“We are here; we are not going away; as Canadians we expect the protection of the Canadian government.” This is what the new government in Ottawa needs to hear from us in less than a week’s time. If (God help us) we still have the old prime minister, he needs to hear from us … again.
Let’s muster together our letter-writing forces and fill the incoming prime minister’s inbox on his first day in office. Our issue needs to be front and centre in his mind, not on the back-burner. We have languished there long enough.
The new prime minister needs to be reminded that under the terms of the FATCA IGA (p. 18) signed by the Canadian and US governments the Agreement is to undergo further consultation between the parties before the end of 2016. He needs to know that we expect him to request certain changes to the Agreement to bring it into line with what the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms demands. Reference to birthplace as an acceptable indicium of US citizenship needs to be removed as well as reference to the reporting of account balances. Only an account’s earnings are relevant to income taxation and therefore it is only earnings that should be reported. These are but a couple of examples from the long list of grievances that we hold against the FATCA IGA.
It would have been easier if these things had been hammered out during the negotiations with the United States before the IGA was signed in the first place but this would have required the exercise of statesmanship of an order sorely lacking in the Conservative government. Instead of achieving a workable compromise we got complete and total acquiescence. We need to respectfully call on the new prime minister to now be that expert statesman who is needed to reverse the damage done by such a wholesale capitulation to unreasonable foreign demands.
Let’s make each and every one of our voices heard once again before our new PM is barely seated at his desk.