UPDATE 2: This post has been upgraded to a press release at newswire.ca and digitjournal.com. Thanks go to Jim Jatras.
UPDATE: Jim Jatras has provided an revised Word Version of the text below for mass distribution.
The following is a message from Jim Jatras:
Please review that following and submit comments. I hope it’s more or less self-explanatory.
As indicated in a previous comment, it’s in effect a kind of ad or statement inviting people to contact Harper, Flaherty, MPs and oppose FATCA/IGA. Ideally, it’s the kind of thing that would be posted online or even in print publications as an ad, if there were money for that. (If Canadian industry weren’t spending money trying to get the “best deal possible” from the Americans under an IGA instead of fighting.) Certainly individual comment letters to the Finance Department should be sent, but let’s not kid ourselves they will pay much attention them. What we need is a groundswell of outraged Canadians to contact Harper, Flaherty, and MPs as soon as possible with a simple message: NO!
I realize that it’s always risky to hang a draft out where anyone can take a whack at it, but feel free. Also, any ideas on where and how it can be posted and distributed are welcome.
BTW, this is the kind of thing that routinely gets placed in DC in publications like Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other pubs aimed at Congress. Picture a similar message aimed at Congress but making an American argument against FATCA, as this makes a Canadian one. That’s how we get things done – if we had someone with money and willing to fight.
Call or email Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Your MP Today!
Call or email Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Your MP Today!
STOP an Impending Massive Handover of Canadian Sovereignty to the United States!
Tell the Government: Canada Must Say NO
to the United States on ‘FATCA’
Recently the Department of Finance invited comments on what was characterized as “an agreement to improve cross-border tax compliance through . . . the provisions enacted by the United States commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).” This eleventh-hour invitation came as sources in both Ottawa and Washington announced that they were close to finalizing an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that would, in effect, deputize the Canadian government to enforce this American law in Canada.
The Department’s invitation is to “persons whose interests are affected by the provisions of FATCA” but does not spell out that each and every Canadian citizen would suffer from FATCA and from an IGA to implement it:
Canadian citizens have an interest in preserving Canada’s sovereignty against US encroachment. However it is disguised, FATCA is a unilateral U.S. initiative. The U.S. didn’t negotiate a global tax scheme with Canada and other countries but instead enacted an unprecedented extraterritorial law and demands that Canada comply and bear the costs. An IGA simply puts a Canadian glove on the hand enforcing American law.
Canadian taxpayers have an interest in a tax policy that benefits Canada’s needs, not America’s. Sold under the guise of “reciprocity” and “partnership,” an IGA in reality would be a costly one-way street imposed by the U.S. Given the differences between the two countries’ tax systems, FATCA would accelerate a zero-sum game that siphons wealth from Canada and robs the Canadian treasury.
Canadian consumers have an interest in avoiding foreign schemes that impose costly non-economic regulations on Canadian firms (banks, insurance companies, pension funds, stock and investment companies) – who will then pass those costs on to consumers. With or without an IGA, FATCA’s costs will be in the billions of dollars (for example, one major bank alone would pay an estimated $100 million in FATCA compliance!) These costs would be non-productive as regards the Canadian economy and a waste of human and material resources. Imposing these costs on Canadians supposedly is justified by the unproven hope that FATCA may trip up American “tax cheats,” even though FATCA does little specifically to catch such people.
Canadians as human beings have an interest in ensuring their rights are protected under sovereign Canadian law. FATCA demands extraordinary disclosure of private information of U.S. citizens in Canada in violation of Canadian laws, such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, whose application Canada would be forced to alter under an IGA. Many of these resident Americans are Canadian dual citizens who would be denied protection of Canada’s laws to appease the U.S. Once it’s established a foreign government can demand abrogation of such rights, even of Canadian citizens, where’s the limit?
So why is the Government considering an IGA with the United States? Because of the very real fear that Washington otherwise would unilaterally impose FATCA on Canada at ruinous cost, especially a 30% withholding penalty on Canadian firms’ U.S.-derived revenue. Simply put, this is a threat of U.S. economic sanctions against Canada.
