All posts by nobledreamer-Tricia

We’ve had a few posts in the recent past, addressing different aspects of the upcoming election in October. For anyone wanting to keep track of our perspective of all things “Harper Govt:”
Canadian Federal Election: It’s Time to Throw the People Who Betrayed Us Out of Office
Hey Steve
Help Me Keep My April 5 Promise Revisited-We Will Never Forget the IGA Betrayal by the CONs
And now we have an excellent post explaining how “first past the post” works. Maybe I’ll link to a page in the next few days to keep all these together as references all in one place….
cross posted from adcsovereignty.wordpress.com


Prologue – From “Message in a bottle 2: Democracy, the appointment of judges and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The post included:

I was reminded of a post that I wrote on this very topic during the 2011 Canadian Federal Election campaign (prior to FATCA and President Obama’s FBAR Fundraiser). You may recall that the Harper Government went into this election with a minority government. The reasons that he won a majority government exist today. The reality is that the Conservative Party of Canada – led by Stephen Harper has an excellent chance of retaining their majority government. That’s the price of the “first past the post” electoral system.

The “First past the post electoral system – How does it work and how does it encourage non-representative democracy?”


The video in the above tweet explains how the “First past the post system” works.
The “Conservative Government” of Prime Minister is extremely unpopular. Yet, it has a “majority government”. How can this be? If you watch the video in the above tweet, you will see an explanation of how “First past the post” works.
Continue reading

Message in a bottle 2: Democracy, the Appointment of Judges and the Canadian Charter of Rights

cross-posted from the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty WordPress Blog.

by John Richardson
 


 
Introduction – The role of judges in a democracy with constitutionally protected rights
In “Message in a bottle (or from my basement)” I discussed why “freedom” and “democracy” are not the same. I also described the differences between constitutionally protected rights, common law rights and legislative rights.
The message was:
Constitutionally entrenched rights are necessary to protect certain minority interests from the tyranny of the democratic process. Canada’s “Charter of Rights” is a set of “constitutionally entrenched rights”. The effectiveness of a Charter of Rights is determined by the interaction of three groups of people:
First, the general public
Yes, individuals must have the courage to stand up for their rights. They must have the conviction to use the courts. I recognize Gwen Deegan and Ginny Hillis as courageous Canadians. They are strengthening Canada’s Charter of Rights by pursuing litigation against the Government of Canada. It doesn’t take a hero. But, it does take courage.
The truth is that:
All Canadians will benefit by our FATCA lawsuit initiated by Gwen Deegan and Ginny Hillis.
Second, the legal profession
The fact is that most lawyers are absolutely useless when it comes to defending individual rights. Absolutely useless. There are exceptions. Obviously our lawyer, Joe Arvay has a long history of Charter litigation and is an exception. We are proud to have him as our litigator in our FATCA lawsuit. Mr. Arvay has made a huge difference in the lives of Canadians.


But, speaking of lawyers who have made a difference, I can’t resist mentioning Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati – who Globe and Mail journalist Sean Fine, recently referred to as “the unofficial opposition“.


Third, the judges and the courts
Courageous plaintiffs and principled lawyers are not enough. The protection of individual rights requires a strong independent court composed of judges who are INDEPENDENT of the government. Few people realize how important judges are. Few people realize that the most “enduring” things that governments do is to appoint judges. Governments can leave their legacy through their judicial appointments.


At the present time, Prime Minister Harper has appointed (are you ready for this) seven of the nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. Yet, the Supreme Court of Canada has consistently ruled against the Harper government.


