In this election year, ADCS has sent letters requesting Party policy on FATCA:
Letter to Leader of NDP
Letter to Leader of Liberals
Letter to Leader of Green Party
Letter to Leader of Conservatives
Copies of that letter to several Opposition Critics, Cabinet Ministers or some MPs.
As you can see, these letters are very similar. We ask direct questions relating to FATCA. As an example, here is the content of the letter to Thomas Mulcair:
Thank you to you, the NDP and some of your MPs for standing up for Canadian citizens and residents, whether born in the United States, in Canada or in any other country, against the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) enabling legislation.
You may be aware we have commenced litigation against the Government of Canada resulting from the Conservative government surrendering Canadian citizens, residents, laws, constitution and sovereignty to the United States for FATCA.
We are disappointed at your near silence since the FATCA enabling act was passed. We are, therefore, contacting you now to request your party’s policy in writing on what you would do if the NDP is elected to form the next government.
Specifically, we ask:
1. Will your party commit to repealing the FATCA IGA in its entirety?
2. If not, why not?
3. What action will your party take to protect Canadian citizens and residents from the demands of a foreign government under FATCA?
4. What action will your party take to uphold Canadian laws, the constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian sovereignty as they relate to FATCA?
5. What action will your party take to agree with our lawsuit that the FATCA enabling Act violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s constitution? Will you direct the Ministry of Justice to quickly reach an acceptable settlement with us?
6. What action will your party take to ensure a foreign law does not prevail over Canadian privacy, human rights, banking and other laws?
7. What is your time frame for any commitment you may make?
Approximately one million Canadians, their families and business associates are affected by FATCA and many will want to know which party represents their needs and rights. Many will make their voting decision based on this.
We hope the NDP will fight for their rights as Canadians.
I will advise you of the responses we receive or if we do not receive responses.
Other Canadians may wish to write to their MPs and/or candidates in their ridings. You can share responses you receive here.
27 thoughts on “FATCA Letter to Leaders and MPs”
@ThomasMulcair What is #NDP @NDP_HQ policy on #FATCA #IGA? http://t.co/FBN0Xo96wv Will u repeal in entirety?
@MurrayRankin @nathancullen @PaulDewar Many Canadians will vote based on #FATCA. Will @NDP_HQ repeal #IGA if elected? http://t.co/FBN0Xo96wv
These open letters are a terrific idea. The questions you pose deserve precise answers and I hope you get some. I e-mailed my MP recently but I do not expect a reply from him. (It was about Bill C-51 but I also worked in the 2014 Canada Day betrayal of FATCA implementation.) They need to know that this issue is not going away no matter how vigorously they try to sweep it under the carpet.
RT @LynneBlaze: @MurrayRankin @nathancullen @PaulDewar Many Canadians will vote based on #FATCA. Will @NDP_HQ repeal #IGA if elected? http:…
RT @LynneBlaze: @ThomasMulcair What is #NDP @NDP_HQ policy on #FATCA #IGA? http://t.co/FBN0Xo96wv Will u repeal in entirety?
The first reply to our letter came from the Assistant to NDP MP for British Columbia Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko.
I am not surprised the first response came from Alex Atamanenko. The information I received through Access to Information indicated he was the first MP to raise alarm bells about FATCA in September of 2011.
At that time, in an “e-mail blast“ to Conservative MPs, Mr. Atamanenko said:
Someone in the Conservative ranks (identity was redacted in the information provided to me) claimed Mr. Atamanenko “confused” FATCA and FBAR. He didn`t. Mr. Atamanenko knew exactly what he was talking about and clearly understood the implications for Canada and for Canadians. He has also written about since then on his blog and in articles. He posted information about our lawsuit on his blog three days after it was filed.
You can read the information from the redacted Conservative and Mr. Atamanenko on Page 5 of Part 2 of Access to Information Request
Murray Rankin and Pierre LaBelle received our letter but Mr. Atamaneko and Ms. Hunnissett may not have been aware of that.
I hope one of them or Thomas Mulcair will reply soon on what the official NDP policy is.
“Courage is having the integrity to do the right thing even if it means you stand alone.”
That was how Mr. Atamanenko closed an e-mail reply to me 2 years ago. It was a very good reply and showed a deep understanding of FATCA. I hope he is not standing alone today and that we can still count on the entire New Democratic Party to remember what happened on Canada Day last year and to continue to press our case in Parliament.
Here is a reply from Assistant to Don Davies of the NDP:
As you know, we sent the letter to Mr. LaBelle but have not yet heard from him or Thomas Mulcair.
I’m sure we all look forward to hearing what replies are made to these letters. I also hope that, by the time the election is called, someone on the ADCS team will post a new thread identifying or summarizing which parties have or haven’t replied, and what they said. At that point it will be up to each of us to swamp our friends and relatives who vote in Canada, and our local MPs, with emails indicating how these replies are going to affect our voting in the election.
… I think this should be cross-posed over at IBS, preferably by someone on the ADCS board or team, to give more coverage to this. I just checked and I didn’t see a posting of this nature over there.
If no one on that board or team can do that, I do have authoring rights over there and can do it, but I think it should be someone on the team, which I’m not and hence would not be able or comfortable replying to any queries on the thread concerning this excellent strategy or about the suit itself.
I will do a cross-post at Brock.
Thanks for putting this post up, Lynne!
Thanks Lynne and ADCS members. These letters will likely be a great help for those of us voting ABC. The answers to your precise questions will influence which party I vote for. If there are no replies from certain parties, we will know what that means as well.
Rec’d my second letter from Joe Oliver. It generally takes four months for a response. As expected, my questions and points were completely ignored, and I was patronizingly advised to hire a tax specialist to ensure I was in compliance. The letter was condescending to say the least. I wrote back and thanked them for their pitiful, yet expected, non-response that I should spend good money on some tax accountant regarding taxes in a country I have never lived in.