Finance Minister Flaherty and industry leaders publicly have talked a good fight on FATCA while in private negotiating Canada’s capitulation under an IGA. Canadians must not let that happen! Instead:
Contact Prime Minister Harper and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact Minister Flaherty and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact your Senators and MPs and tell them No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Get the FATCA facts! Find more information at [Isaac Brock Society and Repeal FATCA]
*As you all know, I’m a Newcomer to IBS and am trying to read all the great info that everyone here is providing. Here’s my humble opinion: the press release that went out is not your
typical press release. In my many years of marketing, i find that the media want the stories and a contact person with a phone number. At this point, i dont know how many people can or will actually tell their stories right now due to all the fear associated with it; i.e., people still trying to get their Cad citizenship, CLN’s, etc. If you want me to, i will send this press release out to my BC media at my own expense- it will go to all editors, section editors and radio hosts/producrs for tv, radio, & newspaper. I would just need to contact my outside media person to do this and it is just a click of the button. However, I’m not sure how much of this has already gone out to the Cad media other than nobledreamers fantastic efforts to send out via Twitter. I also know that Canadian National News Services are able to send out massive press releases to the cad media, twitter & RSS feed, as well as posting on their website . There is a fee for this, but it is based on the number of words one uses. I would be happy to contribute my time and money to help any way i can with this cause.
I had the same thoughts about the press release (but didn’t say so — just got back in town). I don’t want to discourage good effort and Jim and everyone else put a lot of time and effort into that one — to their credit. But — I teach people how to write press releases and I emphasize the KISS approach. I think the best opportunity for pick up on this is to go after columnists/reporters one-on-one. The topic is so complex, and anyone who reads that release from a starting point of total ignorance (and that’s most of them) will find it way too daunting.
Thank you for your comments. Re: ”Canadian National News Services are able to send out massive press releases to the cad media, twitter & RSS feed, as well as posting on their website.” Yes, that’s what was done, via http://www.newswire.ca , which is a subsidiary of the US-based PRNewswire. But the pickup was far, far less than that normally experienced on PRNW in the US. Re: “I would be happy to contribute my time and money to help any way i can with this cause.” That’s welcome – this is an “all hands on deck” exercise.
Re: “KISS” and “The topic is so complex, and anyone who reads that release from a starting point of total ignorance (and that’s most of them) will find it way too daunting” – I couldn’t agree with you more. Flagging this topic is a real damned if you do, damned if you don’t conundrum. On the pro-FATCA side, it’s easy to draft the typical reporting you see everywhere, mainly based on Treasury’s latest releases, along the lines of “US Cutting Deal With 50+ Countries!”, “FATCA Coming, Get Ready,” “US Getting Tough on Tax Cheats,” yadda, yadda, yadda. But to get across to people in a particular country, Canada say, that that’s not exactly what this is about, that you will pay the price, and that your government is not doing you any favors — well, that takes some explaining. The Appeal tries to lay out as succinctly as possible (and frankly, with as much waving of the distress flag as possible) that the impact for Canadians as citizens, consumers, etc., is a lot worse than they’ve been led to believe (assuming they’ve heard of it at all, which most haven’t, though probably far more than in the US). But no doubt there’s ways it could have been said better and simpler.
All that said, two further thoughts –
From the comments at Yahoo.finance, it seems most readers do get it at first blush when the read the Appeal – if we can find a way to give more people that opportunity. Seeming complexity is not a reason for outlets’ not posting the CNW wire. Again, when wires are sent out in the US on PRNW, many outlets automatically post it just because it’s on the PRNW feed. Length (and lioness is right, you do pay by the word — and expect the service to deliver!) and complexity aren’t an issue. Why there has been next to no pickup on CNW is unknown at this point. Maybe Canadian outlets don’t routinely post from CNW the way US ones do from PRNW. (If that’s the case, I’m not sure what good it is.) But from the Yahoo.finance comments, it seems that ordinary citizens are smarter than might be assumed and are fully capable of understanding the Appeal – if they get to see it.
Back to “KISS” and putting this in simpler terms or even producing another item to make the argument in a different way. Yes, absolutely! I don’t know anyone who will claim pride of authorship on reworking, cutting down, or excerpting the Appeal or even writing a whole new piece and seeing if that gets better circulation. This hardly needs to be a flagship item. Let a hundred anti-FATCA flowers bloom in Canada!
Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I wasn’t even sure when I started that I was doing it right. Just Me got me into Twitter and I am slowly learning what can be done beyond being a newspotter.
I placed a classified ad in Kijiji because I have done this before with my volunteer group and while it isn’t like a news item, people do see it. I had placed one regarding FBAR and IBS way back and 205 people saw it. I used to check on the stats here but didn’t notice hits. Still, I put it on as it can’t hurt. There are only 11 hits so far but I just did it this morning.