In a democracy, with constitutionally protected rights, judges can and do protect individuals from tyrannical democracies. It appears that the Supreme Court of Canada understands its proper role:


And this is why:
Continue reading Message in a bottle 2: Democracy, the Appointment of Judges and the Canadian Charter of Rights

Message in a bottle (or from my basement): Why a Charter of Rights is necessary to protect freedom from democracy

cross-posted from Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty
With all the abuses of late, of the Harper government (Bills C-23, C-24, C-31 & C-51), it’s no small wonder Canadians are looking to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the only way to protect ourselves.
I came to Canada in January 1982, right when the Charter was being drafted. I had no idea really, what it meant; I couldn’t conceive of the idea that Canada up until that year, did not have a Constitution. But being new and caught up in trying to adjust and so on, I paid virtually no attention to what was going on. Little did I realize how important this Charter-thing would become in my own life some thirty-plus years later.
And at the time the Charter was being written, John Richardson was totally immersed in the whys and whats and how the Charter should be applied; this post is a testament to how much it has influenced his life, long before the IGA came to town.
Enjoy!
 
by John Richardson


The above tweet references the following comment at the Isaac Brock Society site from Jefferson B. Tomas. He writes:

@Bubblebustin @Petros @US_Foreign My criticism of the Federal Council applies to every government that accepted an IGA and did not protect its bone fide residents and citizens. Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. These leaders shirked their responsibility, and that goes for all of the countries. And it goes for the entire government. For example, even if it was Widmer-Schlumpf who was in charge of the negotiations, it was up to the entire Council to ensure that what she did would not violate constitutional rights. We can sing “They don’t really care about us” referring to all the other governments as well. We’re too risky to stand up for, so they think, but if many of them had, it would have held.


Freedom and democracy are NOT the same thing

There are many who equate a democratic society with a free society. This is incorrect. “Democracy” is a mechanism to exercise the power of government. If unchecked a democratic form of government (based on voting and possible majority rule) can restrict the most basic and fundamental rights of a minority. A Charter of Rights exists to ensure that, with respect to certain fundamental values, the majority cannot use the political process to undermine certain rights of a minority group. The Harper Government used their majority in the political process to deny rights to one prevalent minority group – those with a U.S. place of birth. Those who doubt this should watch the videos of what took place in House Finance Committee hearings on FATCA.
The FATCA IGA and Bill C – 31 demonstrate the importance of a Charter of Rights


The familiar video referenced in the above tweet is an example of the political process in a DEMOCRACY  overriding the liberties/freedoms of a minority group. Most of you have seen this video. I suggest you watch it again.
This video demonstrates how the DEMOCRATICALLY elected Government of Canada simultaneously:
1. Stripped one specific group of people (based on he immutable characteristic of place of birth) of it’s constitutionally protected rights in a way that;
2. Then imposed mandatory discrimination on that specific group of Canadians, PURSUANT to DEMOCRATICALLY enacted laws.
3. Allowed  the Charter rights of individual Canadians (AKA people) to be overridden by the desires of Canada’s banks (which do NOT have Charter protected rights); and
4. Surrendered the sovereignty of Canada to a foreign government.
(Although beyond the scope and intent of this post, this also raises issues of the “first past the post system” which in many cases leads to “majority governments” with a minority of the vote. But, I will leave that for another day.)
Continue reading Message in a bottle (or from my basement): Why a Charter of Rights is necessary to protect freedom from democracy

FATCA – One Year Later

Trish Moon & John Richardson review FATCA IGA and its impacts on Canadian citizens and the economy. Interview June 30, 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2oZjHuv-Fw&t=4m53s
‘Twas the Night Before FATCA
John Richardson, Peter W. Dunn & Trish Moon discuss the last night of Canada as free from FATCA.  Interview June 30, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nirI4NBnKeU
 

Reminder:"Solving US Citizenship Issues: Have You Received a FATCA Letter?"

toronto 31may15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MAP
 
The “FATCA Hunt” – the hunt for U.S. persons (whatever that is) began on July 1, 2014 which was “Canada Day”. Although both the definition of “U.S. person” and whether one meets the definition is not always clear, the search has begun. The level of FATCA awareness has begun. Some organizations are actively warning people that “U.S. Personness” matters. The purpose of the warning is presumably to encourage people to ”come clean” and deal with their U.S. tax situations. In some cases, there is no particular warning – just a letter indicating that they are suspected to be a “U.S. person”. Often one must prove to the institution sending the letter that one is not a U.S. person.
We have recently learned that no Canadians have yet been reported by the CRA to the IRS. This will not occur prior to September 15 and is required by September 30, 2015. You may wish to keep track of a suit trying to prevent this information from leaving Canada
www.adcs-adsc.ca
 
WHO: John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D., is a Toronto lawyer and a member of the Ontario Bar.
Citizenshipsolutions.ca
ADMISSION: $20 per individual or $40 for a family up to four. Payable in cash at the door.
 
