Here is What Canadians Said on FATCA IGA. The Cons Didn't Listen.

Canadians told the government what they thought of FATCA. They told our government the emotional, financial, physical, mental, emotional, family, personal and human cost.
They told them the legal and political ramifications. They pleaded and they raged.  They sent short submissions and long ones.
They stood up for themselves and for Canada.
The Cons didn’t listen. In fact, they didn’t even receive the over 430 pages of submissions sent to Finance Canada.
In March, I made a request for those submissions to Finance Canada under Access to Information.
I asked if copies would be provided to MPs. The answer was no.
I asked what the purpose was of Finance asking for the submissions if our elected representatives would not see them before they voted. I did not receive a reply.
I asked for copies before my testimony at Finance Committee on May 13. That was denied.
I asked for copies before the MPs voted so I could forward it to them. That request was delayed.
I finally received over 400 pages of submissions almost three months after my request and on the very day (June 12) the House of Commons voted. I will let you decide for yourself if you think that delay was intentional or not. I know what I believe.
For privacy purposes, all names and identifying information were removed before sending it to me. The only names included were Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson, Stephen Kish, Kim Moody, Roy Berg, Vincent Gogolek (Executive Director of B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association) and Lynne Swanson.
The submissions all tell individual stories. Almost all are from long-time Canadian citizens–including some who have been Canadian citizens their entire lives. There are some duplicates in the submissions.
Most of the submissions are restrained considering what this has done to out honest, law-abiding lives as Canadians. One submission consisted of two sentences and may sum up what many of us feel:

“I am totally against this U.S. invasion of Canadians’ privacy. I can’t see it surviving a Charter challenge, so why not just tell the U.S. to shove it.”

Here are the submissions. Because the file was so large, Outraged had to break it into eight sections to post.
Access to Info – Section 1      Access to Info – Section 2     Access to Info – Section 3
Access to Info – Section 4      Access to Info – Section 5     Access to Info – Section 6
Access to Info – Section 7      Access to Info – Section 



21 thoughts on “Here is What Canadians Said on FATCA IGA. The Cons Didn't Listen.

  1. @ Lynne
    It looks like Section 3 and Section 4 are the same. This is appalling that they withheld these submissions until their bad deal was a done deal. Thanks so much for your perseverance though.

  2. @Em:  I realize it took Finance some time to go through the documents to ensure there was no personal identifying information.  But, nearly three months seemed like an intentional stall tactic.
    The fact that these submissions were not even shared with MPs says it all.  I don’t even know if anyone at Finance read them other than the ATIP Analyst who reviewed them for identifying and other information before release. He is the only person at Finance at Finance I felt provided any kind of service or concern over the last three years.
    As I said, I don’t know how anyone could read them and decide to FATCA Canadians.
    I have also made requests to Foreign Affairs and to Justice which have provided nothing other than print almost completely redacted pages.
    I have become known in Ottawa as a “repeat requester.” A journalist who makes hundreds of requests a year and told me being a “repeat requester” is a badge of honour.
    He made requests for the submissions after I did and received them around the same time as I did. I don’t know how he plans to use them.

  3. Thanks for your diligence and persistence in following up on these submissions, Lynne.
    I can’t understand how anyone, after reading and understanding the submissions and the fact that the Conservative government did not share any of these with MPs probably even in their own caucus before voting on the FATCA agreement, could ever vote for the Conservative Party of Canada again under its current leadership or under the leadership of anyone connected with this current regime of Stephen Harper. This not a party that understands or respects Canadian parliamentary democracy, procedure, or indeed the Magna Carta.
    Vote anyone but Conservative in the next election. Vote for whoever in your riding is most likely to defeat the Conservative candidate. If you live in a riding held by an opposition party, strongly consider voting for that party and not another one. This government will only be defeated by defeating Conservative candidates; it will not be defeated by voters replacing one opposition MP with another opposition MP. This is not going to be the election in which we sort out which opposition party we DO want in power; it is going to be the election in which we get rid of this horrible government we now have. That will only be done by opposition parties taking seats away from the Tories, not by opposition parties taking away seats from one another, given the Tories currently hold the majority of seats.
    This strategy worked in the recent Ontario election to prevent a Hudak conservative government, including preventing the very stupid possibility (which Andrea Horwath floated and then never really convincingly denied IMO) of an NDP support for a Tory minority government under Hudak. Like, I suspect, a lot of NDP members and voters, in my riding I voted Liberal (for the first time in my life in a provincial election) for my Liberal incumbent, to ensure we not get a Hudak government. We now have a Liberal majority government in Ontario, which is NOT my first choice but it is my second choice and a damn sight better than a Harper/Harris-clone Hudak government would have been, minority or majority, supported by whomever, I don’t care.
    I recommend everyone on this blog remember and consider this suggestion in the 2015 federal election.

  4. @Schubert,
    I too will not be voting Tory in the next election and have pointed this out to my Tory MP several times.
    —But there is a long time between now and the election —with the outcome always uncertain — and one way to express our disapproval of the Tory Government is to take this government to court by donating today to:

  5. Great work Lynne. I skimmed the first pack. My letter was on page 55. Wow, democracy in action? Submissions requested, overwhelmingly against IGA, so whole bunch sent to the “dead letter office.”
    Do you know if there’s a single letter of support for the IGA in there? I didn’t see one when I skimmed the first packet. Do you know how many letters total there are? I suspect opposition MPs could make some serious hay with this. Print the stack out, bring them into Question Period, and go to town.

  6. @BCDoc There was one letter in support of the IGA from KPMG. I don’t remember what page it was on, but it is somewhere near the end.  Moody’s submission from Berg and Moody was supportive, with the usual pointing out of some technical issues that I am not bothering to try to understand.
    I did not see one letter from an individual in support of FATCA or the IGA.
    I didn’t count how many submissions there were.  If someone else has time, they can do that.
    As Stephen said, the next battle will be in the courts. We still need financial support to move ahead on that front. Does anyone know any very angry and very wealthy “US persons?” If so, please contact now!

  7. Thanks so much, Lynne, for showing us the pure obstruction played out so our elected government representatives did not get and thoroughly read and consider our many submissions. It is more than appalling. What audacity to make us even think that we, the victims of implementation of the FATCA IGA in Canada, had even the slightest say.
    Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his robot MPs, Canada is anything but a democracy.
    My thanks to the Opposition Parties — my personal thanks to NDP MPs Murray Rankin and Mike Sullivan and others of the NDP, Green and a few Liberals who listened to me when my Conservative MP did not. (We still do not know the Liberal opinion of Mr. Justin Trudeau.)

  8. @ Lynne
    Thank you for obtaining our unread submissions to Finance Canada. My letter is in section 2 on page 11. Maybe some of these letters could be used in some way when this goes to court. Since my relinquishment appointment is over, I now feel that I can begin to come out of the shadows. You can use my letter with my name. Perhaps others would do this as well. Please let us know and I will email my letter to you with identification.

  9. @ Lynne
    Do you know if any MPs asked ( or demanded) to see the submissions prior to any Committee meetings or votes in the House?

  10. @Hazy: I told Rankin and Brison’s Assistant about the submissions. They were going to try to get them, but I don’t know if they did or if they were able to.
    I just sent them to Rankin, Brison, Cullen, Hsu, May, Cotler, Atamarenko, Holder and Mathyssen. (Ed Holder is my Con MP. The only reply I have had from him was an FBAR sheet telling me of my obligations to file–even though I had already told him I have not been a US citizen since 1972. Irene Mathyssen is an NDP MP in my city, but not my riding. She and her staff have tried to be helpful since I first contacted them).

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