A fellow ‘US Person’ in Canada sent the following to the Fraser Institute:
Re: The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
I find it hard to fathom that your group has not commented on the deleterious nature of this US imposed law soon to be enforced in Canada. The enabling legislation for this is labeled as an Inter Government Agreement and is buried in the omnibus bill C-31. An agreement “negotiated” under threat of economic sanctions by the United States. Regardless of how it is presented it is about gathering data, taxing and penalizing Canadian citizens, on money earned in Canada and taxed in Canada. These Canadian citizens will be identified by one distinguishing characteristic, place of origin or other indicia that the US Treasury department will unilaterally decide with a laundry list of characteristics to identify a new class of person, including spouses and children of such “persons”. A US Person For Tax Purposes, not a citizen, rather a person or property of the US. There is no benefit to Canada. I am aware of the pressure exerted by the Canadian Bankers Association on this file, however their own very limited response was the litmus test that precipitated this un-defendable extortion by the US. As the late Jim Flaherty stated, this is not how partners negotiate agreements…by threat of sanctions, if you do not do as we tell you. (paraphrased).
It is estimated that upwards of one million Canadian citizens of US origin will be thrown under the FATCA bus. I suspect the number is much larger due to the aforementioned kin of these “persons”.
It’s astonishing that the main stream press has not reported on this issue. Perhaps because the issue is seen as a tax issue relating to Americans in Canada only? This is not the case. It is an affront to Canadian sovereignty and likely offends our privacy legislation, our electronic reporting protections and most importantly the Charter Of Rights and Freedoms. It most certainly will impact the Canadian treasury, potentially on a massive scale. This issue will be tested with a Charter challenge.
Where is your group on this file?
Thank you for your time.
I followed up on that with:
Members of the Fraser Institute:
I understand that you have replied to another affected ‘US Person’ who has brought the FATCA IGA implementation to your attention that you will flag this subject for future consideration. ‘US Persons’, who are CANADIANS and now referred to by the Harper Government as “Americans who happen to live in Canada” or “US taxpayers resident in Canada”, request your prompt consideration of this subject. The July 1, 2014 implementation in the process of approval by legislation HIDDEN in Bill C-31 is almost upon us. May I encourage you to move this to the top of your agenda as it will set a dangerous precedent of discrimination by national origin and loss of human rights by a segment of Canadians who will no longer have the same protection of all other Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
Many of these Canadians chose to become naturalized Canadian citizens, for myself in 1975 — they are Canadians.
Many of these Canadians were born and raised in this country, never registered with the US, never lived or worked in the US, never had any benefit from the US — only Canada. One of those (and many just like him) Canadians born in Canada to US citizen parents is my 40 year old son. My son happens to have a developmental disability and as he would not understand the concept of “citizenship” (as in US citizenship-based taxation), he cannot renounce his so-called automatically acquired US citizenship and must not have the influence of anyone else to do so. The U.S. Department of State / US Consulate regulation is also that for a person with a ‘mental incapacity’ (which would also include someone with age-related dementia), a parent, a guardian or a trustee for that person does not have the RIGHT to renounce U.S. citizenship on that person’s behalf, even with a court order. This segment of Canadians is ENTRAPPED into U.S. citizenship and the responsibilities and cost of administration for U.S. tax returns and account reporting each year at great U.S. professional tax accounting (and often law) expense.
Many of these Canadians were born in the U.S. to Canadian parents, returning to Canada with their parents days later, infants, or as children and they have always been what should be only – Canadians.
That the government of Canada will not stand up to protect these fellow Canadians is deplorable. Canada is saying they are second-class to any other Canadians, discrimination by “U.S.” national origin. They are saying Canada is no longer a SOVEREIGN country that makes its own law and does not allow the law of a foreign country to come in to take precedence over Canadian law.
http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/media-and-blog-articles-open-for-comments/comment-page-15/#comment-1511471 poses a serious question:
Will the Harper government agree to similar “lawful requests” for financial information on “Chinese-Canadians” by Bejing?
ties in nicely with http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/04/21/report-on-alberta-information-session-edmonton/
This will set a precedent that the rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms be waived for a segment of Canadian society. They will be second-class Canadians to any other, no matter the first-class Canadian’s national origin or the national origin of their parents / grandparents. Who will then be the next country able to bring their law into Canada to search for Canadians of another national origin?
My hope is that this gets in front of every Canadian person who will decide such action is absurd and wrong and join us in the Canadian Charter Challenge to either stop or reverse implementation of the US FATCA IGA law in Canada. I hope that others will agree that implementation of the FATCA IGA could be buried in Bill C-31 omnibus bill without debating on its own merits and with the citizens of Canada is appalling.
Should Canada remain a SOVEREIGN nation with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that mean the same for all Canadians?
The article in the Edmonton Journal is just a rehash of information we have heard before. There is nothing new there.
The media in general seems to fear taking any editorial stance that would make the American government, and therefore its head, look bad. The Canadian media was not shy about editorializing against Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and either of the Bushes, but so far Obama appears to be a protected species.
Apparently our editorial writers dare not criticize the anointed one. Where are the likes of the CBC and the Fraser Institute on all of this?
Can ‘US Persons’ in Canada count on the Fraser Institute to give priority to this important matter that criminalizes a large segment of the Canadian population, as well as Canadian spouses, their children, their Canadian business partners, etc.?
I sincerely thank you for your attention to this.
Calgary, AB, Canada