[The following responses are to FATCA Letters to Leaders and MPs (March 2015)]
PART 1 — the NDP Party response
…cross-posted from Lynne Swanson post at MapleSandbox: NDP Party Response to Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS-ADSC)
“I have just received a response to ADCS on the letter we sent to the leaders five months ago. Here is the reply from Murray Rankin.
RE: US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
Thank you for writing to share your ongoing concerns regarding the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Canada and the United States designed to implement FATCA in Canada.
New Democrats are deeply troubled by the implications of FATCA and the associated IGA, and we are closely monitoring the litigation your organization has commenced against the Government of Canada.
From the beginning, many organizations raised the alarm that the IGA for the implementation of FATCA in Canada may violate the privacy rights of Canadians and could be subject to constitutional challenge.
The NDP has repeatedly raised concerns about the FATCA agreement that was negotiated behind closed doors and rushed through Parliament without proper consultation or examination.
Previously, New Democrats called on the Conservative government to acknowledge the broad concerns expressed by Canadians and civil society organizations regarding the implementation of this IGA. We asked the Conservative government to agree to remove it from omnibus Budget Bill C-31, which granted the Minister of National Revenue sweeping powers to make any regulation necessary to carry out the agreement.
It is my belief that the decision to rush this legislation through Parliament was reckless and, as a result, it lacks the safeguards needed to protect many of the rights that Canadians so dearly value.
New Democrats have repeatedly questioned Conservatives in the House of Commons and at the Standing Committee on Finance. It became abundantly clear that the Conservative government has very little understanding of the consequences of FATCA and has been tone deaf regarding the very real concerns of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
Moving forward, New Democrats remain committed to ensure that Canadians’ voices are heard and that our laws are consistent with the constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadian sovereignty more broadly.
A New Democrat government will order a full and urgent review of the FATCA IGA to identify and address all measures that threaten the constitutional and privacy rights of all Canadians.
We will seek to reopen the IGA for renegotiation with the United States in order to address the serious concerns of Canadians and ensure that their rights are protected. We will do so in an open and transparent manner – instead of the secretive manner pursued by the Conservatives.
More broadly, we will ensure that all proposed legislation is subject to a more robust screening to ensure compliance with the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Conservatives have failed to uphold this duty, with the result that, in many instances, litigation was initiated that could have been avoided.
As noted above, New Democrats continue to closely watch the progress of your litigation against the Government of Canada.
We also understand that many people across Canada are now directly facing the consequences of the agreement. New Democrat Members of Parliament will continue to assist individuals access the information and resources they need regarding how the FATCA IGA affects them.
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.
NDP Candidate for Victoria
NDP Deputy Critic for National Revenue “
PART 2– the Liberal Party response
…also cross-posted from Lynne Swanson post at MapleSandbox: Liberal Party Response to Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS-ADSC)
“Because I posted the reply from the NDP via Murray Rankin in its own thread, I am doing the same with the Liberal response to ADCS via Justin Trudeau.
Dear Ms. Swanson:
Thank you for taking the time to write to me with your concerns regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The safeguarding of personal privacy has become an increasingly important issue to all Canadians. The government’s move to ensure that information is reported 2 the U.S. through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and not directly from the banks was a positive step; however, the implications of having the CRA report to a foreign government about Canadian citizens are still troublesome. The Liberal Party of Canada believes that the Conservative government’s efforts to safeguard the personal privacy of Canadians have been inadequate.
While the United States has the right to target tax evaders using offshore accounts, targeting hard working Canadians who pay taxes is unfair. The government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights. We believe that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect affected Canadians.
Thank you once again for writing to me; I always appreciate it when Canadians take the time to share their concerns with me. It is through such exchanges of ideas and opinions that I can best represent not only my constituents, but all Canadians.
Justin J.P. Trudeau “
PART 3 — Additional Clarification needed from Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau re his definitions in *A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian*
I (calgary411) am also putting into this post the email sent yesterday to my Liberal candidate and Liberal MP Scott Brison, asking them to get answers from their Party Leader, Justin Trudeau. Some may agree we need answers to these questions as well:
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2015 1:49 PM
To: Matt Grant ; Scott Brison
Subject: A question for the Liberal Party Leader and the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act
Dear Confederation Calgary Liberal Candidate and Honourable Liberal Member of Parliament Scott Brison,
Many Canadians were pleased to hear Mr. Trudeau’s new statements regarding Canadian citizenship equality, but some of us need further clarification.
For all *US Persons in Canada*, can you please get an answer from your Party Leader, Justin Trudeau, to the following specific questions. No political generalities please.
Mr. Trudeau — are there differences in *second-class Canadians* — the ones you refer to regarding the Bill C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act?
As part of the slippery slope now enabled in Canada — the march in legislation
– from Bill C-31 (making *US Persons in Canada* second-class to any others by virtue of place of birth of an individual or the individual’s parent(s)
– to Bill C-51, with definitions of *terrorist*
– to Bill C-24 to exile and banish certain of Canada’s second-class citizens (even if born in Canada),
Do you consider US-deemed US citizens in Canada *US citizens who happen to reside in Canada* (including even those born in Canada and have never lived or had any benefit from the USA)?
Do you consider US-deemed US citizens in Canada the very same as any other second-class Canadian as part of your statements
“Liberals will guarantee that all Canadians’ fundamental rights are respected as guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
“Canadian citizenship should not be conditional. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”
“All Canadians need to know that their government has their back.”?
Specific and straight answers to the above questions will help determine for many the way we will vote on October 19. I will pass Mr. Trudeau’s answer on to one-issue *US-deemed US Person* Canadians, who are now also deemed second-class citizens in Canada by the Conservative government.
We want to absolutely know from Mr. Trudeau if he will fight for our same rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as those Charter rights of all other Canadians .
Thank you for your help in asking this question on our behalf.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Will also include … e-mail that Lynne Swanson sent to Justin Trudeau with a cc to her Liberal candidate.
Last week, you said “All Canadians have to know that the government has their back.”
You insisted the Conservative government’s Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act “devalues Canadian citizenship by creating two classes of citizenship.” You vowed to repeal that Act. You promised a Liberal government “will guarantee that all Canadians’ fundamental rights are respected as guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
So, why aren’t you taking such a strong stand against the FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and the enabling law that supersedes all Canadian laws on the demands of a foreign bully?
Would a Liberal government “have the back” of Canadians born in the United States? Would a Liberal government repeal the IGA? If not, would a Liberal government amend the enabling legislation to protect Canadian citizens and residents born in the U.S.? Would a Liberal government restore full citizenship to Canadians born in the U.S.? Would a Liberal government “guarantee that all Canadians’ fundamental rights are respected as guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”
I know what your father would have done. He would have stood up for one million Canadians. He would have told the United States “You can’t FATCA Canada or Canadian citizens.” When the media asked how far he would go to have the back of Canadians, he would have said “Just watch me.” He would have guaranteed that Canadians born in the U.S. have their fundamental rights respected under the Charter.
What will you do? Are you ready to stand up to the Americans for Canadians? My vote depends on your answer.