UPDATE OCTOBER 8 2015: $504,776 DONATED, $105,224 more needed in 116 days to make the $110,000 February 1, 2016 legal bill payment — AND WITNESSES NEEDED FOR CHARTER TRIAL.
Marie asked: “Does this case hinge on finding individuals [new Witnesses] who have been specifically targeted and harmed by FATCA? What if we can’t find individuals that have been targeted and harmed? Can it be argued successfully based on the IGA and sections 7, 8, and 15 of the Charter?
One of my colleagues responds: “That’s a question I’ve been wrestling with.
It seems obvious that we are all harmed by FATCA and the IGA. I mean we can all say how our lives have changed (for the worse) ever since our individual OMG moments. But we keep running up against “just renounce” or “file your taxes, you probably won’t have to pay anything.”
It’s crucial that we address this very issue in (or rather before) our Charter trial. I really need to do more research on the best approach to be able to answer Marie’s question appropriately.
Having said that, I don’t believe our case hinges on finding people who have been specifically targeted by FATCA. What we really need to do is focus on the nature of the harm done to all of us by reason of the violation of our privacy as well as the violation of privacy of our non-tainted spouses, business associates, whatever. And we should also focus on what is the real purpose of that discrimination.
Of course right now, Crown says that’s all speculative. In response I would say – does that mean the government passed a law that clearly gives banks in cahoots with the CRA the right to violate privacy of a certain subset of Canadians, but they don’t intend to use it against all of them so no individual person can really claim discrimination. That’s sort of what they did on the stay application.
But it’s the law itself that is discriminatory, and for what purpose? To comply with US law – US law that is out of touch with the rest of the world (except of course poor Eritrea). Surely we should be able to weave an elegant argument around those two facts.
And what is the harm? Perhaps it’s the harm of knowing that even as a citizen or permanent resident, we are not entitled to the protection of our government.
Martineau did ask – isn’t it the duty of the government to protect its citizens? This is discrimination that cuts to the very heart of what it means to be a citizen (with permanent residents included by reason of Andrews). Or is the question: can the US force Canada to pass a law that damages our relationship with our own government…?”