ADCS FATCA Questions. Trudeau Reply

On March 23, ADCS sent a letter to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, other party leaders and some MPs.
The letter to Justin Trudeau said:

Thank you to you, the Liberal Party of Canada 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 Liberal Party 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 Liberal Party will fight for their rights as Canadians.
Stephen Kish, Ph.D, Chair
John Richardson, Co-Chair
Patricia Moon, Secretary/Treasurer
Carol Tapanila, Director
Lynne Swanson, Chair, Legal Challenge Committee

On June 25 (after prodding), Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau replied.

Dear Ms. Swanson:
Thank you for taking the time to write to me with your concerns regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The safeguarding of personal privacy has become an increasingly important issue to all Canadians. The government’s move to ensure that information is reported to the U.S. through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and not directly from the banks was a positive step; however, the implications of having the CRA report to a foreign government about Canadian citizens are still troublesome. The Liberal Party of Canada believes that the Conservative government’s efforts to safeguard the personal privacy of Canadians have been inadequate.
While the United States has the right to target tax evaders using offshore accounts, targeting hard working Canadians who pay taxes is unfair. The government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights. We believe that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect affected Canadians.
Thank you once again for writing to me; I always appreciate it when Canadians take the time to share their concerns with me. It is through such exchanges of ideas and opinions that I can best represent not only my constituents, but all Canadians.
Justin J.P. Trudeau

So there we have what we can expect from the Liberals. Our new Prime Minister called the Conservative actions “troublesome…inadequate…insufficient, but did not say what a Liberal government would do.
We need to keep up the fight.
We need to remind Trudeau of his words “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”
We need to remind him we require “Real Change Now”
We need to remind him of our right to privacy.
We need to remind him his father’s greatest gift to Canada was the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We need to remind him to uphold our rights as Canadians.
We need to remind him: “The government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights.”

4 thoughts on “ADCS FATCA Questions. Trudeau Reply

  1. Even pre-election, Trudeau slipped into the weasel words politicians so love to use. He’ll let the court challenge proceed, and mount an appeal if necessary. He’s made so many promises he needs to tend to; FATCA is waaay down the list unfortunately. He could decide to concede to the Charter challenge, blaming it on Harper, but not likely.

  2. Lynne, your conclusions of what we need to do now is absolutely correct. I wouldn’t worry too much about Trudeau’s less-than-strong response when his party wasn’t even the official opposition. But now he’s on top! Harper’s is giving up Conservative leadership and remember that in a little over a year, Obama will be out the door.
    Obviously, Trudeau hasn’t yet fully grasped why the IGA to accommodate a an agenda sneaked into an American bill goes against the grain of everything the Charter of Rights stands for. This is a VERY common problem among the media and politicians! They think “duals” in Canada who don’t like the IGA should simply renounce! Some do, of course, but they understand why this is NOT a solution: first, some “duals” are NOT allowed to renounce because of mental capacity (Carol’s son); second, a lot of “duals” cannot afford to spend $3000 a pop plus at least 3 years of financial documentation (not to mention the penalties the IRS could inflict) in order to renounce (like my spouse and me); third, a lot of “duals” have to go through the hoops of establishing that they are US citizens, e.g. acquiring SSNs or their equivalent, in order to renounce an unwanted citizenship foisted on them simply because they were born across the border (like our plaintiffs). Besides all that, all spouses and children of these “duals” are also forced to send private financial bank statements to a country famous for its abuses of privacy.
    A lot of why FATCA and the IGA are so insidious is because tax evasion is a real issue that the United States has a right to address, and therefore the mainstream media, politicians and judges are generally sympathetic to that cause. It takes time and effort to get someone to understand why turning in the financial data of anyone with US indicia or otherwise considered a “US person”, including Canadian citizens, is a travesty of injustice and goes against the essence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms put into place by the Liberal Party under the first Prime Minister Trudeau.

    1. @Jan: We at ADCS are working on something for our new Prime Minister.

      I hope he will ensure that “Real Change Now” includes us.   Because as he said:

      “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

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