FEBRUARY 27, 2014 UPDATE (In response to my MP’s two page “explanation” why his party decided to impose FATCA on Canada):
“Dear Mr. Trottier,
Thank you for your February 19, 2014 letter in response to my February 6 promise that I have withdrawn my support for you (and for the Conservative Party) for your decision to help a foreign government impose FATCA on Canada.
Your two page letter of explanation only describes the many features of the U.S. FATCA law that are aimed at taking away my rights and, I’m sorry to say, provides insufficient justification for your position.
I was, however, particularly interested in your point that information (of all kinds–perhaps without any exception?) released by the banks to CRA, and then turned over without my permission to a foreign government “…is consistent with Canada’s privacy laws.”
A promise is a promise — and, now for the third time, I confirm that I will not be voting for you or for the Tory party in future because of your decision and I will tell all of my colleagues to do the same.
You know, I never really believed that this could ever happen in Canada.
FEBRUARY 6 2014 UPDATE (The DAY AFTER):
Dear Mr. Trottier [and …….],
“I am sorry to have to send this email, but it should not be a surprise to either of you that after yesterday’s decision of the Conservative government (including Mr. Trottier) to help the U.S. implement its FATCA law on Canadians, I have now withdrawn my support for Mr. Trottier and for the Conservative Party.
I have been a long-term supporter of the party but now will vote strategically in your riding to support, as strongly as I can, any candidate of the other parties (all, unlike the Tories, oppose FATCA) who has the best chance of defeating the Conservative.
Please note that there are at least one million other U.S. persons in Canada who are just as angry and who will not vote Conservative because of your decision to implement this bad law.
See also [deleted].
We won’t forget.
Jan 5 UPDATE on my meeting with my Canadian MP rep:
I had a nice chat this afternoon with my Canadian Conservative MP rep, Mr. Bernard Trottier. I introduced myself as the fellow who previously sent him a letter on FATCA and thanked him for actually responding and in a meaningful way.
He had no update on the state of the IGA negotiations between Minister Flaherty and the US, but will speak to him on this in about a week.
In a few minutes I summarized some of the consequences of FATCA for Canadians and mentioned again the IGA negotiations. His response was “But [as this is a “negotiation”] what does Canada get out of this?” and I responded appropriately.
Then I discussed votes: I explained that I voted for Mr. Trottier in the last election (this is true) and that should Minister Flaherty negotiate any IGA with the US, I will not vote for Mr. Trottier or the Conservative party again. Further, I emphasized that I am part of a network of one million (I used the term “unfortunate”) US persons in Canada, all just like me, and that my recommendation to my network will be the same. I noted too that this election is likely to be more difficult for the Tories to obtain a majority.
The discussion ended with Mr. Trottier saying that this evening he will be speaking to some US persons living in Canada, with one person considering taking out Canadian citizenship, and I provided advice on whether this was a good idea.
I left copies with Mr. Trottier and his secretary of Brison’s questions in Parliament to Flaherty, the (long) letter to the Canadian Bankers Association, some correspondence between me and a Canadian bank that uses a green logo, and a written statement in large bold print promising that I and my network will not vote Conservative should Flaherty negotiate any agreement that imposes FATCA on Canadians.
No idea whether the above will be helpful, but I was blunt enough (but polite) that my MP, who I felt was was very sympathetic throughout, understood the simple message.
Jan 5 UPDATE:
—Just another reminder that all Torontonians can visit with Conservative MP Bernard Trottier TODAY at 1-3 pm at 110 Jutland Rd. in Etobicoke. The occasion is his “Third Annual New Year’s Levee.”
I know that there was a slight snowfall last night, but freezing rain does not come until evening, the roads are clean and safe now, and driving this afternoon will be easy.
If you live in Toronto, feel that a chat with the party in power that wants to help the US impose FATCA on us might possibly be more helpful than just sending an email of complaint, why don’t you talk to Mr. Trottier today and also tell him how you plan to vote in the next Canadian election? I will.
Personally, I have become a single issue voter on both sides of the border.
Dec 20 UPDATE:
In October I received a letter from my Toronto MP, Bernard Trottier, stating that he will speak to Minister Flaherty again (i.e. a second time) to convey our concerns on FATCA (see below). This suggests to me that he, a member of the the Conservative government, might be sympathetic.
Mr. Trottier is having a public get-together Sunday January 5, 1-3 pm, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #210, 110 Jutland Road, in Etobicoke (suburb of Toronto). http://www.bernardtrottiermp.ca/events/
If you live in Toronto, instead of spending time on Sunday with your relatives, come and have a chat with the MP about FATCA.
