Lynne Swanson Appointed Chief Jingo 4 Canada on #FATCA "Hyperbolic Rhetoric"

In celebration of Canada’s Victoria Day long weekend, Outraged Canadian and Maple Sandbox are delighted to announce the promotion of Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) to Chief Jingo for Canada.
This appointment was inspired by Roy Berg’s warning to the Finance Committee prior to Ms. Swanson’s testimony:MapleJinga

“This Committee is likely going to be aware of jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”

In making the announcement, Maple Sandbox co-founder Outraged Canadian affirmed her belief in Ms. Swanson:

I know Lynne will handle this awe-inspiring promotion with grace and dignity and won’t let it go to her head. I have complete faith that she’ll continue to spout jingoistic hyperbole with all of the fervour and dedication that will be needed as we fight for our rights as Canadians. I’m really proud of her. She’s earned this honour.

Upon learning of her new appointment and title, Lynne said,

“I am thrilled and honoured to take on this important role.  I will work hard to represent the interests of Sandboxers, Brockers and one million honest law-abiding Canadians .and their families.”

With Blazing eyes, Ms. Swanson swore the following oath on the Canadian flag.

” I promise to faithfully fulfill my duties as Chief Jingo of Canada (CJC) by spewing ‘hyperbolic rhetoric’ about how FATCA is an affront to Canadian citizens, residents, laws, constitution and sovereignty.”

canadian flag

23 thoughts on “Lynne Swanson Appointed Chief Jingo 4 Canada on #FATCA "Hyperbolic Rhetoric"

  1. Roy Berg ( ) said;
    “This Committee is likely going to be aware of jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”
    See the definition of jingoism; “…..Jingoism also refers to a country’s advocation of the use of threats or actual force against peaceful relations, either economic or political, with other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism.” ( ).
    The US via FATCA is using economic and political force against Canada and other countries, in order to safeguard or advance what it perceives as its national interests. The US is a very nationalistic country, and it is arguably prone to ‘excessive bias’ in judging itself to be “superior to others” – most notably in this instance by choosing to use extraterritorial threats of extreme economic sanctions in order to impose its ‘peculiar’ system of extraterritorial status based taxation on Canada and the rest of the world.
    We are attempting to safeguard Canada’s national interests against the US “use of threats or actual force against peaceful relations, either economic or political, with other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests.” Our MPs and our federal government should be doing this.
    In the remarks to the Finance Committee, by choosing to levy the charge that the presentation by Maple Sandbox was ‘jingoistic’, Berg opened up the question of the role that nationalism and allegiance play in the remarks by the speaker.
    By doing so, he opened up the question of the role ‘nationalism’ and allegiance pIays in his own comments as well. I think it is reasonable and fair to critique and call into question the vested interests and what appears to be inherent bias of the speaker who made the charge of jingoism ( ). There is no doubt that the crossborder compliance industrial complex has expanded in Canada since 2011 and US tax compliance service providers in general have profited handsomely. In a few short years, their fees have increased exponentially. FATCA enabled on Canadian soil will only accelerate that, and divert even more substantial sums from Canadian family’s hard earned savings to pay US tax law and accounting professionals – some of whom notably have no real history or roots in Canada. I see no reason why US compliance professionals should be exempt from questions then about their own allegiance, citizenship and status in Canada and how that might inform the position they have chosen to take re FATCA and extraterritorial CBT. The Finance committee thinks it is fair for example, to entertain one MP’s pointed questions to Canadian citizen John Richardson as to his status and how he personally views or values his own dual status in Canada, specifically re his US citizenship.
    I think it is fair game then to ask about the citizenship status, national allegiance and native bias of the speaker who levelled the charge of ‘jingoism’. We also know that US tax lawyers are bound by Circular 230, and I question whether concern about that may pose a professional dilemma in taking critical positions against tax policies of the US. We know that the speaker is also a member of Democrats Abroad, because he chooses to showcase that in his professional bio as an example of ‘Community involvement’ along with the American Chamber of Commerce – with no purely Canadian ‘community’ activities listed. Therefore, raising the question of personal, professional, political and national bias seems fair and reasonable to me.
    It appears to me to be deeply hypocritical then to choose to criticize the remarks of a long time Canadian citizen and resident whose life is rooted in Canada – simply for raising the significant sovereignty issues inherent in the forcible application and enforcement of a ‘Made in the US’ law which extraterritorially threatens the Canadian interests and legal local assets of Canadian citizens and residents, and poses substantial Charter and Constitutional issues as well as burdens Canadian financial (and non-financial) institutions , as being ‘jingoistic’ and full of hyperbole.
    I would find it impossible to support a political party who would choose to ally themselves with and defend the imposition by force and threat of a law which was intended only to further the nterests of a foreign country over the interests of their own citizens and residents.
    FATCA was not intended to provide any benefit to any other country – and the evidence is there in the original law as enacted. The US reserves the right to change the terms at the pleasure of Congress – and has made no commitment to consult or be bound by any concerns or laws enacted by the IGA signatories – including Canada. Power and sovereignty are most definitely ceded under the IGA.
    Those are facts – not hyperbole or mere rhetoric.
    To object to FATCA as imposed by US threats on Canada is our duty. To exercise our democratic right to express our opinions to our elected officials, as Canadian citizens and legal residents is to exercise our protected right to free speech and duty to participate in the political and economic life of our country.
    For a newcomer to Canada, who demonstrates no commitment to our Charter and Constitution, to appear before a committee of the Canadian parliament and make unwarranted criticisms of a Canadian citizen who exercises their Canadian rights in their own home is deeply offensive to me.
    Roy Berg chose not to confine his remarks to his professional opinion as a US crossborder tax lawyer regarding the tax and legal implications of FATCA. He chose to veer into the realm of the personal and political. Therefore, it is relevant to ask that he identify what his vested interests and bias are as a US citizen and only very recent resident of Canada, who makes his living in Canada assisting people to compy with US extraterritorial tax demands.

