Petros provides a scenario which would suggest that the Human Rights Act does not protect U.S. Citizens living in Canada, as they do not have equal opportunity with other individuals, because under the Tax Treaty the CRA will collect taxes for the IRS.
Taxpayer A works and pays taxes in Canada. He uses the following types of accounts: RRSP, RESP, RDSP and TFSA. He enjoys the tax advantages of these programs. He also enjoys investments that pay Canada eligible dividends.
Taxpayer B works and pays taxes in Canada. But taxpayer B is a US citizen (but not a dual citizen with Canada). He also has the following accounts: RRSP, RESP, RDSP and TFSA; but only the RRSP is eligible for tax deferal under the United States and Canada tax treaty. Canada eligible dividends are taxed at higher rate in United States. So Taxpayer B finds that he has to pay taxes in the United States in addition to everything he has already paid in Canada.
The Human Rights Act of Canada states (Article 2):
The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted.
I wager thus that the US-Canada tax treaty, which treats U.S. citizens in Canada differently then every other resident, is in conflict with the Human Rights.
Suppose Taxpayer B sends his tax information to the IRS, and the IRS assesses him taxes in excess of everything he has already paid in Canada. He refuses to pay. Then, the CRA apparently will collect for the IRS what taxpayer B owes. Taxpayer B does not have the opportunities equal to those of Taxpayer A, as he does not have access to the same tax shelters, since the United States does not recognize these shelters as falling under the scope of the tax treaty.
In addition, Taxpayer B is not equal to a Canadian citizen who has dual citizenship with the United States, since the Canadian government has stated that it will not collect taxes from any Canadian citizen, whether or not that person is also a United States person.
Furthermore, inasmuch as an Eritrean has the right to freedom from the 2% Eritrea’s extra-territorial tax and Eritrea’s tax collecting activities in Canada considered to be illegal, Taxpayer B has less rights than people of Eritrean origin living in Canada. Thus, Taxpayer B has less opportunity than Taxpayer A, less than dual Canadian/US person, and less than people of Eritrean origin living in Canada.
Two questions, as I am not a lawyer:
(1) When a law or treaty contradicts the Human Rights Act, which one has precedence?
(2) Am I just missing something?