I also used to do the same with Metroland’s YourClassified.ca. Again, it’s just a classified ad but it gets posted in every Metroland’s online paper. There are 123 communities across Ontario. They no longer offer any stats but they are much larger than Kijiji- we used to get 800 or so.
There is also the advantage, over time, of branding via graphics. I have a feeling we may be in this fight a very long time. These ads are cheap and I believe in using everything we can.
Reg Murphy doesn’t Twitter so will email and look for more like him.
Haven’t looked at those comments yet but they seem mild compared to our recent efforts at Huffington Post. ;-P
@bubblebustin and @All,
November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm “Where’s the NDP, off chasing rabbits somewhere?”
Nope, I think that the other parties are grappling with the newest Ominous Omnibus bill http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/18/f-vp-hall-omnibus.html which covers fish and waterways and a huge list of other unrelated items. (Learned the tactic from the US?)
Truly, I think that the Conservatives are trying to pull a fast one on this. I don’t think they notified the other parties – particularly those they knew opposed FATCA. It would only get in their way – they don’t believe in consultation anyway (look at the omnibus bills). I get the impression that they hoped the Dept. of Finance notice would slide under the radar, or get lost in all the other Finance activity http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/18/f-vp-hall-omnibus.html
Does anyone have the email for Chris Hall at CBC? He wrote the diversion story. Maybe send him a link (not the text, just link) to the IBS Appeal and say, “Hey Chris, good story on the Omnibus diversion. You might be interested a fast one they’re trying to slip through while no one’s looking.”
about “pulling a fast one” this is exactly what they did with regard to the Shiprider program and the Beyond the Border Plan. They even hid it in another bill and the NDP was demanding they do it as standalone legislation. The Council of Canadians was really incensed about this. Enphases are mine:
“The Beyond the Border working group, made up of senior foreign affairs and public safety bureaucrats, has already finished consulting business and corporate lobby groups – with only token outreach to labour groups.”
IOW, the public isn’t even mentioned as having taken part, though I do think I read somewhere on the site, a long time ago, that there was a minimal outreach for public input.
“The Council of Canadians is warning the Harper government its short-lived public consultation on the proposed perimeter security and regulatory harmonization pacts with the United States is not a carte blanche to sign a deal that threatens the privacy, civil liberties and health of people living in Canada. The prevalence of input from business lobbyists in the two reports will only lead once again to Canada-U.S. border deal that benefits CEOs before the general working public, says the grassroots social justice organization.”
I have made a point of this regarding the IGA in my draft for sending to Finance Dept etc.
Follow Chris Hall on Twitter Chris Hall@chrishallcbc
Contact Chris Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
Model 2 Template November 14, 2012
Agreement Between the United States of America and [FATCA Partner] for Cooperation to Facilitate the Implementation of FATCA
Issue Number: 2012-11
Inside This Issue
U.S. Treasury Release Second Model Intergovernmental Agreement
1. U.S. Treasury Release Second Model Intergovernmental Agreement
On November 14, 2012, Treasury published the Model Intergovernmental Agreement for Cooperation to Facilitate the Implementation of FATCA (Model 2).
Model 2 Agreement to Implement FATCA
It may have not been the best way to do it but I sent personalized e-mails off to Kenney and Menzies and included the press release as a sort of addendum to further explain my reason for e-mailing them. I removed all the hyperlinks in the press release but I did include the URL for Brock. I just wanted the office person reading the e-mail to get the gist of things without spending time checking out links. Perhaps it doesn’t matter how many ways we approach this as long as the message is getting out there. And nobledreamer gets at least 5 gold stars for that terrific twitter effort! As much as I have read on this whole FATCA fiasco I still have not grasped all the complexities involved. I can imagine how hard it is for someone who has only just heard about this to understand what is going on.
Any readers members of CARP Canadian Association of Retired Persons http://www.carp.ca/about-carp/contact/ ? We can still contact them anyway, but members making contact on this latest are very good too! CARP probably wouldn’t know the latest development.
They contacted Minister Flaherty, and to their lasting credit, CARP took a proactive position on the IRS extraterritorial punishment of those inside Canada and posted this just this past June http://www.carp.ca/2012/06/15/minister-flaherty-canada-continues-to-press-for-fair-tax-deal-with-united-states/
see excerpt of Flaherty’s letter to CARP : “….. While TFSAs and RDSPs – both introduced by our Government in recent
years – do not yet receive an exemption from U.S. income tax under the
existing Canada-United States Income Tax Convention, the Government will
argue for such an exemption as the Convention is renegotiated with the
Another piece of U.S. legislation causing concern is FATCA, which is proposed to come into force on January 1, 2014.
