Group Plans Constitutional Challenge to Budget Bill
OTTAWA – Globe & Mail
Monday, JUNE 30, 2014
by Josh Wingrove
A constitutional challenge is in the offing for a Conservative government budget bill that will allow some Canadians’ bank information to be shared with American authorities.
“The thing is an unbelievable joke,” said John C. Richardson, a Toronto lawyer who serves as ADCS co-chair. “… I am very confident in our legal position … , no ifs, ands or buts about it. In fact, if [C-31] is not a violation of the Charter, then the Charter doesn’t mean anything at all.”
FATCA applies to anyone with citizenship, even those who’ve lived in Canada for decades. Kate, a 52-year-old Canadian, was born in Texas to Canadian-born parents, and was brought back to Canada at age one. She says she’s now facing penalties for a life of not filing taxes – she didn’t know she had to – in the United States.
“I’ve never worked there, I’ve never been to school there, I’ve rarely travelled there,”said Kate, who is supporting ADCS and spoke on condition her last name would not be published. She said she feels betrayed by Canada.
“I would like other Canadians to realize that their rights and freedoms aren’t any safer than my rights and freedoms are. I haven’t done anything wrong. I was just born in the wrong country. And the Canadian government is having no problems just deciding that a foreign country can have my information. So if my rights and freedoms can be thrown under the bus, then all Canadians’ can be. That’s why I think people should be concerned about it.”