Is This What BMO Thinks Of Us?

Correction: In this post earlier today, I said BMO responded to Suzanne Herman’s letter. Someone pointed out to me that the reply letter was from a former Product Manager for Bank of Montreal (BMO). I apologize for that earlier information and have made corrections in red below.
However, I am still left wondering if this is what BMO thinks of us. I hope BMO may issue a clarification considering that Mr.Cavanaugh used their name and his former title in his letter.
A debate has developed at the Squamish Chief between Suzanne Herman who had a letter to the editor The FATCA of the Matter published last week.
In her letter, Suzanne wrote:

First of all, the agreement will now make discrimination based on national origin legal in Canada.

She also called FATCA a threat to Canadian sovereignty.
Today, a former Program Manager, Capital Markets, Bank of Montreal    responded with The Facts of FATCA. I find this letter among the most offensive I have read anywhere.
This letter essentially calls us tax evaders and criminals and says FATCA does not violate Canadian sovereignty.
BMO former Program Manager Capital Markets also has an interesting take on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To take advantage of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you must be a a Canadian citizen and you must not be contravening any laws in Canada or any other country.

First of all, you do NOT have to be a Canadian citizen to be covered under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The very first Charter case (Andrews vs Law Society of British Columbia) was won by someone who was not a Canadian citizen.  The court found a requirement of Canadian citizenship infringed on the plaintiff’s Charter equality rights.
Based on Mr. Cavanaugh’s understanding, it also appears Canadian women born in Saudi Arabia can’t avail  themselves of the Charter because they are breaking Saudi laws by driving in Canada.
In any case, we now know what BMO former Program Manager thinks of us.  I think Mr. Cavanaugh must now work for US Ttreasury and IRS.  I’m surprised he didn’t call us “myths”

19 thoughts on “Is This What BMO Thinks Of Us?

  1. I tweeted and e-mailed BMO inviting them to clarify if this letter from their former Program Manager Capital Markets reflects their views.

  2. Maybe that’s why he is a “former” manager? Anybody in a senior position with any bank should have higher standards of literacy and deductive reasoning than he shows in that letter. He seems to think US law supersedes Canadian law in Canada.
    My god!!! What a moron!!!

  3. @Arctic: I agree.  If he had signed that letter as a BMO manager without it being approved by BMO, he would quickly be a “former” manager.
    I hope BMO will issue some clarification.

  4. @ Blaze…. I cannot imagine anybody that ever had any sort of responsible position saying such a stupid thing about our constitution.
    The analogy about a woman born in Saudi Arabia and driving in Canada actually goes further. According to his infantile logic, all women drivers in Canada would be denied constitutional protection.
    Reading a bible is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Leaving the Islamic religion for another is also illegal. The latter carries the death penalty.
    Isn’t owning property illegal in North Korea? Property owners would also be denied constitutional protection.
    I seriously doubt that he is working for the IRS. Their standards are obviously low, but could they be THAT low?
    The guy is just an idiot, so we should cease and desist immediately here from even giving that jerk the time of day.

  5. @George: I’m a retired Human Resources Manager. If Mr.  Cavanaugh had sent that letter without it being approved by BMO while he was still working there, he would now be the former manager that he is.
    In addition, I’m quite certain he has no legal right to use his former title and Bank of Montreal name in the signature line of such a public letter.
    I hope BMO does accept my invitation to clarify if Mr. Cavanaugh represents their position on FATCA and the Charter. I suspect some BMO customers are not very happy right now.

  6. I found that letter sickening. It is incredible how ignorant and vindictive some people can be. How can anyone be expected to pay their “fair share” to a foreign country that they have no benefits or services from, where they do not live or work etc., based solely on a distant birth event? Beyond belief.

  7. It seems to me that the ex-Manager from BMO thinks a lot like many of our MPs, including our ex-Finance Minister, and also our Liberal party leader. Maybe Cavanagh is pursuing a new career in politics, while Flaherty might be pursuing a new career in banking. Just switch the con artists around between banking and politics, and perhaps few people will notice their lame attempts at pulling one over.

  8. What’s interesting is that if you look him up you can see that he has a vested interest in FATCA becoming law. His linked in profile lists this:
    Program Training Instructor
    Confidential Client
    March 2013 – January 2014 (11 months) Western Canada
    Development of course material and classroom delivery covering Global Custody Services, FATCA, Dodd Frank. Also Mutual Funds business processing including Manufacturing, Delivery, Trustee responsibility, Fund Accounting, Unit Holder Record Keeping and Funds Investments.

  9. Quick, re; Cavanagh’s baseless claim; “To take advantage of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you must be a a Canadian citizen and you must not be contravening any laws in Canada or any other country.” Somebody better get on it and issue a bulletin – to tell the Supreme Court of Canada that a member of the Canadian financial industry is apparently the go to person for expertise on the Charter and Constitutional issues. Where is that exactly located in the preamble to the Charter?

