The Green Party says FATCA Is A Threat to Canadian Rights and Sovereignty
In a news release today, Elizabeth May said:
“Although it contains certain exemptions, the agreement negotiated by Minister Flaherty fails to address the most significant threats that FATCA poses to Canadian privacy and human rights.”
She also wants more time for people to provide input
“This deadline should be extended to provide greater opportunities for the public to offer comments on the proposal – There is no reason why public input needs to be rushed on this issue.”
The press release also provides information about possible Charter violations, citing the opinion of Peter Hogg.
To my knowledge, she is the first politician or leader of a political party to issue a formal statement since the IGA was announced.
4 thoughts on “FATCA Threat to Canadian Rights and Sovereignty: Elizabeth May”
iPolitics has picked up the Green Party release–but they seem to think the rush for input is more important than the threat to Canadian rights and sovereignty.
Subject : Notwithstanding…
I am a bit worried that more emphasis seems to be on the violation of Charter rights than on sovereignty. Here in Québec we tend to think more of the powers that the Constitution allocates to each level of government rather than Charter rights, because of the power struggles between the provincial and federal governments. We have seen the notwithstanding clause used in legislation where there was already little chance of a Charter challenge. So the question comes to mind, could the FATCA legislation be immediately passed again, after a court decision that it violates the Charter, with a “notwithstanding” clause?
Of course, we can hope that no goverment would be shameless enough to do that.
On the other hand, there could be no recourse to the notwithstanding clause if the courts decided that the federal government does not have the power to allow a foreign power to levy taxes on any legal resident, whatever his naional origin, neither to collect nor to receive information to aid in the collection of tax by that power. Indeed, that would invalidate that part of the tax treaty that already allows collection from American citizens residing in Canada without benefit of Canadian citizenship.
I am not suggesting that a Charter challenge is unnecessary, but that it should be accompanied by a challenge, based on the power to tax, to the constitutionality of the tax treaty and any legislation that would help the US apply its CBT in Canada.
@PetitSuisse: Notwithstanding is always an option for the government.
I am aware it has been used in the past in Quebec. However, it is my understanding it has never been invoked by the federal government.
That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. However, I think it’s unlikely. But, then I never thought I would see the day when any Canadian government would sign an agreement in which demands of a foreign government would prevail over fundamental Canadian rights. overnment
Here is Elizabeth May in Parliament asking about the Finance Minister about FATCA.
I will let you decide who you think is more concerned about the rights of Canadians: May or Flaherty
Thanks to AtticusinCanada for tweeting this.