@John Canuck. That is the same Joe Oliver who repeatedly insisted at Finance Committee that FATCA does not affect Canadian citizens.
Stephen insisted I be “courteous” in our letter to the Cons. It was tough.
It’s more than two months since we sent the letter to leaders and to some MPs. We have not yet had a concrete response (which is what exactly what Stephen predicted would happen.)
I followed up with a request for an update to the Leaders, MPs and the Liberal and NDP candidates in my riding.
I had a very disappointing call from Murray Rankin’s Legislative Assistant today assuring me the NDP if elected would do a “full and urgent review” of the IGA.
I let her know that is not good enough. Reviews have been done. We need action quickly. She said she will get back to me by the end of next week. If she doesn’t, I will follow up with her.
I met a few weeks ago with my Liberal candidate. She seemed perplexed as to why she, ADCS and I cannot get direct answers. She said she would continue to pursue the issue.
I followed up with her via e-mail. Here is her reply:
And here is the response of the NDP candidate in my riding:
I think the message is clear: We are yesterday’s issue.
Thanks, Lynne, for following up on the ADCS-ADSC letters to those who wish to be Canada’s *Leaders*. It is very disappointing, as you point out, we seem to be Yesterday’s Issue — one hidden in Omnibus Budget Bill C-31.
Here’s an opportunity to readers of Sandbox who fit the description of being *a Former Harper / Conservative Voter*
As a start — most of all Bill C-31 omnibus bill that implemented US FATCA law over Canadian laws and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and now Bill C-51 that is also shredding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All Canadians should be protected.
Many Canadians voted for Stephen Harper when he was in opposition because he promised to bring ethics and accountability back into the government. Now after 9 years in power, he’s only grown our democratic deficit while damaging the reputation of principled conservatives everywhere.
There are more and more Former Harper Voters everyday. By sharing our stories with each other, we can understand and connect with thousands of people across the country who voted for Stephen Harper’s principles in 2008 and 2011 and now feel deeply betrayed by his pursuit of a completely different agenda.
By sharing our stories with people who currently plan to vote for Harper again, we can hold this government accountable at the ballot box and show governments of all stripes that they can’t break their promises without consequences.
Please tell us your story. Why did you become a Former Harper Voter?
Tell us your story
I am not a former Harper or Con voter.
We finally have a reply from Justin Trudeau, but no answers.
He thinks reporting to CRA instead of banks reporting to IRS “was a positive step.”
Inadequate? Insufficient? We knew that. What we do not know and want to know is what the Liberals will do.
Here is an e-mail I just sent to Kate Young, the Liberal candidate for my riding:
Thanks for reporting, Lynne, Trudeau’s obfuscation.
You will not be able to vote for your Liberal candidate and nor will I mine, Matt Grant. Perhaps others can get clear answers from their Liberal candidates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_of_Canada_candidates,_2015_Canadian_federal_election.
This week, I sent FATCA letters, via email, to the NDP and Liberal candidates in my South Surrey-White Rock BC riding. Pixie Hobby is NDP candidate. Joy Davies is Liberal candidate. They both seem quite progressive in their views on other issues. Hopefully they will reply to my inquiries about their views on FATCA. Will let you know if there is a response.
My past inquiries to the Liberal Party did not give any clear answers about their policy on FATCA and the IGA. Unless there is a clear answer, I can’t vote for them.
I don’t bother with the Conservatives anymore and will definitely not vote for them.
It’s been four months since we sent the letter to the Leaders. No response from the Cons, NDP or Greens. The Lib response speaks for itself.
I followed up with Murray Rankin’s Assistant by e-mail several times. (He is the lead on FATCA for the NDP). Today, I decided to use the old-fashioned approach and picked up the telephone and called her in B.C.
The conversation was tense and strained. My sense was she was feeling somewhat impatient that I am continuing to press for an answer.
She could not or would not tell me when we might have an answer.
I told her this is feeling exactly like what the Cons did. First there was silence, then the FATCA IGA was announced.
She quickly reminded me of the work Murray Rankin has done on FATCA and how outspoken he has been. I advised we appreciated that. However, I also pointed out that Jim Flaherty was initially very outspoken against FATCA, then he went silent for about a year, then he announced the IGA.
I said the same silent treatment from the NDP is feeling like deja vu. She replied that “it hasn’t fallen off the radar.”
But she still would not tell me when we might have an answer or what that answer may be.
Following my conversation with Murray Rankin’s Assistant on July 21, I received this e-mail from her:
I replied that same day:
On August 4, I sent the following e-mail:
On August 6, I sent:
There has been no response.
Following my post yesterday, I sent this to Murray Rankin and his Assistant:
I also tweeted.
Murray Rannkin’s Assistant replied:
So they didn`t deal with it when Parliament was in session. Now “offices are not functioning as they were.“
I have no idea what that means for finalization of a response. Of course, five months of offices “functioning as they were“ did not produce a reply to what were very direct questions.
Here is what I sent to Murray Rankin’s Assistant on Friday with a cc to my NDP candidate:
This is an e-mail that I just sent to Justin Trudeau with a cc to my Liberal candidate.
I just gave the reply from the NDP its own thread, but I am posting it here also so it remains available in this thread.
Today I have been preparing an e-mail for my riding’s NDP candidate so it’s good to get this update. I am guardedly optimistic about the NDP. I had already included my appreciation for the efforts to bring sanity to the FATCA debate (such as it has been) by NDP MPs, Murray Rankin and Nathan Cullen. Thank you for your perseverance, Lynne. You are so good at keeping your foot down on the edge of the rug to keep this issue from being swept out of sight in the run up to the election.