  10. Ironic isn’t it that the very proof that Cavanagh doesn’t know what he is talking about is the fact that they had to INVENT a WORK AROUND in order to try to assert that the FATCA IGA superceded Canadian laws. IF what he asserts had any truth to it, they wouldn’t have had to try and supercede existing Canadian law. AND, what makes US law so special? Will he start demanding that Canadian children born of parents from every other country in the world must subordinate themselves to any law dreamt outside Canada?
    There are apparently no lengths to which the apologists and financiers won’t go in order to justify the deal they lobbied for – no matter what it costs everyone else.

  11. I forwarded Mr. Cavanaugh’s letter to BMO and said:

    Mr. Cavanaugh used Bank of Montreal’s name and his title in his signauture line. Does this reflect BMO’s views on FATCA and on Canadian citizens and legal residents who may be your customers?
    This is one of the most offensive things I have read about FATCA in Canada. I can assure you I will never do business with BMO as a result of this.
    I had posted this at Maple Sandbox believing it was an official letter from BMO. Then someone pointed out to me it was from a former manager with your organization. However, it still leaves me wondering if BMO shares this view.
    I have corrected my post.  I hope you will clarify if this is your position on this subject. If not, I hope you will publicly share your position at Squamish Chief and at Maple Sandbox.
    The following is BMO’s reply.

    Ms Swanson,
    Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
    I appreciate the time you have taken to share your comments with us regarding FATCA.  FATCA is a law that was passed in the United States. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income regardless of where they live. FATCA is aimed at combating U.S. tax evasion by U.S. Persons with financial assets outside the U.S. Therefore, FATCA is meant to encourage proper reporting of all investment income and all dispositions of securities undertaken by a U.S. person irrespective of where in the world the investment is held. Beginning July 1, 2014, non-U.S. financial institutions will be required to identify, document and report on accounts held by U.S. Persons.
    BMO Financial Group will comply with local legislation regarding the implementation of FATCA.
    Phase 1 – 2014
    The first phase includes new account opening procedures to identify U.S. Reportable Accounts. These procedures must be in place July 1st, 2014 for all non-U.S. financial institutions.
    Phase 2 – 2014–2016
    The second phase includes the identification of certain pre-existing U.S. Reportable Accounts opened prior to July 1st, 2014. This phase is expected to be completed between 2014 and 2016
    Phase 3 – 2015 – 2017
    The third phase includes the reporting of US Reportable Accounts including required financial information.
    Canada’s Department of Finance announced on February 5, 2014 that Canada and the United States have signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to improve international tax compliance and to implement FATCA in Canada.
    Ms Swanson, Canadian Revenue Agency has developed online resources to help Canadians understand the impact of the IGA on individuals and entities and frequently asked questions. You can visit the following website for additional information:

    If you have any further questions, write to us again or call us at 1-800-363-9992.  Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

    Katherine Dutka
    Customer Contact Assistant Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal


    So, I will let you decide for yourself if BMO shares Mr. Cavanaugh’s view of us.

  12. I just read BMO’s reply which reflects their stand on FATCA. It appears they share the dismal views of Mr.Cavanaugh on the subject. They have convinced me to make my appointment at the U.S. consulate to RELINQUISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP. Of course I will never do business with BMO. Thanks for this incentive Blaze!

  13. More like a non-answer to any question, more government-generated gobbledygook, whichever side of the border.
    Never any real communication, just the agreed-to words to use again and again with the peons — or ‘the Americans who happen to live in Canada’ (US taxpayers resident in Canada) as we’re now defined.
    Real customer service; the IRS is the customer.

  14. On March 31, I followed up with BMO:

    My question was not about FATCA. I am very aware of FATCA.
    My question was does BMO share Mr. Cavanaugh’s view of Canadians who simply had the misfortune to be born in the United States.
    Your response does not answer that question.  By not disagreeing with someone who used Bank of Montreal in his signature line, I must now assume you do share his view if you don`t clarify otherwise.

    Today, I received this reply:

    Ms Swanson,


    Thank you for contacting BMO Bank of Montreal about the comments made by Bill Cavanaugh regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  Please accept my apology for the delay in responding.


    I apologize that I did not address your concerns in your initial email.


    Ms Swanson, as a former employee, I would like to assure you that Mr. Cavanaugh does not speak for Bank of Montreal and Bank of Montreal does not adopt his comments. I regret the concern his comments caused.

    Thank you for choosing BMO Bank of Montreal for your everyday banking needs.

    Katherine Dutka
    Customer Contact Assistant Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal
  15. Looks to me like the letter that bozo posted on that web site has been deleted.
    Dare I guess that the website owners were embarrassed?

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