this Thursday, April 14 8:45-10:45 a.m. on the transfer of FATCA data from CRA to IRS last September.

Parlvu indicates this will be broadcast through them.

The NDP put forward a request for the Minister to appear. They only have one seat on the committee, but the committee agreed unanimously.

You may recall Elizabeth Thompson reported at iPolitics that the Committee voted unanimously to request the Minister and the Commissioner to testify on the CRA transfer of records to IRS.

As I said in that article, I’m skeptical.

“I think it’s just a show.”

It could be a very interesting show. Or it could be a very boring show with the Minister reading from her pink note cards.

Tune in if you can…

21 thoughts on “Tune In. Minister of National Revenue to Testify Thursday April 14

  1. EmBee

    There seems to be some kind of block on the video for the ETHI meeting. It should be available by now (other televised meetings are) but if it’s archived someplace other than here …
    … then I can’t find it. I sent an e-mail off to ParlVu to ask them what’s up but I won’t get a reply until Monday. I missed about 30 to 40 percent of the live coverage because it was buffering so much. What I did see made me really not want to see the whole thing but it would be good to have available anyway. We need to be able to extract clips to demonstrate the Revenue Mininister’s [fill in the blank — if I do it won’t be polite].

  2. Lynne Swanson Post author

    Elizabeth Thompson’s article on the testimony yesterday.

    CRA should notify people when their bank records are shared.

    NOTE the communications between CRA and the Privacy Commissioner at the end of the article.

    There is far more that Canada could be doing than notifying people. But Canada won’t. Instead the Minister of National Revenue paints us as tax cheats while promoting a sweetheart shady deal for wealthy KPMG real tax evaders.

    More to come. Elizabeth plans another article for today.

  3. EmBee

    I’m tuned in right now. The meeting is about 15 minutes along. Unfortunately the video keeps cutting out … what I’ve heard so far is making my blood boil.

  4. badger

    I posted this at IBS as well. Perhaps those you are corresponding with in the NDP and journalists might also be interested in the issues raised in the documents linked in the FIPA submission below. Raises provincial/federal jurisdiction issue of FATCA IGA as applied to provincially regulated credit unions, and provincial privacy laws. Proves that at least some part of the BC government was aware of some portion of that issue. Raises sovereignty issues in one of the FOIA obtained emails. Raises question of whether for credit unions to comply, the provinces would have had to enact provincial legislation.

    I don’t think this was posted before, though it is from 2014. Read the FOI documents and the FIPA submission in the links;

    ‘BC FIPA calls for halt to implementation of US tax law in Canada’
    March 11, 2014 • IN CATEGORIES: Privacy Law

    “BC FIPA has weighed in on the side of privacy in the debate over the implementation of the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in this country.

    In our submission [https://fipa.bc.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MoF-consult-sub-signed-Mar-10-2014.pdf ] to a consultation by the federal Ministry of Finance on the deal signed last month between Canada and the US, we highlighted the damage this would do to privacy rights not just for Americans living in Canada, but also for ‘snowbirds’ and other Canadians who might have a US address or phone number on file with their Canadian financial institution.

    Under the agreement, ‘Canadian financial institutions’ will be required to run an electronic scan of their clients’ accounts, looking for American addresses or phone numbers in the contact information. This could result in Canadian snowbirds and others having their financial information identified for sending to Ottawa, and then on to the Internal Revenue Service in Washington DC.

    We are not the only ones concerned about this issue.

    Internal e mails we received through freedom of information [ https://fipa.bc.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/FATCA-Release.pdf ] shows that bureaucrats at the BC regulator of financial institutions (FICOM) were of the view that credit unions in the province “…could be left in a tough spot to comply with the US/Canada agreement and meeting privacy rules.”

    Our submission deals with some of the constitutional problems involved with implementing the agreement, quoting a letter [ http://www.greenparty.ca/sites/greenparty.ca/files/attachments/peter_hogg_fatca.pdf ] to the Ministry from Canada’s leading constitutional scholar, former law dean Peter Hogg.

    We also set out some of the issues related to federal and provincial privacy laws covering the public and private sectors; the federal government acting alone will not be able to amend these laws to let the implementation proceed.

    We will have more to say on this issue if/when the federal government brings in legislation to implement the Intergovernmental Agreement.”

    1. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @Badger It was posted in its own thread in 2014, but a refresher is good.


      Thanks for raising the issue of credit unions being under provincial jurisdiction again.

      Yes, credit unions are regulated by provinces, banks are regulated by the federal gov. Don’t ask me why there is a difference. I don’t know why.

      However, two years ago I had a privacy breach with a medical professional.  In dealing with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner on that issue, I asked about FATCA, privacy and credit unions.

      They told me privacy for credit union members falls under PIPEDA and not under the Ontario Privacy Commissioner.

      Again, I have no idea why the provinces regulate credit unions, but privacy for credit unions is under federal jurisdiction.

      Joe Arvay is very aware of the credit union regulation issue.

      I will try to raise it again with the NDP and with journalists.  Others may want to do the same.




  5. Lynne Swanson Post author

    @EmBee: See my comment in the KPMG Thread!


    Finance Committee is meeting on Thursday about amending the Income Tax Act. They also met on that topic today. I don’t know if there have been other meetings about that.

    I don’t think “our” amendment has been considered again even though I have resent it to several Cabinet Ministers and NDP MPs.

    We need to try to get ths back on the agenda. It is probably too late for Thursday, but I am going to see how to get this going again.