Recently I emailed my Canadian Member of Parliament, Mr. Bernard Trottier, with a request to have a chat with Finance Minister Flaherty at the Calgary Conservative party convention, and to persuade Mr. Flaherty to resist US imposition of FATCA on Canada.
Mr. Trottier responded to my FATCA concern:
…I have the opportunity as an MP during Caucus and other sessions in Ottawa to discuss the FATCA issue with my colleagues, including Minister Flaherty. This issue has been raised by my constituents in the past in situations where the actions of the US Internal Revenue Service regarding Canadian-American dual citizens appeared to me to be heavy handed.
I will discuss with Minister Flaherty again to convey your concerns.
Our government does careful and due diligence prior to entering into any international agreement to ensure they will not violate the rights of Canadians, or the laws of Canada…
I know that I am trying to read too much into the letter, which can be interpreted in different ways, but the response first indicates that Mr. Trottier has previously spoken to Flaherty on FATCA.
Also, the letter from this member of government seems to be more strongly worded than those of Flaherty in terms of rights protection, by appearing to provide some “assurance” that careful due diligence will ensure that any IGA will [somehow] not violate our rights.
I have thanked Mr. Trottier for his response and have asked him to respond to the comments made on this posting (November 7, 2013).
Or take your relatives with you, along with some FATCA Fact Sheets. Although the format was not great for bringing the FATCA issue in front of all attendees at a similar recent meeting (as my MP moved from table to table for mini talks with those at each table and none of the rest of us were privy to what concerned others — bad format), I did have some FATCA Fact Sheets (but not the new improved version) and Q121 and Q127 sheets, which I gave to quite a few persons attending.
I always wonder in any gathering now, how many of these people or ones they know will in some way be affected by FATCA?
Stats would have USP’s at about 1 in 33. Just a guess that half the people there have some kind of family member who’d be directly effected by FATCA. My mother had 10 brothers and sisters so you could imagine how many first cousins I have.
That’s what I think too, bubblebustin!
Just want to put a comment up that I hope all of you Ontarians affected by the ice storm and power outages are safe and warm. Looks like some brutal weather your way. Take care!
That, of course, goes for further east too — and anywhere in our winter world.
Happy Holidays, everyone.
Just posted this above:
Jan 5 UPDATE on my meeting with my Canadian MP rep–posted above:
@IRS Compliant Forever
I thank you for taking time to see you MP and speaking with him. You are very good at explaining FATCA politely and precisely. I do hope you made him realize that FATCA is a very important issue. Did he say he would get back to you after speaking with Flaherty?
Thanks for letting us all know about your meet up with Mr. Trottier.
Thank you for the valuable update @IRSCompliantForever.
I hope that all of us note to our representatives that FATCA is a very important political and election issue for us (and for our Canadian family members, and network of fellow Canadian accountholders, taxpayers and voters). I will NOT vote for anyone who supports the signing of a FATCA IGA, I will NOT invest my individual and family assets with a FATCA lobbyist-collaborator, and I WILL remember the party stances on FATCA for the rest of my life as a Canadian taxpayer, accountholder and voter. This has been and is a life altering issue, not just for individuals directly affected, but as a matter of Canadian sovereignty and Charter rights. I will not forget or forgive a political party or representative who supports the signing of a FATCA IGA.
They should also take special note that those who are concerned with FATCA and the rest of the US extraterritorial taxation system imposed on Canadian citizens and permanent residents include the very core demographics that tend to actually vote. Retirement and family savings in various forms and the eventual gains from the sale of family homes are at stake, as well as RESP and RDSP savings for our children and dependents, life insurance, private pension plans, Canadian mutual funds, estates, etc. The categories for the accounts, assets and institutions who FATCA and extraterritorial US taxation and punitive confiscatory reporting lays claim to are so broad that they leave very few untouched. And as a result our entire country will pay higher account and administration fees and higher Canadian taxes FOREVER – in order to implement uncontrollable US extraterritorial demands for no net benefit to Canadian society – demands forced on us by US threats and might, regardless that Canadian citizens with no US nexus or economic connection have NO obligation to the US Treasury and US tax machine and no responsibility to pay off the US domestic deficit.
The party that signs or supports a FATCA IGA, and the financial institutions who chose to lobby in favour of one (contrary to their strategy and campaigns against the Volcker Rule for example) are complicit in threatening or destroying the assets and compromising the Charter rights of over 1 million Canadian families, as well as the security and wellbeing of those Canadian citizens and residents deemed incapable and thus unable to renounce and sentenced to being US citizen-double taxablepersons for life.
@Northernstar, I did not ask for a promise that my MP would get back to me after speaking to Flaherty, but will follow up on this by calling in a few weeks his secretary, who was very kind. I would be surprised though if Mr. Trottier would divulge any information on the negotiations.