Hope to see you, your families and friends! Spread the word!
 
Information presented is NOT intended or offered as legal or accounting advice specific to your situation.
 

Congratulations to ALL Donors to the #FATCA Canada lawsuit – Looking forward to August 4/15

cross-posted from Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty
Greetings:
On behalf of the ADCS Board of Directors, and on behalf of ALL those affected by the injustices of FATCA and U.S. “place of birth taxation”:
1. I thank you for your continued support. Once again you have met the funding goal.
2. I congratulate you for being the one group of people in the world that has the courage to “stand up” to FATCA.
3. I acknowledge that your funding is coming from people ALL around the world. Canada may be the “battle ground”. But, all peoples and countries have an interest in stopping FATCA.
Once again, the funding goal has been achieved by “small donors” with “big commitments and big dreams”. There has NOT and (I suspect WILL NOT) be a “deep pockets” donor. But, that’s okay. I would not want the financial viability of your lawsuit dependent on the decisions of a small number of people. From the beginning, I have been completely confident that the funding is guaranteed precisely because of the large base of our funding. As we move further along, and more people learn of FATCA, I predict that the funding will become easier and easier. I would rather have smaller donations from a large group of people than larger donations from a small group of people.
There is a limited number of potential large donors.
There is NO LIMIT to the number of “middle class hard working people” who will have their lives destroyed by FATCA if this is not stopped.
President Obama believes that the key to a strong American economy is a strong middle class. FATCA and U.S. “place of birth taxation”, will destroy the possibility of those affected by FATCA, having a “middle class lifestyle” outside the United States. Speaking of President Obama, in his weekly radio address where he was discussing trade (priming the pump for the TPP) and the rule role of America in the world he said:


 

Today, I want to talk about why new trade deals are important to our values.
They’re vital to middle-class economics — the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.
These are simple values. They’re American values. And we strive to make sure our own economy lives up to them, especially after a financial crisis brought about by recklessness and greed. But we also live in a world where our workers have to compete on a global scale. Right now, on an uneven playing field. Where the rules are different. And that’s why America has to write the rules of the global economy — so that our workers can compete on a level playing field.

FATCA creates a very uneven playing field for Canadian citizens who are resident in Canada and born in the United States. “Place of birth” is an immutable characteristic. Taxation based on “place of birth” is unjust. When people first hear of FATCA they say:

“It’s unjust, it’s inhumane. I didn’t choose where I was born!”

That’s precisely why a complaint has been filed with the United Nations over U.S. tax policies.

As you know, Canada is heading for the polls. The latest date for the Election is in October of 2015. The election may provide opportunities to educate the public and candidates about FATCA and the importance of defending Canadian sovereignty.
As you also know, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is involved in discussions about tax reform. If the U.S. is going to join the world by adopting residence taxation, the time will be soon. Once again, I thank you for your contributions to the  massive submission that was prepared for the Senate Finance Committee. This submission will also provide the basis for an upcoming US- based lawsuit against US place of birth- taxation policies (what they call citizenship based taxation). Stay tuned.
In an earlier post I noted:

It’s important that  you realize  our FATCA lawsuit is going to be a marathon and not a sprint. The Government of Canada will spare no expense (using your money) to defend it’s “right” to implement U.S. law on Canadian soil.