    1. Lynne Swanson Post author

      NOTE to All:  I spoke with Mr. Caron’s Assistant.  The amendments being considered tomorrow (Thursday) at Finance Committee are related to the income tax rate, so Mr. Caron will not be able to reintroduce “our” amendment there.

      However, we agreed I would resend the amendment to Mr. Caron’s Assistant for consideration to reintroduce.  I had sent it earlier to Brison, Morneau, LeBouthillier, Wilsdon-Raybould, Rankin, Dusseault and others. But I will also send it to Caron.

  6. EmBee

    @ Lynne
    Today the ParlVu schedule for the ETHI meeting on Thursday says it will be TELEVISED. That’s great and I think your persistence had a lot to do with that change. I hope as many people watch as possible.

    Maybe you should do the announcement of this change at Brock to encourage people to TUNE IN. We need the viewer feedback loop to this standing committee to show there continues to be a great deal of interest in this issue.

  7. Lynne Swanson Post author

    Good news EmBee and others.

    Mr. Dusseault and one other NDP MP will attend.

    Mr. Dusseault’s Assistant also advised it will now be televised.

    So, tune in on ParlVu Thursday 8:45-10:45ET (which is early for those of you in B.c. and Alberta.)

    1. EmBee

      Oops, I didn’t see your comment until after I posted mine above. It’s good to know that Mr. Dusseault and another NDP member will be there. Squeaky wheels really do get the grease. Thank you. I will tune in.

  8. Lynne Swanson Post author

    @EmBee I spoke with Pierre-Luc Dusseault’s Assistant.

    Mr. Blaikie will not be attending the meeting for the NDP. They are working to try to have Mr. Dusseault be the replacement.

    I asked if it is possible to have the meeting moved to a room where there is a camera so the meeting will be televised on ParlVu.

    The Assistant will see if it can be moved, but he thought it might be difficult because the meeting is only three days away.

    He will update me when he knows who will attend for the NDP and when he finds out if the meeting can be moved.

    1. EmBee

      Gosh there has to be someone from the NDP there, otherwise there will just be Lib and Con MPs sitting around agreeing with each other that all is well … when IT IS NOT! If it’s just audio it will be hard to know who’s speaking but hopefully there will be a transcript available afterwards that we can access. Thanks so much for keeping us updated on this.

      Note: the Chair of the ETHI committee is a Conservative, Blaine Calkins and this particular session is titled: Transfer of Information to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


      BTW, I may have been looking at the Public Accounts committee when I saw IN CAMERA because ParlVu shows AUDIO ONLY for ETHI on the 14th. Sorry if I set you off chasing wild gooses.

  9. Lynne Swanson Post author

    @EmBee Oh no. That concerns me. In Camera usually means it is not open to the public for confidentiality reasons.

    I will check with the person who brought this to my attention.

    I will also contact Mr. Dusseault’s Assistant to see if he knows what it means.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    1. EmBee

      Well that would be irritatingly, ironic if the Revenue (Send It All) Minister and the Privacy (For Us, Not You) Commissioner get the benefit of confidentiality at this meeting but those who are affected by the data transfer get no guarantees of the same. We know how many slipups the IRS has made re: the protection of taxpayers’ information. Anyway, MP Dusseault will be there, won’t he? He’s been very good about keeping us informed so I’m sure he will pass along whatever information he can to us.

    2. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @EmBee MP Dusseault is not actually on that committee.  The NDP Member on that Committee is Daniel Blaikie (son of Bill Blaikie who is better known).  However, the NDP has the option of having someone else attend.  

      I plan to call Mr. Dusseault’s Assistant on Monday.  If Danniel Blaikie will be attending, I will also call his office.

      I checked with the person who brought this to my attention.  That person said the Committee website indicates the meeting is open to the public and that it may mean there will be audio only. The individual said that made sense for the room in which the meeting is being held but that it could change to video if the meeting is moved to another room that has cameras.

      I will see what I can find out on Monday.


    3. EmBee

      @ Lynne
      Thanks for the update. I didn’t mean to make extra work for you. I just couldn’t figure out what that lock image meant. I tried to find out on the ParlVu site but I struck out there. I hope Daniel Blaikie is up to speed on all this.

    4. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @EmBee: I’m glad you found and posted that. It’s important we know if we can see or hear it.  

      I will let you know what I find out on Monday.

    5. Lynne Swanson Post author

      @EmBee:  Ii checked the committee information on the Parliament website.   It does say what my contact said–it is open to the public.

      I also checked the ParlVu website.  Again, I found what my contact said.  It gives the icon and the word Audio for the Ethi (Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee) where the Minister and the Commissioner will testify.

      The PACP (Public Accounts) Committee is meeting at the same time. It is posted with the lock icon and the words In Camera.  Is it possible you saw the information for the other committee?

      It seems there are not cameras in the room where the Minister is testifying before the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee.

      So there should be audio to Tune In to.  I will ask Mt. Dussault on Monday if there is any possibility of the meeting moving to another roon where there is a camera.

  10. EmBee

    @ Lynne
    Do you know what the Lock Image + In Camera mean on the ParlVu calendar? This is how the committee meeting is listed. I wonder if it means you can only watch it live?

  11. EmBee

    Thanks Lynne. I’ve got ParlVu keyed up on my desktop to remind me to watch next Friday. Five years ago I would have never believed I would be watching parliamentary committees and debates someday.


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