It has been a traumatic last couple days for ‘Brockers’ as well as recently stunned ‘US persons’ who have just had their ‘OMG moment’. This is just the tip of the iceburg. We sit at a precipice looking down, and looking back. Many have not yet arrived at the point some of us are at. The current Canadian government helped create the precipice. They had a choice; they made the wrong one. We warned them; they didn’t listen.
My twenty-one year old daughter instantly grasps the concept of why you do not sacrifice a minority of people for a majority when you have a CHOICE to do otherwise. She used the example of a bus (yes a bus) traveling down the road towards a group of five people. She asked me, “if you had the power to grab the bus and throw it in another direction directly in the path of one person, would you do it?” We both agreed that the answer in this case is ‘Yes’, and yet this is the supposed argument our government is using to justify its agreement with the USA to implement FATCA. My twenty-one year old daughter and I intuitively get that the two situations are not the same. Apparently our Conservative government does not.
One of the cool things about Brock for me, has been the opportunity to correspond with, and meet in person, many intelligent, kind, moral people, and if it wasn’t for FATCA, I would never have had the opportunity to make my life a lot richer despite the pain of being persecuted for being born in the wrong country.
Last November, I protested with some of my new friends outside the Toronto Metro Convention Center – directly across from the CBC – where the Canadian Bankers Association was discussing how to implement FATCA (amongst other things). Some of my friends tried to engage the CBC, but the CBC and the American media(who had traveled all the way to Canada), were busily engaged with Rob Ford at Toronto City Hall a couple blocks away. At least we got attention from security at the Toronto Metro Convention Center who told us we could stand no closer than 18 inches from the curb. This was a small, peaceful, protest, so we kept to our 18 inches of designated area, despite the busy TO traffic.
One of the Brockers who joined us in our protest, and who I met for the first time told me that she/he is up to date on all her/his USA tax ‘obligations’. I was impressed that she/he had ‘come clean’ (yes we all hate that term), had been paying her/his ‘fair share'(grrr…), and yet was here, standing outside on a bit of curb, on a busy street, on a cold Toronto day, in a downtown wind tunnel because she/he wanted to fight for all the ‘US persons’ who had not yet had their ‘OMG I am an American taxpayer’ moment.
After the IGA was signed, she/he wrote:
Okay guys, I think this is where I get off the ride. I contacted the Toronto consulate yesterday and received all the docs to begin relinquishment. I’ve stressed over this for two long years, waiting and hoping that Canada would do the right thing, or at least carve out something to protect Canadian Citizens. If this goes to Parliament for vote, I’m sure all the Conservatives will vote with their party. I’m sure many Liberals and NDP’ers will also vote yes. Even the suspicion of US citizenship is toxic. It has officially forced our home countries, the countries of our citizenship, to treat us as second class citizens.
I can’t deal with this anymore. I need to get back to living my life and taking care of my family. I have no reason to hold on to citizenship. No family there, no assets, no income, and have not even visited the US since 1992.
There was nothing in the IGA to protect us. Only the banks received protection. Our registered accounts are all still fair game even though the banks don’t have to report them. I will not change my life to accommodate the IRS. I will not switch banks, or delete accounts, give up RESP’s, or any such nonsense. US citizenship is the problem and that’s what i need to get rid of. I need to do this before my anger takes over.