Those of you have been part of this journey since 2011 should be very proud of how far you have come!
Congratulations! Have a great weekend!
John Richardson
 
 

We Delivered! Monumental Submission to Senate Finance Committee! #Fight CBT


We did it! Just as promised by John Richardson our submission to the Senate Finance Committee is signed, sealed and delivered….Remember this? :

I also made it clear that Dr. Kish and I would be taking the initiative to “educate” the Committee about:
– what “citizenship taxation” really is; and
– the true effects that it has on “Americans” (recognizing that many of you do NOT consider yourselves to be U.S. citizens) in Canada and elsewhere.
I am happy to report to you that on February 14, 2015 the videos were made as planned.
I am happy to report that on April 9, 2014 Dr. Kish and I met with representatives of the Senate Finance Committee and had a “productive discussion”.
I am happy to report that, today, April 15, 2015 our submission to the Senate Finance Committee (consisting of a total of 7 separate submissions on various topics) has been delivered. One of the submissions was the text of the “Human Rights complaint to the United Nations“. We acknowledge the tremendous work that went into the creation and submission of the complaint.
We encourage you to look at our complete “Folder of Submissions” as follows:
https://app.box.com/s/yn25x1gketbzrkqp2ghu5sbce7mqoynu
I want to remind you that this is going to be a “slow process”. Be patient. Keep yourselves focused on the “long term” goal. The key is to remain patient and focused.

For all who submitted comments to be included, please see here.
Thank you so much for all who took the time to send in your letters & comments in support of this project. Please spend time and explore all seven of the submissions as each is a very important component of demonstrating to the US government how perverse and discriminatory U.S. Tax policy is, not only against U.S. Persons, but to every country and person who is connected to one. We need residence-based taxation. We want the ability to make use of our tax-deferred savings vehicles in our countries of choice. We deserve the right to have our bank accounts free from the prying eyes of FinCen. We demand the recognition that we are not tax cheats and traitors. We insist that the privacy rights of our “alien” spouses and children be respected. For those who cannot act on their own behalf, we must have the ability to make choices free of imposed US citizenship be it from immigration or tax status.
It is time. The U.S.must start living up to its claim of being the land of freedom and opportunity. It must address its own areas of human rights violations and act in the best interests of all. We will not be satisfied nor stop until we receive exactly that.

Video Portion of Senate Finance Committee Submission Ready!

We have a Vimeo site, Citizenship Taxation, to post this portion of the submission. I am not sure if it is necessary to be a member of Vimeo to view them; I do know I signed up for free access.
Having sat through the entire filming portion of each of these, I am impressed at how well each excerpt captures the essence of each individual’s point of view/situation. On the day these were filmed, it was very powerful to hear each of these people relate their stories; one person’s was done spontaneously, without any prior preparation. Generally, none used scripts and I was surprised at how incredibly capable they were, at describing their dilemmas in a focused way. Some were as short as 10 minutes and the longest was 30 minutes. Each has been edited to approximately 5 minutes each.
The point of our submission, is to demonstrate the harm the US policy of citizenship-based taxation brings in its various (and bizarre) applications to individual situations.There are of course, certain elements common to all. However, listening to “Linda” for example, describe what led her family to own Mutual Funds in the first place, is to understand how she and her husband, knowing of his fatal condition, planned and executed a way to provide for their three children after his death. It must have been excruciatingly painful to live through those years knowing that this young family would soon face life without their father, husband, & best friend. Yet, this was how this family survived. How perverse is it then, for her to face, not only the fact the US still considers her a “US Person,” but that she is a criminal, in spite of having left the US over four decades ago? Should she be willing to commit financial suicide due to a circumstance outside her control, that of being born in the US? What person could be expected to do such a thing? And for WHAT? Or Barbara, who received totally erroneous advice having already relinquished US citizenship decades ago, being put into OVDI? (Every time I hear of someone being advised to become compliant when they are NOT a US Person makes me want to scream for the blood of those who continue to do this.) And so on……
We will be providing the rest of the submission (as well as the full transcripts of the interviews) over the course of the next couple of weeks. The comments/letters document to which many of you contributed, is over 200 pages. We appreciate your patience as this has proved to be a very large project.
For now, please watch and do share these widely with family and friends, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. We especially need Homelanders to see these and understand that we are not the FATCATs.

