You (Canadian and International donor-supporters, witness volunteers and plaintiffs, Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox who let me post on their websites) are all major investors in our Canadian FATCA IGA legislation lawsuit. The pace must seem very slow to you, but we do move forward. Here is a brief update:
This link provides the letter (a “status report“) our Vancouver litigator Joe Arvay sent to the Case Management Judge responsible for the “supervision” of our litigation in Canada’s Federal Court.
Below I also mention briefly what the upcoming Constitutional-Charter trial is about — our “Claims”, and what Government thinks of our Claims.
— The key points in our June 3 2016 status report:
— The Government provided approximately 2000 documents “relevant” to the litigation and these have now been reviewed. I can’t disclose whether the information in any of the documents was helpful or not. Remember that early in the litigation we had a long delay because Government claimed that it would need much time to review up to 100,000 documents to establish which were relevant and needed to be turned over to our litigators.
— For the upcoming Constitutional-Charter trial, our litigators will very soon be asking specific written questions to the “Defendants” (Attorney General, Revenue Minister) that are related to the lawsuit.
— Mr. Arvay has sent an Amended Statement of Claim to the Defendants — but the details will not be released here until the Claim is decided.
— Our litigators will be asking for a summary trial (see LITIGATION UPDATES for Ginny’s description of summary trial) and express the hope to the Case Management Judge that the trial will take place “in the fall”.
No one wants any “delay” in litigation, but after the Crown attorneys confirmed to our litigators (11/30/2015) that the new Trudeau Government, notwithstanding pre-election statements, provided no “change of direction”, our litigators needed time to move forward. This involved in part review of Government documents received in January, selecting expert witnesses, receiving expert witness statements, seeking Canadian witnesses having specific characteristics willing to come forward and explain their harms, and “meshing” the witness harms with the submission.
None of these actions could have happened “immediately” — and as you can see from my “Witness” post, I am still seeking additional witnesses willing to provide a written affidavit and will do so right up to the time of submission of the documents to the Court.
— Plaintiff Claims:
To remind you, see this link for our Claims for the upcoming Constitutional-Charter trial. Plaintiffs claim that Government’s FATCA IGA enabling legislation violates Canadian Charter sections 7, 8, and 15, and (for me the most important) “… the unwritten principles of the Constitution including the principle that Canada will not forfeit its sovereignty [as it has] to a foreign state”.
— Part of Government response to Plaintiff Claims:
11/10/2014, “…The Impugned Provisions are reasonably necessary to achieve the dual goals of relieving Canadian financial institutions and their clients of the potential for crippling tax and commercial consequences of non-compliance with FATCA and furthering Canada’s international commitments to share information for the better administration and enforcement of taxation laws.”
9/25/2015, “…If Canada is enjoined from complying with its obligations under FATCA, there will be considerable uncertainty regarding the situation of Canadian financial institutions and their customers. Canadian financial institutions may have difficulty conducting business outside Canada and benefits associated with the IGA may be lost. 60.
In addition, the CRA will lose the benefit of the information they would otherwise receive from the IRS to support the CRA’s tax compliance work. The IRS will not provide such information if the CRA is unable to fulfill Canada’s obligations under the IGA. 61.
Even more importantly the working relationship between the CRA and the IRS may be damaged and with the breaching of an international agreement, relations between Canada and the US may be impacted.”
— The Future:
My prediction is that irrespective of who wins or loses the Federal Court case, the decision will be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, where both Constitutional-Charter and the “Tax-Treaty” (from our previous summary trial) arguments will be heard.