FATCA Fact Finding Forum Report – Part III

FATCA Fact Finding Forum Report Part III
We took a break after Professor Christians’ presentation and began again with a brief talk by Anglican Archbishop Dorian Baxter who is the President of the Progressive Canadian Party. He related a very funny story of a conversation with an older member of his congregation who lamented that we no longer had Steve Jobs, nor Johnny Cash or Bob Hope. They talked a bit about this and then applied to current state of Canada – we have no jobs, no cash and no hope!
He emphasized that we need to hold the CDN govt accountable to the standard of the Westminster model of Parliamentary Democracy. This relates to a core principle of the Progressive Canadian Party and the illegal “merger” of the Canadian Alliance Reform Party (aka “CRAP”). This provoked much laughter. Then he applied the Westminster ideal to the fact that FATCA is an invasion of CDN Autonomy as well as the Canadian Treasury as it is a money grab of millions of dollars from Canadian families, their children and their children’s children.
Next we heard from James Jatras who had travelled all the way from Washington to be with us. He has a completely different approach than what is commonly being expressed, even by Brockers. We all speak of FATCA as if it will happen; “resistance is futile.” He feels there is very much that can be done to defeat FATCA.
*FATCA is not equivalent to NAFTA, WTO, etc. Most Homelanders are completely unaware of it. Including a high-level aide to a Senate Finance Committee
*FATCA amounts to a UNILATERAL, extra-territorial law which says if you don’t obey us, we will punish you with sanctions.
*Instead of an IGA, Canada should pass a tax treaty override; what we have now is the CDN govt and the FFI’s collaborating against CDN citizens.
*US: “we are generously allowing you to change your law.” This is no partnership.
*Article 2 of the IGA “foreign partner; subsection A is unequal to subsection B and Art 6 US will “eventually” adapt to partner level  This will never happen.
*like a preemptive war where one commits suicide to avoid death
*China will not; expects Brazil will not; Russia?  It is CRUCIAL that Canada say “NO” This will set the stage for others to do the same. Powerful influence since we are such a major partner of the US, if we can do it, so can others
“Never seen such a bad law similar to the Catastrophic Recovery Act of 1989 or the Dubai Ports Law, which were repealed
*FATCA stands to cost the world $1 trillion dollars what with the tax lawyers, accountants and the IT depts. required to make it work
*CBA letter to US Treasury – take 1% of the money spending to implement FATCA and use instead, to repeal FATCA
*We need $50k – $100k a month for 12 months in order to deal with repealing FATCA; ads in “Roll Call; etc, you can’t just ask Congress to do something, there’s a process
*Treasury is in a rush to get IGA’s signed before the repeal forces rise up
*Where on earth are the CDN media, the NDP, the Lib Party, the Conservative Party –(just at this point, Mr Gullon mentions a newcomer is a member of the Green Party)
*FATCA = a US Discriminatory Trade Infraction
*Canada: We will hit you with law suits, trade actions, etc. Legislation after FATCA-we will withhold 30% of all income of Americans in Canada; ask our PFFI’s to collect waivers, etc
*Seek out those spending millions now and get a tiny portion of that towards PR to repeal
*Discussion of who has signed – UK, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland; UK has to clear Parliament; the Honorable Sinclair Stevens suggested that we emphasize any aspect that UK has yet to clear – this could have an impact on Canada. Not sure it was clear why – i.e., an American might not understand the Canadian attitude toward England in parliamentary matters.
*Are the IGA’s “Executive Agreements?” or “Competent Authority Agreements?”  Is Treasury overstepping by not getting Congress to approve IGA’s? Treasury says they have to promulgate regulations and that they have the legal authority to do so. Do they?
*UK-signed Sept 12, 2012. They still have to implement the legislation allowing for FATCA and now, son of FATCA
*There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask “what happened?”  We need to be of the first category.
*You must require the government to JUSTIFY why they are doing this
*Bring back 2003 when PM Chretien said NO to attacking in Iraq; very  similar to the “coalition of the willing”  notice again, the UK is the first to sign on
*Recapture and recreate the 2003 movement
*The Green Party representative, Erik (sp?) Jacob Hawkins is a Critic in the Shadow  Cabinet, is from Barrie and works directly with Elizabeth May; Parliament recessed; however, with a petition with at least 25 signatures, a member can force Parliament to examine an issue. The Honorable Sinclair Stevens, Prof. Allison Christians and Jon Richardson immediately drafted a petition which we all signed to present ASAP and hope no IGA is signed before Parliament resumes in January.
*There should be bilateral agreements without any bizarre sanctions
*Banks themselves should have reasons to instigate movement against FATCA; likely banks have pressured Flaherty who clearly did not like, did not agree with and did not want FATCA
*Discussion of possible actions in near future re: Op Ed’s, etc. (more on this later and please don’t ask for now)
At this point, Petros asked me to drive Prof. Christians to the airport to catch her plane so I left and do not know what happened after this point though Jon Richardson mentioned there would be several more speakers after the break and Petros had prepared something, so hopefully, he will have more to report and was able to deliver his comments.
Generally, the audience composed of about 5 members of the Prog. Canadian Party including previously named speakers; Abby Desham, Allison Christians, James Jatras, Petros, Deckhard and myself (I don’t know if there were other Brockers) and the rest were duals with their non-US partners. I spoke to a lady who said she was an Accidental remaining in “full ostrich;” she has been following since ExpatForum and reads IBS. The lady sitting next to her had to go but also came due to Brock.  I spoke to a couple and a man who said Peggy Nash had told him about the meeting; another set of 3 who knew via Brock and 2 more who also knew via Brock. One fellow was conversant with many concepts but I did not get a chance to speak with him. At least 11 attendees were not Brockers or speakers or Party members
Beginning list of possible catch-phrases/ideas to promote:
Tax Treaty Override /  US will not honor treaties / futility of reciprocity /US is doing something OTHER than citizenship-based taxation / War of 2012-War of 1812 idea) / violating Autonomy, violating privacy/ Bullying – not on the playground, not here either / Sanctions against Canada / A REAL FRIEND SAYS ‘NO’