I’m not so good at explaining FATCA precisely, but I think that I was ok in explaining clearly how US people in Canada will vote if the Conservatives push through an IGA–but Badger above says it best.
I really hope that others in Canada deliver the same blunt message to their reps who are Conservatives.
Imagine the Canadian government telling Canadians what the CBA told Canadians? We don’t like FATCA, but we have no choice?
If Canada signs and IGA, any speculation as to how they might try and spin it?
“Geeh, Canadians, we already have a perfectly fine information sharing agreement, but we like the one where the US uses extortion tactics better, because it shows we are willing to comply with a global effort to stop offshore tax evasion.”
Will we do a class action suit?
I guess it depends on what happens, northernstar. The merde hasn’t really hit the fan yet.
Here are the key Canadian Federal MP’s who have an interest in the FATCA file.
These are key MP’s to lobby and encourage in querying FATCA and the Federal Government’s opacity regarding a FATCA IGA,
Maybe one of the moderators can make this a post of its own for reference. Sending encouraging mail to these MPs early in the New Year could help.
Elizabeth May – Leader of Green Party Canada & MP Saanich-Gulf Islands, BC
NB: Strong early opposition to FTACA – published Peter Hogg FATCA opinion letter
Murray Rankin – Victoria BC
Official Revenue Critic
NB: Murray Rankin is a top constitutional law expert –
was partner with Joe Arvay at Arvay Finlay.
Wrote strong FATCA question letter to Flahery.
Peggy Nash – High Park, ON
Official Finance Critic
NB: Fast and informed response to any FATCA query.
Ted Hsu – Kingston and the Islands, ON
Scott Brison – Kings- Hants, NS
NB: Hsu and Brison tabled the excellent and compelling written order questions on FATCA.
Irwin Colter – Mt Royal, PQ
NB: One of Canada top legal professionals, Minister of Justice and Attorney General in Paul Martin’s government. Top expert on internation law and human rights law. He seems to be the Liberals’ point person on the FATCA file. Liberal critic for Rights and Freedoms.
And there were those 12 BC NDP caucus members (many still standing) who wrote a letter expressing concerns about FATCA to Ministers Baird and Flaherty back in 2011:
@Wondering, thanks for the info on the MPs. However, all of the people that you mentioned are members of opposition parties and all or most (Nash?) already oppose FATCA or, being in opposition, would oppose the government on just about everything on principle.
My approach with my MP was quite different as he is a member of the governing Conservative Party and I wanted to make it clear to him and to everyone in his party that if the Tories (his own party) dare to sign off on an IGA to implement FATCA, not a single US person in Canada–and there are many–will ever vote Conservative again–EVER–like Badger says.
There must be over 160 or so plus Conservative MPs in Canada and are listed on: http://www.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=current
I often have complained to Conservative MPs about FATCA but this is the first time I have ever told a single Conservative MP: “LISTEN TO ME, CONSERVATIVE PARTY PERSON, IF YOU HELP THE US IMPOSE FATCA ON ME I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR YOU OR FOR ANYONE IN YOUR PARTY–EVER!”
So, if there is any Canadian out there who is reading this, use the same easily understood words on your Conservative MP rep. Maybe they will begin to listen, finally.
Perhaps also send an email along these lines to the President of the Conservative Party: JohnWalsh@conservative.ca —But the message has to be simple.
Sent this email as suggested above to Mr. John Walsh, President of the Conservative Party of Canada:
Just received this response from Mr. Walsh:
This is my final letter to my Conservative Party MP representative. This was sent the day after we all received the news:
Very good. My MPnis NDP but the next town has a PC MP. I will help his opposition candidate.
With the level of communication I received from my MP in the last couple of years, all he deserved is a tweet: “The Conservatives will come out on the wrong side of history in their capitulation to #FATCA”
Where I won’t be voting next time is implied.
FEBRUARY 27, 2014 UPDATE (In response to my MP’s two page “explanation” why his party decided to impose FATCA on Canada):
Thanks for your update, IRSCF. My action will be the same as yours.
The Canadian IGA is this government’s bail-out for Canadian banks and other “foreign financial institutions” in Canada at the cost of one million *so-called* US Person Canadians and their families.
I will never forget that Mr. Flaherty tells me that my son’s birth in Canada counts for nothing when he was born to a US mom. That he confirms my son’s *supposed* US citizenship, never registered with the US, trumps the Canadian citizenship of his birth denies the previous integrity I thought he showed for Canadians who happen to have some US indicia.
A sell-out and our answer that “No, not ALL Canadians have the same rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”. With the signing of the Canadian IGA with te USA for FATCA, we now have a two-tiered citizenship in a once sovereign nation.
Shameful leadership, Conservative Government of Canada.