January 8, 2018 Canadian FATCA IGA Legislation Litigation Update:
Litigator “Change” (back to what it was before): It is not uncommon for lawyers to move from one law firm to another. The Constitutional Lawyer Joseph Arvay, based at the Vancouver law firm of Farris, Vaughan, Wills and Murphy, has been the lead on our Canadian FATCA lawsuit in Federal Court from the beginning. He has been assisted in large part by Mr. Arden Beddoes, also at Farris. However, both Mr. Arvay and Mr. Beddoes have recently moved to the Vancouver law firm of Arvay Finlay.
This is to inform our supporters that yesterday the ADCS Board transferred our FATCA file from Farris to Arvay Finlay, where Joe Arvay will be lead lawyer on the case, and Arden Beddoes will remain heavily involved, as he has historically been while he was at Farris. So, the law firm may have changed, but the key litigators remain the same. There has been no delay resulting from this change.
Information on Joe Arvay can be found here.
Next steps: No delays on our part. We are still waiting for Government’s expert witness affidavits.
Why are we doing this lawsuit? Because our present Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau (pre-election) wasn’t really serious when he told us on June 25, 2015 that: “…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 [FATCA] deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect affected Canadians…”
“The big question is why did Trudeau flip?”
Refuse to sign the IGA’s and tackle the US head on while being labelled as a friend of tax evaders, risking getting the Canadian financial sector closed down in the process, or throw a few “US persons residing in Canada” to the IRS.
Given how most of the world is still utterly blind to what the US has done here and mostly unsympathetic to rich dual citizens whining about their taxes, it could be said that he made the right choice.
Trudeau is well aware that he took the cowards way out and failed to protect Canadians from the USA. Let’s face it, he’s not alone, eh?
Hello there, Brockers. Haven’t been feeling too well for quite a while now but just had a chance to log in again tonight and catch up with months of news.Good timing it seems. I was very pleased to read tonight that we are back with team Arvy a decision that seems to suit a lot of people here. BC Doc, I am no longer the third plaintiff due to my health constraints but you may recall that after Lynne Swanson recommended Arvay to the Committee and he was hired, that gave me the confidence and incentive to apply to be considered as a plaintiff. As you will know, I left you in the good hands of the two capable plaintiffs Gwen and Kazia.
IMO, this is demonstrative of increasing legal elan of ADCS leadership to shift firms (and to have had that option in the contract with the previous firm) to regain Mr. Arvay as lead legal. This bodes well for future success of upcoming legal action by ADCT.
We miss you. Hope you return to good health in 2018.
Yes, good to see you back Ginny.
As recently as December 13th, 2017, the current Minister of Revenue for Canada continued to refuse to answer an MP’s Parliamentary question re;
“With regard to tax information exchange agreements signed by Canada: (a) how many times has the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) obtained information from its partners under these agreements; (b) how many times has the CRA released information to its partners under these agreements; (c) for each time agreements in (a) and (b), what is (i) the country in question, (ii) the year?”
Posed by MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC
Question No. 1295 Questions on the Order Paper
Mme Lebouthillier stonewalled (as per usual);
“Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) and (b), Canada currently has 93 tax treaties and 22 tax information exchange agreements, TIEAs, in force.
Over the past six years, the CRA has had an average of 1,000 exchanges per year.
Providing details regarding treaty or TEIA exchanges, including statistics, on the number of requests that have been received by Canada would alert taxpayers to information that could allow them to avoid their tax responsibilities.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the exchange of information process because without this safeguard, our partners would be less likely to provide us with information. Treaty and TIEA partners diligently abide by their obligations. Providing this information could also be a breach of the confidentiality provisions of the ITA, section 241.
With regard to part (c)(i) and (ii), for the reasons outlined above, the CRA cannot reveal this information. ”
Response to Question No. 1295 Questions on the Order Paper Routine Proceedings
December 13th, 2017 / 4 p.m.
And so it continues, as recently as a few months ago, and years after implementing the FATCA IGA, the CRA refuses to address whether the IGA truly gave it access to more information that it was already given by the US, in order to enforce Canadian tax laws. Which is how the defendants are defending their denial and infringement of our Charter rights in enforcing a foreign country’s laws on Canadian soil as applied to Canadian residents.
So much for that ‘enhanced’ information ‘exchange’ that the IGA is being purported to provide to Canada. As we know, FATCA was never designed to be reciprocal, and the IGAs merely contain a reference to “…pursuing the adoption of regulations and advocating and supporting relevant legislation to achieve such equivalent levels of reciprocal automatic information exchange…”;
‘Mutual Commitment to Continue to Enhance the Effectiveness of Information Exchange
Reciprocity. The Government of the United States acknowledges the need to achieve
equivalent levels of reciprocal automatic information exchange with Canada. The
Government of the United States is committed to further improve transparency and
enhance the exchange relationship with Canada by pursuing the adoption of regulations
and advocating and supporting relevant legislation to achieve such equivalent levels of
reciprocal automatic information exchange”…..
Where is that promised new ‘transparency’ the Sunny Glibs promised during their election campaign? Certainly not evident in answering to Canadian MPs, Canadian taxpayers, accountholders, citizens and residents.
Where is that ‘reciprocity’ that the FATCA IGA pretends to intend to pursue? 3 or more years later it is even more evanescent and intangible than it ever was, and as we know, experts said (sarcastically?) that any US intent for reciprocity could be at most characterized as ‘aspirational’ http://www.journal.ky/2013/02/06/taxes-fatca-symbol-of-the-mercenary-tax-state/ , or flatly, that the US would NEVER reciprocate https://openparliament.ca/committees/finance/41-2/34/prof-arthur-cockfield-2/ .
In the third and latest letter I wrote to Elliot Hughes, Minister of Finance’s Deputy Director – Tax Policy, I asked if Canada is receiving any type of information they weren’t receiving without FATCA. Crickets.
@BB, thanks for your determination and persistence, which benefits all of us.
“….I asked if Canada is receiving any type of information they weren’t receiving without FATCA. Crickets.”
Looks like the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Revenue are on the same page. Apparently feel no need to answer the legitimate question of Canadians.
And how would they characterize US behaviour in terms of the FATCA IGA and re even a show of pursuing faux ‘aspirational’ reciprocity given the Minister of Revenue’s statement to MP Dusseault that; “…Treaty and TIEA partners diligently abide by their obligations….”. Well apparently the IGA obliges the US to do absolutely nothing, else the CRA would be crowing loudly about what a success it was. We all know the only thing it did was satisfy the banking lobby at our expense.
They keep silent and stonewall and issue disingenuous statements to our diligent representatives like MP Dusseault, and refuse to answer the Canadians they are bound to serve because they can – hiding behind the pretense that they can’t answer the questions at all. Shows they have no respect for taxpayers and citizens at all.
It’s like giving us the finger over and over again. GLibs or a CONs, hard to tell them apart on this issue.
Wish MP Dusseault was in my riding.