I feel that USCitzenAbroad’s comment on Eric’s post is deserving of its own post.
The (former) Premier of New Brunswick David Alward, born in Massachusetts (who previously expressed frustration over his IRS tax compliance obligations) has renounced his U.S. citizenship.
USCitizenAbroad now alerts us to the possibility that another Premier, Premier-Elect Rachel Notley of Alberta, may also be a U.S. person.
For the protection of these hapless U.S. persons and that of the Canadian people, should proof of non-U.S. citizenship status be a requirement for accepting public office in Canada for all those who have a U.S. taint?
THE ORIGINAL COMMENT:
Thanks for your continued research and attention to detail on this important topic.
Thanks in particular for including the chart of “some” recent renunciants. I note that “David Alward”, (the former premier of New Brunswick), is on that list. I note also that the reason given was his acceptance of his new role as Canadian Consul General in Boston. [I (SK) personally believe that there are other reasons; see below].
This may be a bit of a “homecoming” for Mr. Alward. A Wikepedia entry says that was born in Beverly, Massachusetts and moved to Canada at a young age (a familiar narrative).
Alward was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. The son of a minister, Alward moved to Atlantic Canada in his youth where he graduated from high school in Nackawic, New Brunswick. Alward received his post-secondary education in psychology in the United States at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.
Mr. Alward’s renunciation of U.S. citizenship is of possible interest for another reason. It was reported in 2011, (and apparently confirmed by Mr Alward) that he was having the usual “U.S. tax compliance problems”. See the following blog post (which appears to have been based on news articles in 2011):
At least we’re not alone; New Brunswick Premier David Alward is caught in the same broad net that is causing so much stress and lack of sleep for American expats the world over.
Alward, who was born in Massachusetts and spent a few years of his childhood in the US before his family settled in New Brunswick, has issued a statement that he understands the frustration we feel as we sort through years of records to bring ourselves into compliance with the US Treasure Department’s draconian regulations.
“I’ve had to scramble like thousands of other people,” Alward said, adding that he is complying with the U.S. demand for tax returns going back years and detailed disclosures.
“This is a difficult situation for a lot of people. I can tell them I am going through the very same thing they are going through.”
FATCA – which was enacted in an attempt to catch and punish tax evaders, drug lords, and money launderers – casts too broad a net, and is instead causing a great deal of fear among honest, law-abiding Canadian residents who do not owe money to the US. Many, like Alward, have only distant ties to the US.
“I don’t know where it will lead or what our success will be – they have the right to tax American citizens. But the fact is a lot of these people that are in Canada, and I think it’s over a million, most have never lived in the United States and it’s just happenstance they were born there,” added Keith Ashfield, Canada’s former revenue minister and the senior cabinet minister for New Brunswick.
We are not criminals, and we are not tax evaders. We’ve merely committed errors of omission and we do not deserve to lumped in alongside wilful tax evaders.
Such is part of the story of the former premier of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. I wish him luck in his new job.
Mr. Alward is one example of the many Canadians with some kind of U.S. connection in their past. A connection that they clearly regret.
Moving on to current premiers:
As you know, Rachel Notley has just become the NDP premier of Alberta. The following Wikipedia entry includes:
Notley was born on April 17, 1964 in Edmonton, Alberta, and was raised in the town of Fairview, Alberta, the daughter of Sandra Mary “Sandy” (Wilkinson) and Alberta NDP Leader and MLA Grant Notley. She is the sister of Paul Notley and Stephen Notley (author and illustrator of Bob the Angry Flower). Her mother was born in Plunkett, Massachusetts.
It appears that Rachel Notley “may” (further details would be required) have been born to a “U.S. citizen” mother. This of course leads to the tantalizing question for Ms. Notley of:
“Are you, or have you ever been a U.S. citizen?”
The Obama Legacy is such that one of the most interesting things to know about a person has become, is the degree of their “USness”.