  2. @Badger:  Your comments as usual are excellent.  I will tweet some of them to Roy Berg and see if he responds.
    I should say I don’t know if his comments were directed at me personally. I had not yet given m Opening Statement when Mr. Berg spoke and I do not believe he would have seen my statement.  However, my e-mail (but not my formal brief) had been posted for some time on the Parlimentary website, so he may have drawn his conclusions about what I would say from that.
    I certainly hope my “jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric” was good enough for him–and for the members of the Committee.
    Murray Rankin thought my presentation was “spirited.”
    In any case, there are two key points about this: 1.  We are Canadian citizens.  2.  Mr. Berg is not.
    I am proud to be Chief Jingo of Canada.

  3. @ Badger
    Great comment!
    I hope Roy Berg regrets his remarks to the Finance Committee, at the least if it means he has lost some potential clients.
    It’s unfortunate that some professionals are acting like ambulance chasers and taking advantage of the situation.

  4. @Hazy:  Cross-border ambulance chasers. I didn’t know until Mr. Berg testified that he is NOT a Canadian citizen.
    More importantly, I learned he immigrated to Canada three years ago–just about the time many of us had our OMG moment.

  5. Yeah, a quick look at Roy Berg’s linkedin profile shows that he’s been at Moody’s in Calgary only since June 2011, and attended law school in New York.
    Rather ironically, it also says that he is a member of the Consultative Committee for the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman. ‘The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman works to enhance the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) accountability in its service to, and treatment of, taxpayers and benefit recipients through independent and impartial reviews of service-related complaints and systemic issues.’
    There are also links to several articles he’s written.

  6. I suspect Roy Berg was referring to the Isaac Brock Society.
    He showed his true colours when he said:
    “This Committee is likely going to be aware of jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”
    He should be tarred, feathered and deported back to his Homeland. He doesn’t give a shit about Canada. He’s a predator and only interested in making money off Canadians tainted with US indicia.
    Roy Berg loves FATCA. It will make him a lot of money!