8 thoughts on “FATCA Fact Finding Forum Report – Part III

  1. You’re very welcome saddened. I only wish I could somehow convey more, as in what it was really like to be there. It was the people, more than the ideas, that allows for being inspired and motivated, in spite of the small turnout, etc.

  2. Thanks Nobledreamer for posting this and for all of your involvement in the Forum.
    I have been out most of the day. I will try to read this in more detail in the next day or two.

  3. Thanks again Nobledreamer for posting this thorough report so soon after the Forum. What is next? What suggestions or commitments were made to take things further?
    This seems to become increasingly complex the more we learn.
    I finally got a reply today from Elizabeth May. Looking at this information, I tweeted Thomas Mulcair, Bob Rae and Elizabeth May. She has not previously replied to any of my letters or e-mails, so I was surprised at her tweet. It wasn’t actually an answer, but a question. No reply from Rae or Mulcair.
    Others on Twitter may want to tweet as well.
    Here is the twittersation:
    Blaze ?@LynneBlaze
    @ThomasMulcair @BobRaeMP @ElizabethMay Why aren’t you screaming on #FATCA? Act b4 too late!
    Elizabeth May MP Elizabeth May MP ?@ElizabethMay
    @LynneBlaze @ThomasMulcair @BobRaeMP #FATCA I wrote PMSH and Flaherty and was pleased they both said they would oppose. Has that changed?
    Blaze ?@LynneBlaze
    @ElizabethMay @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP Flaherty now says Canada negotiations with US on #FATCA are close 2 conclusion. Just Say No!
    Blaze ?@LynneBlaze
    @ElizabethMay @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP Canada needs tell US Canada doesn’t negotiate with financial terrorists. Stand up 2 #FATCA bullies.
    Next, CanadaFan124 joined in:
    Patrick Johnson ?@CanadaFan124
    @ElizabethMay @LynneBlaze @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP Apparently they are waivering in their opposition.
    Blaze ?@LynneBlaze
    @CanadaFan124 @ElizabethMay @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP That’s why it’s important Opposition leaders unite and stand up 2 #FATCA now!
    Patrick Johnson ?@CanadaFan124
    @ElizabethMay @LynneBlaze @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP Check out CCLA post. http://maplesandbox.ca/

  4. The “what next” was hopefully to be something from Elizabeth May. According to a fellow from her Shadow Cabinet that came to the Forum, possibly some Op Eds and a CTV appearance; we hoped FATCA would be front and centre. He mentioned that if Parliament were in session, a petition with a mere 25 signatures would (I think) force the issue to be brought up in Parliament. So 3 of the lawyers there drafted a petition which we all signed.
    Jim Jatras suggested we organize. I imagined a group taking letters, one taking emails, another taking Tweets. And taking some key phrases from the meeting, trying to get a consistent message out across the board. Other than that, I have no real idea. I would be happy to post my long list of Twitter addresses I focus on.
    Since I could not stay for the whole meeting, I am not sure I could say nothing specific was put into place.
    Noble Dreamer?@nobledreamer16
    @LynneBlaze @CanadaFan124 @ElizabethMay @ThomasMulcair @bobraeMP Banks must be pressuring. Called for comments Nov 8; Nov 28-close to deal

  5. Written above:
    “*Banks themselves should have reasons to instigate movement against FATCA; likely banks have pressured Flaherty who clearly did not like, did not agree with and did not want FATCA.”
    I do not think that Canadian banks are going to fight much against FATCA. They may not like it but will readily sell out their fellow countrymen in order to retain their access the US financial system, with which they are already deeply intertwined.

  6. It’s the name of the game these days, isn’t it? Self-preservation before anything else? The only way the banks would not cave to FATCA is if ordered to by our governments, which isn’t looking too likely.

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