Turn on your computers today. House of Commons Finance Committee will be meeting with Finance Committee officials today. Here is what Murray Rarnkin’s Assistant sent me:
Our NDP finance committee members will also be questioning departmental officials about FATCA at the Finance Committee study of the budget bill today.
The meeting is from 3:30-5:30. You can watch the committee online here.
Thank you very much for all the information you have sent. I will contact you again in advance of your committee appearance.
I hope the NDP and Liberal will not be as gentle and cozy with the officials as the Senators were yesterday. This could be interesting.
7 thoughts on “Canadian House of Commons Finance Committee Meeting on #FATCA Today 3:30-5:30 pm.EDT”
Canadians born in US “Turn on your computers” House of Commons Finance Committee meeting on #FATCA 2day 3:30-5:30 pm http://t.co/AL1TePAOQV
“I hope @MurrayRankin @nathancullen @scottbrison won’t b as gentle & cozy” w/ @FinanceCanada on #FATCA las Sens were” http://t.co/AL1TePAOQV
Scott Brison made it clear tax lawyers don’t like FATCA Murray Rankin is asking about “accidental Canadians,” people married to “US persons.” etc. Rankin also asking about Privacy Commissioners. Asking about if they have commissioned independent legal opinions on privacy,
Brian E is promoting changing Canadian laws to override privacy.
A couple of comments and points.
I was able to download the two-hour video clip of this meeting at this web link http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?contententityid=11704&date=20140501&lang=en
It isn’t quite obvious, but at this link directly under the General Information tab slightly down the page, there is a little link named “Play, Download or Subscribe.” If you click on that, a box pops up which lets you download an audio clip, a medium-res video clip or a high-res video clip in English or French, of the entire meeting. You can also view it on screen without downloading, but I recommend downloading to your desktop and then double-clicking the file once downloaded; in Windows, Windows Media Player will launch the clip. As Blaze notes, the first third or so of the meeting was devoted to a bunch of stuff not of interest to us, but the FATCA (“Part 5”) discussion begins at 1 hour 5 minutes into the meeting (slightly more than halfway through) with Ernwein and Shroom as Finance witnesses (the former did most of the talking). The remainder of the meeting focused on FATCA. The meeting adjourned until, if I understood correctly, next Tuesday when the committee will reconvene with the Minister of Finance for an hour and then a resumption of questions on Part 5 (FATCA IGA) and then eventually some issues in Part 6. If I understood correctly, there may be some legal witnesses (not sure who) raising the concerns that Allison Christians and her colleague mentioned in their submissions. So the saga will continue.
I think it is important to pay attention to this video, because it makes very clear how the government will reply, both in Parliament and I suspect in court if it comes to that, regarding the privacy and charter issues. The NDP pressed these issues very persistently, but the Conservative and Finance spokespersons responded in a way that gave me an inkling of some of the reservations that I suspect Joe Arvay may have raised in his legal opinion about how this might unfold. I’m not convinced the charter issue is going to be a slam dunk, it certainly is going to be an intricate and prolonged debate. I won’t presume to summarize what was said, everyone can view the video and draw their own conclusions. Listen carefully to what is said, and how it is said, in particular in contemplating how you want to proceed for yourself and your family if you’re an affected so-called US person.
Also note that the Finance spokespeople made it very clear that CRA is NOT going to be collecting IRS penalties or tax liabilities against Canadian citizens. They made it VERY clear however that Canadian residents who are US citizens and who are not Canadian citizens may very well be collected against as a result of information provided under the IGA.
I think all affected persons need to pay attention to the video I link above, and reflect carefully on what is said in it. Also it’s important to tune into the committee’s next meeting, which I THINK the chair said is next Tuesday, though it’s not on the meeting schedule yet.
In spite of the virtual media blackout on the FATCA-IGA, its apparent that we have been able to educate some MPs on the topic. I believe that the individually written emails that have been sent, as opposed to mass mailings of the same email, are a much more effective way of communicating.
I think we should be happy that at least there is some debate in Parliament.on this issue. There has been and will be more debate in our legislatures than anywhere else in the world.
The Conservatives and Finance are taking the position that there was no choice. I understand that the government was under pressure from the banks to not play chicken with the U.S. over the 30% withholding penalty ( its a penalty, not a tax), but Finance knew long ago that a deal did not have to be signed by June 30th. Many countries without an agreement have been white listed. Canada could have been also, and could have continued talks with the U.S.
The late Mr. Flaherty did have a choice to resist the USG. He chose not to take it.
One last comment from me (cross-posted by me from original at IBS; I think this point is very important):
I’m going to send an email shortly to Nathan Cullen and Murray Rankin, cc to Tom Mulcair and Paul Dewar my MP, thanking them for their stalwart and detailed questioning on the IGA at the committee. They clearly have listened to all our complaints, and the questioning was quite detailed and probing, I thought.
For those who didn’t bother tuning into the first five minutes of the meeting (I did tune in), it’s worth noting that Nathan Cullen, committee member and NDP Finance Critic, stated at the beginning of the meeting that the NDP considers the IGA to be a very complex piece of legislation than must be debated separated from the omnibus bill, but that the NDP had decided to devote the bulk of its committee time focusing on the IGA (Part 5). I’m paraphrasing, you can find what he says early in the clip.
The NDP clearly has given the IGA priority in their analysis and attack of the omnibus bill. They deserve credit and thanks for this. I urge you to write to them and thank them; I think it’s important to recognize and thank politicians when they (or some of them) actually do the right thing.
Remember this next election day, please. Also remember the Conservative members’ questions and comments.
Nathan Cullen today told Cons “Take a breath. Get #FATCA right”
He also asked why if the IGA is so “fabulous,” why are the Cons burying it in the omnibus. He points out the Cons called the long-form census “a terrible invasion of privacy”, but now they’re ‘in a mad rush to turn over the private financial information of 1 million Canadians to the IRS.”
Andrew Saxton sings from the Con hymn book.