Tag Archives: Finance

Here is What Canadians Said on FATCA IGA. The Cons Didn’t Listen.

Canadians told the government what they thought of FATCA. They told our government the emotional, financial, physical, mental, emotional, family, personal and human cost.

They told them the legal and political ramifications. They pleaded and they raged.  They sent short submissions and long ones.

They stood up for themselves and for Canada.

The Cons didn’t listen. In fact, they didn’t even receive the over 430 pages of submissions sent to Finance Canada.

In March, I made a request for those submissions to Finance Canada under Access to Information.

I asked if copies would be provided to MPs. The answer was no.

I asked what the purpose was of Finance asking for the submissions if our elected representatives would not see them before they voted. I did not receive a reply.

I asked for copies before my testimony at Finance Committee on May 13. That was denied.

I asked for copies before the MPs voted so I could forward it to them. That request was delayed.

I finally received over 400 pages of submissions almost three months after my request and on the very day (June 12) the House of Commons voted. I will let you decide for yourself if you think that delay was intentional or not. I know what I believe.

For privacy purposes, all names and identifying information were removed before sending it to me. The only names included were Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson, Stephen Kish, Kim Moody, Roy Berg, Vincent Gogolek (Executive Director of B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association) and Lynne Swanson.

The submissions all tell individual stories. Almost all are from long-time Canadian citizens–including some who have been Canadian citizens their entire lives. There are some duplicates in the submissions.

Most of the submissions are restrained considering what this has done to out honest, law-abiding lives as Canadians. One submission consisted of two sentences and may sum up what many of us feel:

“I am totally against this U.S. invasion of Canadians’ privacy. I can’t see it surviving a Charter challenge, so why not just tell the U.S. to shove it.”

Here are the submissions. Because the file was so large, Outraged had to break it into eight sections to post.

Access to Info – Section 1      Access to Info – Section 2     Access to Info – Section 3

Access to Info – Section 4      Access to Info – Section 5     Access to Info – Section 6

Access to Info – Section 7      Access to Info – Section 

 

 

 

 

Lynne’s Opening Statement to the Finance Committee

Today, Lynne Swanson (Blaze) participated as part of a panel on the Finance Committee’s study of Part 5 of Bill C-31 – the Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement Implementation Act (or, as I call it, the Canada-United States Abrogation of Canadian Rights Agreement’.

Essentially, Lynne was invited to speak about FATCA and the IGA. I, for one, admire her bravery and commitment to our shared cause and her willingness to appear before the committee and not only speak, but answer questions from the committee members.

She only had 5 minutes for her opening statement, and then was expected to answer questions from the members of the committee. At the time of this posting, I don’t have a full report on exactly what was said and asked. We will provide that as soon as we can.

What I do have is the speech Lynne prepared in advance. I most sincerely hope that her very eloquent statement fell on receptive ears.

Update: Watch Lynne’s opening statement on YouTube, thanks to the Isaac Brock Society. Again, thanks to IBS, watch the entire 2 hours of the meeting (Lynne at about 1:24)

LSwanson_2

I come before you as the voice of one million Canadians.

We are Canadians.  Many have been Canadian citizens for life or for decades. We chose Canada. We expect Canada to choose us and our rights over foreign bully demands.

“Why do our most heinous criminals have more Charter rights than I do,” asks a Nova Scotia police officer of 33 years. He was born in Maine almost six decades ago because his New Brunswick mother was sent there to give birth.

A Quebec woman who has been a Canadian citizen since birth says her ancestor who came to Canada in 1682 must be turning over in his grave at FATCA.

A widowed Grandma in Vancouver was told by US Consulate when she became a Canadian citizen in 1972 she was permanently and irrevocably relinquishing American citizenship. She insists, “My financial records are definitely none of the business of the IRS.”

An Ontario First Nations husband and father is horrified his Canadian government will help United States seize his family’s financial records because his Canadian wife was born there.

An Alberta woman reports her mother who upheld Canadian laws for many years as Justice of the Peace is now medically and physically too frail to deal with FATCA stresses.

They and one million other Canadians were betrayed by FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement. We were offended and insulted to hear Minister of State for Finance call us “American citizens abiding here in Canada” in the House of Commons.

If Canada mandated financial institutions to seek Canadians born in China, India, Iran or Eritrea for CRA to transmit private financial information to those nations, there would be outrage.

Canadians born in United States should have the same rights as all other Canadians.  Canada should strongly defend those rights and not sacrifice them to a foreign country.

Two prominent Canadians described FATCA well.  In 2011 and many times after that, Finance Minister the late Jim Flaherty said “FATCA has far-reaching extraterritorial implications. It would turn Canadian banks into extensions of the IRS and would raise significant privacy concerns for Canadians.” 

Terry Campbell, President of Canadian Bankers Association in 2012 called FATCA “the poster child for the problem of extra-territoriality…It threatens to erode Canadian sovereignty.”

Those statements hold true now. Under threat of economic sanctions and penalties, Canada surrendered its sovereignty to a foreign power with the IGA.

Canadians affected by FATCA were stunned last week when a member of this Committee said “Congress has spoken.” 

Canadians expect Parliament to speak for Canada. Canadians expect Parliament to uphold Canada’s laws, rights and constitution. Anything less is an affront and betrayal to Canada and to Canadians.

FATCA is complex. I give you a simple solution. I urge you to adopt an amendment to the Implementation Act:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the Agreement, for all purposes related to the implementation of this Act and the Agreement, “US Person” and “Specified US Person” shall not include any person who is a Canadian citizen or legal permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Canada.”

I implore you. Do the right thing. Stand up for Canada and for all Canadians.

Maple Sandbox Invited to Finance Committee on #FATCA #IGA in #C31

I just received the official invitation to appear before the Finance Committee as part of a panel. I will try to find out who the other panel members will be.  I am also trying to determine if I am able to participate via video or if I need to be in Ottawa in person.

Dear Ms. Swanson,

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance would like to invite the Maple Sandbox Blog to appear before the Committee, on May 13, 2014, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (Ottawa time) in relation to its study of Part 5 of Bill C-31 entitled An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.

Your participation, as part of a panel, consists of an opening statement of up to five minutes, followed by rounds of questions from the members of the Committee. You are invited to review the attached document entitled Guidelines for Witnesses prior to your appearance before the Committee. You could, if you choose to do so, submit a 5-page brief to the Committee. It will be translated as soon as possible, distributed to the members and published on the Finance Committee Website.

 

Please confirm your presence by responding to this email, by May 6 at noon. Upon confirmation, we will provide you with further details regarding your appearance.

 

Here is the link to Bill C-31

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6495200

 

Canadian House of Commons Finance Committee Meeting on #FATCA Today 3:30-5:30 pm.EDT

Turn on your computers today.  House of Commons Finance Committee will be meeting with Finance Committee officials today. Here is what Murray Rarnkin’s Assistant sent me:

Our NDP finance committee members will also be questioning departmental officials about FATCA at the Finance Committee study of the budget bill today.

The meeting is from 3:30-5:30. You can watch the committee online here.

Thank you very much for all the information you have sent. I will contact you again in advance of your committee appearance.

I hope the NDP and Liberal will not be as gentle and cozy with the officials as the Senators were yesterday. This could be interesting.