Green Party of Canada Issues Statement On FATCA

Elizabeth May and Erich Jacoby-Hawkins have now issued a Green Party of Canada Statement on FATCA. (IRS Tax Collection: Evasion of the US or Invasion of Canada?)
Green Party Leader Ms. May says:

“Clearly, any person with earnings or part-time residence in the US should file tax returns and pay US taxes in keeping with current bilateral agreements. However, our government must stand up for Canadian citizens who are neither working under nor representing any burden to the US governmental system”

Green Party Revenue Critic Mr. Jacoby Hawkins (who was the only representative of any of the parties at FATCA Forum) says:

“It would be a clear violation of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms to have Canadian banks, under the direction of the IRS, violate the privacy rights of some Canadian citizens or residents based on their current or former ties to another country, namely the United States.”

I hope the government is prepared to listen to the Green Party’s position on this:

 We must not permit Canadian financial institutions to comply with FATCA in violation of our own privacy laws, and if the US attempts to enforce FATCA against them, we must vigorously respond and seek legal remedy as is our right.
If the US feels the existing Canada-United States Convention with Respect to Taxes is not working, they should provide specific details and suggestions on how to improve it through legislative amendment without sacrificing the rights of Canadians to foreign interests.

Of course, the Green Party only has one seat in Parliament.  That is Ms. May’s. She herself was born in US, moved to Canada (Nova Scotia) as a teen and has been a Canadian citizen since 1978.  Her seat is for a BC riding, Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Ms. May, like many of us, believed she relinquished her US citizenship permanently and irrevocably when she became a citizen as a young woman.  I believe she is also like most of us in that she does not have a CLN.
I hope this statement may result in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and other parties breaking their months-long silence on FATCA to assure Canadians that their fundamental rights will be protected.

22 thoughts on “Green Party of Canada Issues Statement On FATCA

  1. YES!
    “We must not permit Canadian financial institutions to comply with FATCA in violation of our own privacy laws, and if the US attempts to enforce FATCA against them, we must vigorously respond and seek legal remedy as is our right”
    I love it! A strong very statement. I hope our govt in power listens!

  2. I am glad that a party has finally come forward with a clear statement about FATCA. I wish a party in Switzerland would come up with a formal statement. I am working on that, but it seems that only the federal council really knows what’s up yet.

  3. I’ve emailed my MP (Paul Dewar, NDP) and Thomas Mulcair, attaching links to the Green Party statements and asking why the NDP isn’t continuing to push on this issue, the way the Greens are. (The NDP BC caucus was active on this about a year ago, but I haven’t heard anything from the NDP lately, maybe I’m missing something.)
    If you are a party member or reside in riding held by either the Liberals or the NDP, I would encourage you to write your MP and the party leader about this. Particularly the Liberals, since they’re having a leadership race right now, and it would be nice if at least one of their candidates took a position on something other than whether Justin is the true successor to his father and whether the Liberals ought be thinking about a dynastic leadership or not …
    I gather from the other site that Kevin Shoom, who is collecting comments on the Canada-US IGA discussions for Finance Canada, has been informed of the Green position and has acknowledged receipt of that notification. (How people are supposed to comment on discussions that are being held behind closed doors and the contents of which haven’t been even summarized, is another issue … but par for the course of our pathetic excuse for a government in Ottawa these days)

  4. @Outraged: The thing I like best about Green’s statement is they never once used the D word.
    Instead of calling us duals, they recognize us for what we are: Canadian.

  5. @Schubert: In addition to thanking Elizabeth May, I have e-mailed and tweeted Jim Flaherty, Thomas Mulcair, Bob Rae and my own Conservative MP.
    I asked them to break their recent long silence and stand up for Canadians. Unfortunately, I’m not expecting anything other than what I have had to my other recent communications with them: More silence.

  6. Blaze,
    I can’t tell for sure but after getting an email from Kevin Shoom today I “think” we are still a couple of weeks away at the earliest from an IGA signing. There is a big FATCA and tax conference in Paris coming up at the OECD on Feb. 12. CRA is attending but not Shoom, Flaherty, Horgan, Ernewein or anyone else from the Department of Finance. Supposedly the conference is discussing other things too and the CRA will be there to discuss those “other things.” I could be competely wrong but my hunch is the Department of Finance would be attending if an IGA signing was immenent or was to occur by that point. CRA only administers the tax laws not make them so they can’t sign anything there.

  7. @Tim @Outraged: Is it possible Canada is intentionally snubbing or quietly boycotting by having the key players not attend?
    Sometimes the best negotiating strategy can be silence (despite our frustrations at that very point!).
    At a minimum, I think Canada is saying we don’t want to play in FATCA Sandbox. So, maybe Canada is just taking our ball and our bucket and staying home.

  8. Blaze,
    Interestingly enough Victoria of Franco American Flophouse is going to try get into that same very meeting. She doesn’t know yet whether they will give her a ticket because the main audience is all lawyers, bankers, and government officials not regular people.