Renouncing US citizenship? How the S. 877A “Exit Tax” may apply to your Canadian assets – 15 Parts

 
This is a 15-part series which is designed to provide you with some basic education on:
How the U.S. S. 877A Exit Tax rules work; and
 
How they particularly affect Canadians with a U.S. birthplace, who lived most of their lives in Canada.
 

 
The 15 parts are:
 
Part 1 – April 1, 2015 – “Facts are stubborn things” – The results of the “Exit Tax”
 
Part 2 – April 2, 2015 –“How could this possibly happen? “Exit Taxes” in a system of residence based taxation vs. Exit Taxes in a system of “citizenship (place of birth) taxation”
 
Part 3 – April 3, 2015 – “The “Exit Tax” affects “covered expatriates” – what is a “covered expatriate”?”
 
Part 4 – April 4, 2015 – “You are a “covered expatriate” How the “Exit Tax” is actually calculated”
 
Part 5 – April 5, 2015 – “The “Exit Tax” in action – Five actual scenarios with 5 actual completed U.S. tax returns.”
Part 6 – April 6, 2015 – “Surely, expatriation is NOT worse than death! The two million asset test should be raised to the Estate Tax limitation – approximately five million dollars – It’s Time”
 
Part 7 – April 7, 2015 – Why 2015 is a good year for many #Americansabroad to relinquish US citizenship – It’s the “Exchange Rate”
Part 8 – April 8, 2015 – “The U.S. “Exit Tax vs. Canada’s Departure Tax – Understanding the difference between citizenship taxation and residence taxation”
Part 9 – April 9, 2015 – “Why understanding the U.S. “Exit Tax” teaches us all we need to know about “citizenship taxation”
Part 10 – April 10, 2015 – “The s-877a exit tax and possible treaty relief under the canada us tax treaty”
Part 11 – April 11, 2015 – “S. 2801 of the Internal Revenue Code is NOT a S. 877A “Exit Tax”, but a punishment for the “sins of the father (relinquishment)”
Part 12 – April 12, 2015 – “The two kinds of U.S. citizenship: Citizenship for “immigration and nationality” and citizenship for “taxation” – Are we taxed because we are citizens or are we citizens because we are taxed?”
Part 13 – April 13, 2015 – “I relinquished U.S. citizenship many years ago. Could I still have U.S. tax citizenship?”
Part 14 – April 14, 2015 – “Leaving the U.S. tax system – renounce or relinquish U.S. citizenship, What’s the difference?”
Part 15 – May 22, 2015 – “Interview with GordonTLong.com – “Citizenship taxation”, the S. 877A Exit Tax, PFICs and Americans abroad”

Continue reading Renouncing US citizenship? How the S. 877A “Exit Tax” may apply to your Canadian assets – 15 Parts

Residents of Stanstead Quebec Wake up to Their OMG Moment

This past Monday a radio interview (in English) on CBC Radio Quebec aired; seemingly an an introduction to FATCA for this little town right on the border with Vermont. One can clearly hear the fear and confusion in some of the residents interviewed, including the mayor.


While some of the information is not quite accurate, the situation they face is something we understand all too well. The CBC is interested in comments, which gives us a chance to reach out to fellow Canadians in Quebec who are afflicted with this problem.
Phone: 1 888 691 3476
Email: quebecam@cbc.ca
You can see some of the comments on their Facebook page:


John Richardson was interviewed as well and has offered some thoughts for them to consider:


We have had virtually no contact with anyone in Quebec other than a few via Info Sessions in Montreal/at McGill last year.Please consider commenting at Facebook, tweeting and doing whatever you can to reach out to get this message across. And please don’t forget to mention the ADCS-ADSC lawsuit! Thanks!