Quote Archives

We shall not stand up for Canadian citizens and residents in Canada.
We shall deem their ‘US indicia’ more important than their Canadian citizenship and permanent residence.
We shall change Canadian law of the land to enforce extra-territorial law in Canada.
Question from “Don” – If Harper wakes up some morning and finds the IGA has been ruled unconstitutional, how easy or difficult would it be for him change the Charter to enact ‘legal’ discrimination? In other words, what are his options?
Another MP letter answering a constituent, this time from the Minister of National Revenue:
Dear XXX:
Thank you for your correspondence of February 12, 2014, about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) enacted in the United States.
I understand from your email that you are opposed to FATCA and are critical of actions taken by the Government of Canada.
As you are aware, the U.S. uses citizenship as the basis for taxation while Canada and most of the rest of the world use a residency-based approach. I understand that this situation creates unique challenges, including compliance burdens for U.S. citizens who reside in Canada or elsewhere in the world, even when they do not owe U.S. tax. Please note that the U.S. citizenship-based tax system has been in place for many years and is not altered by the recently signed intergovernmental agreement under the Canada–U.S. tax treaty.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers taxes and benefits only in Canada. Therefore, it encourages U.S. taxpayers looking for information on their U.S. tax obligations to visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website atwww.irs.gov and read its guidance on the streamlined filing procedures for non-resident U.S. taxpayers atwww.irs.gov/uac/Instructions-for-New-Streamlined-Filing-Compliance-Procedures-for-Non-Resident-Non-Filer-US-Taxpayers .
While FATCA was enacted by the U.S. government to promote U.S. tax compliance, it has raised concerns in Canada among dual Canada-U.S. citizens and Canadian financial institutions. If the Canadian government had not signed the intergovernmental agreement, non-compliance with FATCA could have subjected Canadian financial institutions and their account holders to sanctions, including special U.S. withholding taxes on payments to them from the U.S. Also, compliance with FATCA would have forced Canadian financial institutions to report information directly to the IRS, potentially violating Canadian privacy laws.
You can find more information on why the intergovernmental agreement was signed on the Department of Finance Canada website at www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/notices/fatca-eng.asp .
As Minister of National Revenue, I can assure you that the CRA will administer fairly any legislation enacted to implement the intergovernmental agreement according to the privacy and confidentiality rights of Canadians. The intergovernmental agreement is strictly an information-sharing agreement and the CRA does not collect the U.S. tax debt of a Canadian citizen if the individual was a Canadian citizen at the time the debt arose.
Canadians who hold financial accounts can find more information at
www.cra.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/menu-eng.html .
I trust the information I have provided clarifies the position of the CRA on this matter.
Yours sincerely,
Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of National Revenue

As has been mentioned on another post, several activists with the Isaac Brock and Maple Sandbox sites have planned a demonstration in Toronto on November 13 and 14, on the sidewalk outside the convention centre where representatives of various Canadian financial institutions are meeting to discuss, among other things, “navigating the hurdles to compliance with FATCA.”
Five candidates for the Toronto Centre by-election, and their campaign organizations, have been invited to participate in the demonstration. They are the candidates for the Conservative, Green, Liberal, New Democrat, and Progressive Canadian parties. The Progressive Canadian party was included, in thanks for their support some months ago in organizing an excellent meeting in Toronto on FATCA and all that is wrong with it. The Greens, Liberals and New Democrats all have expressed major reservations about FATCA. The Conservatives were included in fairness and to signal that we are not partisans and represent a full spectrum of political views, while being united in opposition to FATCA and any Canada-US IGA.
We thought this would be an opportunity to learn exactly what degree of support these parties are, or are not, prepared to provide to those opposing FATCA and an IGA. After some discussion, a group of us agreed that all five of the mentioned parties should be contacted, but none of the other candidates on the ballot (eleven in total).
For those who are interested, attached is a PDF copy of the email that was sent to each of the five parties (with the organizer’s and sender’s personal particulars removed). generic candidate email
The Conservative email was copied to Jim Flaherty. The other four emails were copied to the parties’ leaders; also, the Liberal email was copied to MPs Ted Hsu, Scott Brison, and Irwin Cotler (Liberal justice critic and former Minister of Justice); and the NDP email was also copied to MP Murray Rankin.
We will keep you posted as to who does or does not accept the invitation. Draw your own conclusions from this information.
Linda McQuaig’s (NDP) campaign office is at this writing the only one to acknowledge and then reply; the reply says that Ms. McQuaig unfortunately “is unable to attend. Best of luck with your event!”
As replies are passed on to me, I will update in the comment thread to this post.
UPDATED November 9.  Progressive Canadian Party candidate Dorian Baxter has informed us he is attempting re-arrange his schedule in order to assist us in our demonstration; he considers FATCA to be “nothing more than an unethical money-grab.”  Details in the thread below.  So far no other invited candidates than he and McQuaig have replied.

Copious thanks to Jim Jatras for calling the following to our attention.
The government of Russia, and more specifically the Foreign Minister (and not, please note, their Finance Minister), has weighed into the FATCA discussion with this very forthright statement that any agreement between the US and Russia on FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty and must not impose foreign extraterritorial legislation on the actions of Russian institutions.
I urge everyone to write Flaherty, Harper and your members of Parliament along the following lines (please use your own words or modify mine, I don’t want this to become boilerplate text). I sent this to Flaherty with copies to Rankin, Brison, May and my MP Paul Dewar (also Foreign Affairs critic). Others might wish to send this as well to Harper (who’ll just bounce it to Flaherty if his office replies at all) and to Baird (who has never even acknowledged anything I’ve sent him, nor has his ministerial correspondence unit).
“Please note in the following news item today, that Russia has made it very clear that any agreement between the US and Russia over FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty. The statement also mentions that FATCA as currently formulated is an extraterritorial violation of the sovereign equality of other countries.
“It would be utterly unacceptable for Canada to accept or insist on less than what Russia does, in any agreement with the US over FATCA. As it is highly unlikely the US can respect or even get full reciprocity, which would require US Senate approval not yet forthcoming in even one IGA the US has signed, I think the most rational approach for Canada to take is to walk away from negotiations with the US over this, to insist on Canadian financial institutional compliance with current Canadian law and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and to contemplate protections or retaliatory sanctions against the US should it ever actually enforce the threatened sanctions against Canadian financial institutions that have branches in the US.
“Canada’s sovereignty is no less important than Russia’s, and I expect that my government will stand up for Canadians as forthrightly as the Russian government does for its own citizens and sovereignty. It would be a very sad, pathetic commentary on any Canadian government that would not do so.”