  9. @Tim: I just e-mailed Victoria and suggested she tattoo her head with Stop FATCA in red, white and blue (in both French and English, of course).
    That should get attention.

  10. Blaze,
    You should watch the video I posted on Brock of the German government representative talking about at George Mason University about how GREAT FATCA is. Canadian government representatives may not to want talk about FATCA but they are not going around publically praising it. I suspect if this German Government official was an employee of the Canadian government saying what he did I suspect that even Schubert(a former civil servant himself) would be in favor of sending out PMO Pest Control to exterminate him.
    This same German government official said for another country to “reject” FATCA would be an “Act of war” on the United States sovereign right to enact to FATCA and citizenship based taxation. He specifically said that FATCA had been passed by Congress and signed by the President and those fighting FATCA were attempting to overthrow President Obama and destroy the Government of the United States and the American people by depriving of fair and just tax revenue.

  11. There is an updated article on FATCA at GenevaLunch mentionning Tina and other angle to the story. There are no comments to the post yet. Perhaps the Maple branch of the SWAT (Special Writers And Theses) team can target some comments there. I submitted a comment sucessfully using Facebook login and FireFox browser. All comments appear to be moderated there.
    Also, here is an interesting article from Eric “Internal Revenue Code severely punishes countries which impose extraterritorial taxation” over at IBS:

    1. Joe Arvay, Peter Hogg, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Elizabeth May, Jennifer Stoddard. Do I win a prize?
      I bet we could get some more on board. Lucien Bouchard’s children’s mother was American, which makes them “US persons.” Clayton Ruby and Alan Young love a good fight.
      I also think many of the others would be outraged at the possibility rights of Canadian citizens and residents could be stomped on by a foreign government.

  12. Yes, you got all of them(Michael Geist is the sixth I am working on). I haven’t been posting as much recently because I am working on a lot of things behind the scenes including trying to raise opposition outside of Canada. The big problem we have is the emerging anti fatca coaltion is right wing anti tax US republicans and non US civil liberties oriented politicians like Elizabeth May and Sophie In’t Veld in Europe. That is a very ODD coalition(The typical person would wonder what the hell Elizabeth May has in common with any US Republican). For example if we could get even one US Democrat to come out against FATCA that would be huge. I know just me is working a lot on this angle.

  13. @Tim: Likewise, I never thought I would be cheering a former member of Mike Harris cabinet as my hero. Yet, I became Jim Flaherty’s biggest fan when he wrote his unpublished letter to American media in 2011.
    I don’t care if someone is right wing, left wing or a turkey wing on this issue. I care what they are prepared to do about FATCA.

  14. @Tim: Victoria has been asked to represent ACA at the FATCA Conference, so she thinks she needs to go dressed as a grown-up. (i.e, no Stop FATCA tattooed on her forehead).
    Victoria asked me if I thought Jimmy Choo would be too much. I suggested JC is too boring and recommended the fashion below. It would show how patriotic, strong and noble Victoria is.

  15. Below is a rather provactive picture of European Member of Parliament Sophie In’t Veld who has been rather outspoken on FATCA.–YcTrD8EAQo/UEilvqbJkQI/AAAAAAAAChI/uTH__GKLZ6c/s320/sophie-in-t-veld.jpg
    Probably not a good idea to dress like that. Ms. In’t Veld though has a bit of history more than a bit of fighting with the US government.
    Sophie in ‘t Veld is not afraid to speak her mind, especially on protecting privacy and other human rights. The 47-year-old Dutch MEP, from the left-leaning liberal D66 party, has had a swift rise within the European Parliament in the past four years, becoming one of its best-known rights advocates – largely by holding member states, the European Commission and others in check over rights issues.
    Dubbed by one commentator a “pit-bull for privacy”, the curly-haired liberal is only mildly apologetic over her workaholic ways and her often passionate and tenacious approach to defending basic liberties. She says that these are essential to safeguarding EU and European democracy. She works long hours, not just on privacy issues, but also promoting euthanasia, gay rights and abortion, and speaking out against the anti-Islamic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders in her native Netherlands.
    I was even more stunned that as a Dutch Citizen she actually sued the US government in Washington DC over obtaining what records the US government kept on her.
    I was really really stunned by her suing the US government in US court. Where the hell did she get the money to do that. Is she independently wealthy or something.

  16. @Tim: If Sophie goes dressed as she was in that photo and Victoria follows my fashion advice, they will definitely get attention!
    A “pit bull for privacy” fighting against FATCA. I like the sound of that!
    How about the dog ate FATCA?
    IExpats has an article FATCA Hits Trouble In Canada. This is mainly about the Green Party statement. Now, if only we could get the other parties moving to issue a similar statement. I tweeted this to Flaherty, Mulcair and Rae and will also send e-mails.

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