To be clear, Canada respects the sovereign right of the U.S. to
determine its own tax laws and combat tax evasion. However, Canada is
not a tax haven and people do not flock to Canada to avoid paying
taxes. In addition, we have existing ways of addressing these issues
with the U.S. through the exchange of information provisions of our
bilateral Income Tax Convention.
That’s why the Government is actively seeking a solution with the
U.S. government that both countries will find agreeable. The U.S. has
been receptive to the concerns we have raised. This is reflected in the
U.S.’s openness to alternative approaches that will minimize the red
tape burden, minimize conflicts with privacy and other laws, and improve
collaboration between governments.
We continue to work with our U.S. counterparts towards a fair and
reasonable solution that will address the concerns of Canadians and
protect their interests.
Minister of Finance of Canada
CARP also posted this: http://www.carp.ca/2011/09/29/minister-of-finance-responds-to-irs-sanctions-on-dual-citizens/
Re: “Follow Chris Hall on Twitter Chris Hall@chrishallcbc
Contact Chris Hall email@example.com“
Thanks! Probably better if sent to him by a Canadian, but I’ll do it if no volunteers.
Also note that comments still proceeding at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stop-impending-massive-handover-canadian-204800646.html;_ylt=Ar_F8LemU0ND9wMrBMc1uqjQtDMD . Feel free to weigh in.
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 3:41 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
Subject: Canadians Appeal FATCA
Further to CARP’s coverage of Canada’s Finance Minister Flaherty http://www.carp.ca/2012/06/15/minister-flaherty-canada-continues-to-press-for-fair-tax-deal-with-united-states/2/
CARP would be a logical advocate to highlight the issue of signing over Canadian sovereignty to the US (through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FATCA, and a Canada-US Intergovernmental Agreement, IGA).
Your action by making your members aware of this will help Canadians and Canada:
COPY AND PASTE OF CONTENT OF NEWS RELEASE (and actual attachment to the email)
I hope CARP will see the seriousness of this critical, time-sensitive issue. Thank you for your help!
Calgary, AB, Canada
(Att: Word version of press release)
I am not Twitter literate — nobledreamer?
I came across a blog posting today and FATCA was there. No, it was not actually named but there it was nonetheless. Sometimes the awareness or awakening does not need to be named … only perceived. It’s all tiny steps kiddies … tiny steps. Here’s a brief quote:
I met a European who was married to an American who inherited money from her family and because she is American, no bank will accept her money despite the fact that she has lived in Europe for nearly 20 years. Americans have been thrown out of everywhere. Hedge funds will no longer deal with Americans even living in Europe. The damage to international capital flows is off the charts. This single law has wiped out whatever international trade advantages Americans once enjoyed.
similar info as EM, but a little closer to the homeland.
Ron Paul’s exit farewell (It looks like the only one in the room was C span)
Well, that was certainly an interesting read, Em. Thanks.
@Calgary & Jim
This is the best I could get it to come out:
@chrishallcbc Great story on Omni diversion! Interested in fast one they’re trying to slip thru while no one’s looking? http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1071319/stop-an-impending-massive-handover-of-canadian-sovereignty-to-the-united-states-says-isaac-brock-society …
PS tried getting url shorterner but the links just didn’t work
And here’s his reply:
@nobledreamer16 thanks for the referral. Will follow up
@Em thanks, very interesting. Tweeted that too!
And it mirrors what Roger has been teaching us all along-that making it impossible for USCs to work and live abroad destroys trade.
However, they claim Japan taxes on citizenship which we know not to be true
Excellent, excellent, nobledreamer and Jim Jatras! I hope Chris Hall picks it up and runs for a goal!!
*One suggestion I would make is to send messages to local newspapers in parts of the country where a lot of dual citizens live. Places like Western New Brunswick and Vancouver Island. Hit the newspapers and other media in Victoria and Nanaimo for example
I once read that the greatest concentrations of USP’s in Canada are Toronto and Vancouver. I sent letters to both the Vancouver Sun, the Province and Business inVancouver on D-day. Some of the small community newspapers may be good to target too. Of course, don’t let knowing others have sent letters to specific media outlets stop anyone from doing the same!
*Percentage of population wise the greatest concentrations are Vancouver Island(Victoria all the way up to Comox), BC Southern Interior, and Western New Brunswick(St Stephen, Edmundston, etc). In those place USP’s 20 percent of the population and higher.