We’re getting attention. NDP now seems to have a position on FATCA. I’m just not sure it’s the position we want.
Joe Arvay just sent me an NDP Revenue critic Murray Rankin Letter to Flaherty. Joe said he sent my Financial Post article to Rankin “and pestered him a bit, so it seems to have paid off.”
The letter focuses primarily on how information may be provided to IRS:
We are concerned that these negotiations may allow United States to bypass the established exchange of information between the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Agency to instead get information directly from Canadian financial institutions. Concerns have been raised that such a system could potentially violate Canadian privacy laws. Furthermore, at this time, it is unclear of reciprocal information would be granted in return.
Alarming to me was this statement:
Cracking down on tax cheats should occur through international cooperation rather than unilateral action.
Does that sound to anyone else like the NDP has joined the tax cheats bandwagon in writing about us?!? Flaherty has been clear since the beginning of this nightmare that we are not!
The letter goes on:
What’s more, the secrecy of the negotiations over this agreement has left Canadians in the dark as to the integrity of their personal banking information. The Canadian government should be standing up for the civil liberties of Canadians. Furthermore, the Conservative government must ensure that any agreement reached is fair for Canada.
In the interest of transparency, fair taxation and respect for privacy rights, we are asking the government to reject any agreement that violates the rights Canadians or that fails to offer Canada equal benefits to those provided to the United States.
So, NDP does make some small mention of our rights, but the major focus seems to be on IRS not being able to get information directly from banks and on “equal benefits” to Canada.
When I pointed this out to Joe, he cautioned me:
It is a politicians letter not a lawyer’s so don’t read more into it than need be. The NDP can’t waive Canadians legal and constitutional rights