This is part of a comment posted by “Blaze”:
Right Hon. Steven Harper
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Dear Mr. Harper:
RE: IRS INTRUSION INTO CANADA
Let me be clear. Like you “I am a Canadian and only a Canadian.” Like you, I have only ever had a passport of one nation. That passport is Canadian.
You made those points recently concerning Thomas Mulcair’s dual citizenship.
I have been a proud Canadian since 1973. When I became a Canadian citizen almost four decades ago, I was told by American Consulate in Vancouver (where I was living) I was renouncing or relinquishing my American citizenship, I did not hesitate because I wanted to be a full participant in Canada–and not in the United States, where I was born.
Since then, I, my employers, colleagues, friends, neighbours, bank, accountant, lawyer, physician and even my American family have considered me–like you–to be “Canadian and only a Canadian.” I have lived, studied, worked, earned a living, owned a home, saved, invested, shopped, voted, volunteered and contributed here. I have diligently and faithfully paid taxes in Canada. Those taxes are higher than what I would have paid in the United States. I have happily done so, knowing quality of life in Canada is far superior to the United States.
Now, at age 61–and almost 40 years after I became a Canadian citizen–the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may try to reclaim me–and my money. This is particularly stressful because I am close to retirement age with significant health challenges.
I am very appreciative of the letter which Minister Flaherty sent to some U.S. publications. I also appreciate the fact he and Canada Revenue Agency have said they will not collect penalties imposed by the IRS under FBAR and that “CRA does not and will not collect the U.S. tax liability of a Canadian citizen if the individual was a Canadian citizen at the time the liability arose (whether or not the individual was also a U.S. citizen at that time.)”
However, I am asking you, and by way of copy of this letter, Minsters of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Citizenship and Immigration to follow the recommendations of Don Davies, MP Vancouver-Kingsway and Official Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration to take a firmer and stronger position with the US government to protect Canadian citizens, their security and their financial resources. If the U.S. succeeds in seizing assets of Canadian citizens or residents, this will have severe economic consequences not only for them and their families, but for the Canadian economy as a whole.
I, therefore, ask you to ensure that appropriate Canadian officials inform the American government their demands under FATCA that Canadian financial institutions maintain and provide information about accounts held by anyone born in US (or even just with a parent born in US) are a direct contravention of Canadian Human Rights laws prohibiting discrimination based on national origin. Further, I request you and your government make it clear to the United States that Canadian privacy laws prohibit Canadian financial institutions from releasing confidential information about clients to outside sources without the consent of the individual and that those institutions cannot violate that law to satisfy a foreign government’s laws and demands. .
In addition, I request you and your government ensure fundamental rights of Canadian citizens, residents and businesses are fully protected from this draconian and invasive extra-territorial reach of the United States into the lives of Canadian citizens and the operation of Canadian businesses. If current laws are not strong enough to protect Canadians, you need to immediately pass legislation which is. I believe all political parties would support this.
Finally, I request you ensure the Americans know their efforts are an affront to Canadian sovereignty. I am certain if counties such as China, Russia, or Iran made such outrageous demands on Canadian citizens or Canadian businesses, you would quickly and firmly step up to protect Canadian interests and security. Canadians of American origin and heritage need and deserve your unqualified support.
We have been loyal to Canada. It is time for Canada to be loyal to us.
(Signed with my “Real” Name–not with Blaze!)
cc: Hon. James Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
MP Ed Holder, London West
MP Don Davies, NDP, Official Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration
MP Bob Rae, Interim Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
MP Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada