READ BELOW NOVEMBER 9, 2015 LETTER FROM ARVAY TEAM TO CROWN COUNSELS ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFFS GINNY AND GWEN. We want to know the intentions of the defendants re: lawsuit by November 30, 2015.
CANADIAN SUPPORTERS: WE ALSO WANT MANY MANY MORE SUPPORTERS TO SEND LETTERS AND EMAILS TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT LIBERAL MPs.
Cross posted by John Richardson from our ADCS blog:
Munk leaders' debate: Harper, Trudeau battle over bill to revoke citizenship https://t.co/bNxTmjayQS A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian
— Citizenship Lawyer (@ExpatriationLaw) November 9, 2015
As you know the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper was defeated, and has been replaced with the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau. The ADCS lawsuit was filed against the Government of Canada. The specific defendants were:
“The Attorney General of Canada and The Minister of National Revenue”.
We now have:
- A new Government of Canada
- A new Attorney General of Canada (Jody Wilson-Raybould)
- A new Minister of National Revenue (Diane Lebouthillier)
The new Government of Canada has simply “inherited” the ADCS lawsuit. As a result, the new Government of Canada may decide how to instruct its lawyers to respond to the lawsuit. The new Government is NOT bound by the strategy of the previous Government. We don’t know how the new Government would have responded to the lawsuit initially and we don’t know how the Government of Canada will respond now.
Prior to their becoming the Government, various members of the Liberal Party (including Justin Trudeau) indicated their displeasure with the FATCA and the terms of the FATCA IGA. In addition, Murray Rankin and Nathan Cullen of the NDP have worked very hard to derail the existing FATCA IGA. In January of 2013, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May publicly opposed FATCA. That said, the Liberals have a majority government. The Liberals have the ability to respond to “FATCA Canada” in a meaningful way. What will they do? Was their dissatisfaction real or was it political posturing?
What the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty has done:
We have instructed our lawyer, Joe Arvay to request that the Government of Canada provide a clear indication if it intends to respond to the lawsuit it has inherited. Perhaps a political solution an be reached.
Mr Arvay’s letter is here:
His letter provides examples of how the Liberal Government “may” view FATCA and the IGA. You will see that he attached the letter that Justin Trudeau had written to Lynne Swanson.
This will be interesting.
P.S. It might be a good moment to view this again:
HERE IS THE ENTIRE LETTER:
November 9, 2015
Department of Justice Canada
900-840 Howe Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2S9
Attention: Donnaree Nygard
Michael Taylor and Oliver Pulleyblank
Re: Hillis et al. v. AGC et al.
Federal Court File No. T-1736-14
As you know, as a result of the federal election held on October 19, 2015, a new federal government – a Liberal majority government led by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau – has taken office. Members of the new government have on numerous occasions expressed significant concerns regarding the impact of FATCA, in particular with respect to the privacy interests of Canadians. Many of the concerns they have raised are the same or consistent with the issues the plaintiffs have identified in this litigation.
— In a June 4, 2014 National Post op-ed titled “An Attack On Our Privacy”, Liberal Revenue Critic
Emmanuel Dubourg wrote that “[w]e must deny the Conservatives permission to allow the
transmission of personal information [to the United States] without the authorization of a judge,
under the pretense of combating tax evasion.”
— In the House of Commons on April 8, 2014, Liberal MP Hedy Fry stated that the IGA and the
Impugned Provisions raise “concerns about privacy and sovereignty.”
— In the House of Commons on April 28, 2014, then Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Marc Garneau
stated that he “and the Liberal Party of Canada have strong and profound disagreements with
FATCA and its implementation, particularly as it infringes on privacy rights and the charter,
forces the Canada Revenue Agency to do the IRS’ dirty work, and infringes upon our
— On June 4, 2014 in the House of Commons Mr. Garneau called FATCA “an attack on our
— In a June 25, 2015 letter to Lynne Swanson, Mr. Trudeau stated that “[t]he Liberal Party of Canada believes that the Conservative government’s efforts to safeguard the personal privacy of Canadians have been inadequate.” Mr. Trudeau also confirmed the responsibility of the Canadian government to protect the rights of Canadian citizens from foreign governments: “The Government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights.” For your convenience, a copy of Mr. Trudeau’s letter to Ms. Swanson is enclosed with this letter.