  7. Here’s a Moodys post from the compliance condor Mr. Berg himself who acknowledges he has come under “considerable criticism.”
    The Moodys post is followed by a link to Berg’s full article.
    Friday, May 23, 2014
    FATCA in Canada: Is the Intergovernmental Agreement a “good deal?”
    By Roy Berg JD, LLM (US TAX)
    On May 13, 2014, I was called to testify before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding Canada’s legislation that implements the Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) between the US and Canada concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). You may view the hearing by clicking here and my prepared remarks follow this article. I have come under considerable criticism for my support of the Department of Finance’s decision to enter into the IGA. In short, I have said, and continue to believe, that the execution of the IGA is unquestionably a “good deal” for Canada. I would like to use this short article, however, to expand on this statement and offer that the analysis in reaching the answer is more interesting than the answer itself.

  8. Ah Shucks.  Do you think we hurt Mr. Berg’s feelings with our “considerable criticism?”
    How does he know about the “considerable criticism?” Could he have possibly have seen it at Brock or Sandbox?
    The Chief Jingo actually thought the  “considerable criticism” was quite mild.  She encourages all the other Canadian Jingos to be stronger.
    Mr. Berg doesn’t get that Canada is an independent country that makes its own laws.  Or, rather it was before the United States threatened and bullied Canada to change its laws.
    Once again, there are two key points. 1.  We are Canadian citizens. 2. Roy Berg is not.
    Mr. Berg can keep spitting into his hand.  The Chief Jingo will keep spewing her “jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric”

  9. Mr. Berg is focusing on the economics, rightly so, since he’s a tax guy. However, his argument still doesn’t ring true for me, as it’s just too simplistic. Yeah, Canada protected big big bank’s profits by signing the IGA. But what about Canada’s overall economy? What is the effect of FATCA on that? I don’t have the expertise to do a cost/benefit analysis on such a large issue, but I think it will be huge – with lasting repercussions. If every family affected by FATCA complies by engaging these outlandishly expensive tax professionals and lawyers (mainly US-based at this time), that’s money gone from spending in Canada. If every family affected by Canada has to pay massive penalties for not filing FBARs, that’s retirement money, that’s own-your-own-home money, that’s  children’s education money funnelled out of Canada’s economy directly into the US economy. It will be very interesting over the next couple of decades to know the increase in seniors living at the poverty line because they have no retirement savings left, and the number of students who do not go on to higher education, or who have to incur huge debt to do so.
    I think we all realize that the every country has the right to make and enforce their own laws. Mr Berg seems to have forgotten that INCLUDES CANADA. He’s completely ignoring the fact that the US is reaching into other countries with their laws and blackmailing those countries into compliance because (for now, at least) they have the economic power to do so. And every country has the right to protect their economy and their citizens rights.
    He says that the information the banks will collect under the IGA is already to the US through tax treaties. I haven’t sat down and compared them but I just don’t believe that’s true or there would be no need for FATCA or an IGA. (If I’m wrong on that, then please correct me, and point me to the comparison, I would be grateful.)
    And, of course, the elephant that’s being ignored by Mr Berg, is that Canadian rights are being violated by FATCA and the IGA.
    But, of course, that doesn’t affect Mr. Berg, since he isn’t Canadian, and has only come to Canada very recently, and I am quite sure he knew all the arcane and archaic US rules and so is completely tax and FBAR compliant. So, really why should he care? And, of course, he doesn’t.

  10. @Outraged:  Professors Cockfield and Christians, the Privacy Commissioner and I outlined in our testimony or under questioning how much further this information provides on far more people than is currently shared.
    Even Berg himself says this is “not a tax grab…It’s a compliance and data grab.”

  11. Sorry, I should have been clearer, I do know that it affects FAR more people, absolutely (including myself until I get my CLN), but the information itself, is that more? I will re-read the briefs.

  12. Yes, the information is FAR more.  Under historic and current information exchange, the US and Canada exchange information on residents of one country who has income in the other.  That makes the Canada-US tax treaty unique. Allison Christians says the US used it as a “carrot” to the rest of the world.
    Under the IGA, the United States gets information on total assets, account balances, income, transactions, account numbers, other personal identifying information and anything else the IRS demands on anyone deemed to be a US person living in Canada or in the US.
    Under IGA reciprocity, Canada gets information on income of Canadian residents who receive income in the United States–in other words, exactly what Canada was already getting–and nothing more.

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