— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) November 15, 2013
From the Cayman Islands Compass – November 15, 2013 – C0ngratulations to all!!!
FATCA opponents from the Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox, in a Nov. 12 letter to Terry Campbell, president of the Canadian Bankers Association, asked the CBA to resist Washington.
“We implore the CBA to use its considerable influence and resources to insist that the Canadian government categorically reject Washington’s demands and to lobby for FATCA’s repeal by the American Congress,” the letter states.
The letter claims that an intergovernmental agreement to hand over private financial data to Washington “would represent a gross violation of Canadian sovereignty and would violate the rights of Canadian citizens and residents under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and other legal guarantees.”
Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, who recently called FATCA “extraterritorial and “unwarranted,” saying it would “turn Canadian banks into arms of the IRS,” declared his opposition to FATCA as early as 2011, stating Canada “is not a tax haven. People do not flock to Canada to avoid paying taxes. We have existing ways of addressing these issues with the United States through our Bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreement. We share the same goal of fighting tax evasion and we already have a system that works.”
Nonetheless, Mr. Flaherty, as part of the conservative Stephen Harper government, continues to negotiate with the U.S. Treasury, while the Canadian Bankers Association has said an IGA would resolve privacy and confidentiality issues.
“Based on the [IGA] it would not,” said Lynne Swanson, spokeswoman for Maple Sandbox.
“Asking Canadians where they were born or about other citizenship violates Canada’s banking, privacy and human rights laws. Changing those laws would violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” she told the Caymanian Compass.
Protesters gathered outside Toronto’s Metro Convention Center on Nov. 13 and 14 for the Canadian Institute’s conference on Regulatory Compliance for Financial Institutions. The same protesters were looking forward to a FATCA debate on Nov. 18 organized by the Toronto Centre Debates as part of a local by-election.
Peter Dunn, spokesman and administrator for the Isaac Brock Society, said he thought the Ottawa government was “already thinking twice” about agreeing to FATCA.
“There is no question FATCA is violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and privacy rights,” he said.