A few months ago, I submitted a request to Finance Canada for records relating to FATCA through Access to Information.
After several delays, I finally received 244 pages about 10 days ago. I’m still awaiting several other pages. I was holding off posting these records so I would not jeopardize the remaining records.
With the signing of the IGA, that concern is now irrelevant, so I am uploading the pdf documents here. You will notice some pages have been withheld entirely. Other pages have been partially redacted.
James Jatras has seen these and says the Canadians use nifty blackouts where the American just use black magic marker.
So, what have I learned from these documents?
1. Finance Canada has been far more concerned about the banks than they were about Canadians.
2. Canadians are neater at withholding information than Americans.
I also have a request in to Justice. They sent me some information in print, so I can’t post it here. However, the only information they provided was copies of laws, procedures, etc. Essentially everything to date was completely withheld. I am still awaiting more information, but I expect most will be withheld or redacted.
(Note – had to split into 4 parts)
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part1
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part2
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part3
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part4
11 thoughts on “Finance Canada–244 Pages Access to Information”
I am trying to wade through these with what looks like huge sections redacted. So far no evidence of those affected by this being brought to the table is there. Bankers have ongoing input. I’ve yet to see where they “vigorously opposed” this in any way shape or form. Bankers and governments. I’d like to know in what universe it is representative of the people who voted this government in to invite bankers to the table. I don’t recall ever voting for a banker. I don’t see how they get a seat at the table and we most harmed by FATCA had nothing.
@Atticus: Yep that was my impression too. I’ve sent this to Hsu, Brison, Cotler, Rankin, Nash and May,
We need to use this as our best evidence of how those most directly affected were shut out.
As one of Mr.Hsu’s constituents, I urge you to bring this to his attention.
Bravo for your FOI requests! Even if the results they sent you were so heavily redacted, it has significance in multiple ways – tells them people are watching and motivate, provides us with the denial of the information – which is something that might interest MPs and journalists, demonstrates their lack of good intent and duty of care to Canadian citizens, legal residents, taxpayers, and voters.
Is there a post here at Brock to let everyone know your results? I might have missed it as I am having trouble keeping up!
@Badger: I’m also having trouble keeping up. I think we all are.
I haven’t posted this at Brock. If you or someone else wants to cross post it, that’s OK with me.
I’ve sent it to Hsu, Brison, Cotler, Rankin, Nash, May and a local NDP MP.
I sent it to a few other people, but I have not sent it to any journalists.
@Blaze & Badger
I just cross posted it.
I have read through it once but want to do it a second time before making any comments.
Thanks Noble Dreamer. After you do that, could you post your assessment here. I admit I only did a speed read of it.
I just received another disk containing 289 pages of information from Finance Canada–mostly redacted.
Outraged had to again split this into three sections.
Here is Part 2, Section 1
Here is Part 2, Section 2
Here is Part 3, Section 3
I think this is mostly a repeat of information we received before. It, however, contains one small but significant piece of information I don’t remember reading before.
On Page 233 (not sure where it is since information was put into three sections), among other heavily redacted information, it says:
Yep, you read that correctly. A copy of Peter Hogg’s letter was given to the financial institutions before it was ever made public. In fact, Finance was still reviewing a request to provide it under ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy).
I believe that ATIP request was from Elizabeth May, as she was the first person to receive Mr. Hogg’s letter.
If we had any question before about what Finance thinks about our Charter rights, there you have it. They gave the information to the banks and other FIs first while not even mentioning it to us. It also seems to me they released it to Elizabeth May reluctantly.
Because I don’t know easily you may be able to find the page about Peter Hogg, I scanned it and am posting it here. Click on the image and it should open so you can read it.
Actually, what we really want to read is redacted and clicking on it won’t help you with that!
I sadly believe that our government is intent on protecting our financial institutions’ profit margins, and are willing to have Canadian citizens and residents pay the price by losing their Charter rights. The only possible recourse we have is to continue to agitate and inform. I believe that Allison Christians and Arthur Cockfields comment letter will carry weight. Although I am committed to telling our govt how I feel about what they are doing to me, and others, I also think they don’t give a crap – BUT I do think they care what Allison, Arthur, Peter Hogg and Joe Arvay think.
The section about Peter Hogg’s letter is in Part 3, on page 33 (of 84). @Blaze, just tweeted your comment – people need to know about things like this – our government is trying to keep secrets from Canadians about how they really think.
@Outraged: Thanks for the reference to where that information can be seen in the huge number of documents (most redacted).
I don’t know why I was surprised the letter was “circulated to some FIs” before even an MP could get access to it through a formal AITP request. That is the way this government is choosing to treat us.
I wish I shared your confidence that our government cares about what Peter Hogg, Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield and Joe Arvay think If they did, they would have listened to Peter Hogg in December, 2012 when he first wrote to them.
For those of you who may be new to this issue, Peter Hogg is the former Dean of Osgoode Law School and Canada’s leading constitutional scholar. He literally wrote the book on Canada’s constitutional law.
I understand that book is also used by lawyers and law schools across Canada.
Here is the letter Mr. Hogg wrote to Finance Canada on December 12, 2012.