Further, Liberal Party members have questioned the constitutional validity of the Impugned Provisions, which the plaintiffs are challenging in this litigation:
— In the House of Commons on April 8, 2014, Liberal MP Hedy Fry stated that “Constitutional law experts have been saying that this agreement violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, yet no one was consulted.”
An August 26, 2015 entry on the website for Liberal Candidate (and now elected MP) Darrell Samson states that the Liberal Party has “concerns that the agreement reached with the U.S. may not stand up to a Constitutional challenge given that it forces the banks to treat clients differently based on their national origin, something forbidden by Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”1
Also like the plaintiffs, Liberal Party members have expressed the concern that the Impugned Provisions violate s. 241 of the Income Tax Act. For example, in the June 4, 2014 National Post op-ed by Liberal Revenue Critic Emmanuel Dubourg, referred to above, Mr. Dubourg states as follows: The largest assault by the Conservatives against personal information came in the form of Bill C-31, the omnibus budget implementation bill. This bill would amend the Income Tax Act, allowing an officer of the CRA to provide confidential information to domestic or foreign police organizations. This breach of Canadian tax secrecy is dangerous. Under this act, an official could unilaterally disclose confidential information, regardless of whether criminal proceedings had been initiated.
Section 241 of the current Tax Act is clear: “Except as authorized by this Article, a) no official or other representative of a government entity may knowingly provide any confidential information to any person or knowingly permit the service; b) knowingly allow any person to have access to confidential information.” Instances when officials can provide confidential information are clearly stated in the law, or they can do so with the authorization of a judge. This is the way it should be.
Further, an October 11, 2011 entry on the website of then Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale (now Minister of Public Safety), titled “Fighting the ‘Long Arm’ of the U.S. Tax Man”, is consistent with the plaintiffs’ contention that Canada is not a tax haven, and that on this and other bases the information to be shared by Canada with the United States pursuant to the Impugned Provisions does not meet the “may be relevant” standard mandated by Article XXVII of the Canada-US Tax Treaty:
After all, Canada is not some illicit tax haven. We don’t condone or encourage improper evasion schemes. Our own domestic tax laws are enforced effectively. And we have elaborate treaties with other countries, including the United States, on taxation issues
Our government must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with innocent citizens and taxpayers – to inform and assist them in fending-off abusive American tax enforcement proceedings.2
Finally, Mr. Trudeau himself stated in the aforementioned June 25, 2015 letter to Ms. Swanson that the Liberal Party believes “that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect the affected Canadians.”
Our view is that this statement clearly reflects an intention to repeal or amend the relevant legislation so that it does sufficiently protect affected Canadians and the sovereignty of Canada.
Given that the incoming federal government has expressed serious concerns that are the same or similar to the issues raised by the plaintiffs in this litigation, the plaintiffs request that you forward this letter to the new Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the new Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, and advise us as soon as possible whether your instructions have changed in respect of the defence of the litigation, and/or whether our clients can expect that legislative or executive measures will be taken to obviate the need for this litigation. In the meantime, we are instructed to ensure that the trial of the constitutional issues not addressed in the Summary Trial not be delayed such that a decision can be rendered prior to the next scheduled exchange of information on or before September 2016.
To that end, please provide your completed list of documents as soon as possible, and in any event no later than November 30, 2015
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C. *
A Law Corporation
THE LETTER FROM MR. JUSTIN TRUDEAU TO LYNNE SWANSON THAT WAS ATTACHED:
Justin P.J. Trudeau
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Chef du Parti liberal du Canada
June 25th, 2015
Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty…
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 to 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. [A very strong statement.]
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
Member of Parliament for Papineau