In recent testimony before the Canadian House of Commons Finance Committee, Queen’s University law professor Arthur Cockfield testified the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) “is really a sea change” in the long-standing tax information exchange relationship between Canada and the United States.
Historically, the neighbouring nations exchanged information on temporary residents in each country. The FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) requires Canada to provide information on permanent residents of Canada, including Canadian citizens who were born in the United States.
From the article:
“more permanent resident flows than any two other countries at least with respect to both our populations, -”
No way is the above claim–by Arthur Cockfield as quoted by Lynne Swanson–even remotely true. For example, fewer than 10,000 people per year from Canada naturalize as U.S. citizens each year–from a population of 30+ million. By contrast, more than 30,000 former Cubans become U.S. citizens each year–and Cuba’s population is far lower, less than 12 million. And Cuba is only one example.
Yes people no doubt think that because the USA and Canada have this “big open border” whereas one can migrate from Cuba to the USA only if one manages to be lucky enough to arrive with “dry feet”–that Canada would send far more immigrants. But the facts don’t bear this out.
“No way is the above claim–by Arthur Cockfield as quoted by Lynne Swanson–even remotely true. For example, fewer than 10,000 people per year from Canada naturalize as U.S. citizens each year–from a population of 30+ million. By contrast, more than 30,000 former Cubans become U.S. citizens each year–and Cuba’s population is far lower, less than 12 million. And Cuba is only one example”
I believe the quote is ‘permanent resident flows’ NOT naturalized citizens.
That would be in US green card holders and in Canada Permanent Residents.
That is a must read article, so well written and informed, summing up the essence of the place we now find ourselves at. I find myself wondering how the Conservatives are willing to do this to ALL of Canada and Canadians – whether duals or not.
Bravo and thank you Blaze.
Thanks everyone for your comments.
Dash: I can’t speak for what Professor Cockfield meant in that particular statement because I did not interview him, but reported on some of his testimony.
However, when I read “at least with respect to both of our populations,” I think he was referring to a two-way flow of people to and from both countries. While there may be large numbers of Cubans immigrating to the US, I think the number moving from the US to Cuba is miniscule. In fact, Americans are prohibited by the US from even visiting Cuba.
I don’t know what happened as I thought I posted this comment earlier. However, I made the same point as Blaze. The comment makes no sense whatsoever if only viewed as those flowing into the US, which is what I believe your comments imply.
@Blaze / @Tricia
That’s a valid point–the document I referred to was only about the flow in one direction (into the US) and he might have been talking about a 2-way flow. I don’t know what the permanent resident flow is into Canada from the USA–I’ve always had the impression that it is even lower than in the reverse direction. But it is probably still far higher than the permanent flow of Americans into Cuba–that is true.
Cuba isn’t the only country, though, to send a large number of immigrants to the USA proportional to its population. Looking at the list, I’d guess that the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico, and Columbia are all sending a large number of immigrants to the USA proportional to their populations. OTOH the numbers for China and India, while large in absolute numbers, are small in comparison to their populations.
Probably, though, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico, and Columbia have relatively small numbers of US citizens expatriating there, so maybe he has a valid point when it comes to two-way flow.
Speaking again only of one way flows–into the USA–I believe the numbers are similar when you consider green cards:
One thing to notice here is that permanent Eritrean emigration to the USA has increased vastly over the last few years and now–proportional to its population–exceeds that of Canada.
Yes, these numbers are only about flows in one direction–however I think there tends to be a perception, when you hear about a Canadian in the USA, that “oh, that person must have a green card”. Often they don’t. Green cards are VERY hard to get. The PERMANENT resident flow is MUCH lower than I think people realize. For example, there was a petition to revoke Justin Bieber’s green card:
That’s actually a legal impossibility because Justin Bieber doesn’t have a green card. People just tend to assume that someone like Bieber would have a green card–but, again, far fewer Canadians get them than people realize.
Congratulations Lynne, another fine job.
Blaze hit it out of the park. Well done once again!
All Canadians should be warned about getting a kryptonite card — large neon signs at the border, red alerts on Canadian tax forms, giant headlines in all the media — whatever it takes. In my case, I wish it had been damn near impossible to get one because then I would have stayed safely on the north side of the border. I rue the day. I truly rue the day.
Another superb piece of writing. You are a treasure.
More great work, Lynne. Thanks once again.
@Everyone: If I could only get the Canadian media to publish some of the articles I have sent to them!
…. *and* if this could only get into the *front* section of the newspapers! This excellent article needs to be on the editorial page of every major newspaper in Canada!
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If every country had territorial taxation who would care about this and if it was a domestic sales tax such as the FairTax HR25 then we could all put our money wherever we wanted and who’d care!!!
y’all are treasures. these comment threads are fantabulous and so so enriching
to cheesily paraphrase Westlife
“You give me strength, you give me hope”