This has been cross-posted by Tricia Moon from our ADCS blog.
[This post links to a letter from ADCS-ADSC to Canadian Prime Minister Designate Justin Trudeau and also to a press release to be sent out widely. In addition, we are sending letters to selected individual members of the Liberal Government.
There will be separate communications between our legal team and the Justice Department lawyers representing the new Minister of National Revenue and the Attorney General (the defendants) regarding the status of the lawsuit and intentions of the Government.
You might also wish to send your comments to Mr. Trudeau and to the members of his Government.]
Now that the Harper Government is history, the questions as to how to purge the effects of it’s anti-constitutional policies and laws begin. Certainly the laws that have already been challenged in the courts (C-23 C-24 C-31 & C-51 and COMER ) pose a dilemma for the new Liberal Majority Government.
The litigation regarding the FATCA IGA began in August 2014 and is currently at a standstill. The original Charter component of the case was delayed after the Government claimed some 100,000 documents needed evalution in the discovery phase. Due to the (then) impending turnover of Canadian information to the IRS on September 30, 2015, a Summary Trial took place August 4-5, 2015. As we all know, the judge ruled that the IGA was not inconsistent with the US-Canadian Treaty. A stay was requested; as we nervously awaited the result the IRS announced an extension until September 2016. ADCS requested Canada ask for the extension ; the stay/injunction was denied and the Canadian government claimed the extension was not available to Canada. The first wave of personal financial information made its way south with as-of-yet, unknown results.
With a new government soon to be at the helm, ADCS has
sent a letter to Prime Minister elect Justin Trudeau urging him:
To repair the harm already done, we ask that you stand up for all Canadians by:
1) taking immediate steps to seek a just resolution of the costly lawsuit forced upon innocent Canadian citizens;
2) repealing the enabling legislation for the IGA entered into under threat of economic sanctions;
3) advising the IRS to destroy immediately all private banking information sent on or after September 30, 2015 and refrain from
using such data in any legal proceedings against Canadians.
Reminding Mr. Trudeau of past Liberal statements regarding the effect of the FATCA IGA, the following were included:
Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP, Former Liberal Finance Minister, Ralph Goodale website, October 11, 2011.
“After all, Canada is not some illicit tax haven…The Americans are going way too far when they start harassing Canadians….”
“Our government must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with innocent citizens and taxpayers to inform and assist them in fending off abusive
American tax proceedings.”
Scott Brison, Liberal Finance and Revenue Critic, May 14, 2014
Standing Committee on Finance
“Look, this IGA gets Canadian banks off the hook from reporting. It does not get Canadian citizens who happen to be considered American persons off the hook. That’s very important…”
“What about the million Canadians who are affected? That’s the concern. None of us disagree with the idea of negotiating an IGA, but the reality is that you can negotiate a better IGA, given our relationship with the Americans.”
Mr. Trudeau immeditately begins an inclusionary approach
Mr. Trudeau will be sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada on November 4 and has promised a smaller cabinet with equal numbers of men and women. He has also invited the head of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, to join the Canadian delegtion attending the environmental summit in Paris at the end of next month (as well as the provincial premiers nd other experts in the field).There’s even a petition to ask Mr. Trudeau to appoint Ms. May as Minister of Environment when he selects his cabinet. A record 10 aboriginal members were elected; hopefully we will see some of them in cabinet in order to deal directly with issues such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (#TRC); an inquiry into over 1200 missing/murdered Aboriginal women (#MMIW and #VAW) and dealing with the horrors of communities such as Shoal Lake, no clean running water for 17 years and the refusal of past government to build a road . Shoal Lake became an island when an aquaduct was built to provide drinking water for the residents of Winnepeg; the result was isolation, impure water and outrageous food costs for Shoal Lake Nation.The Minister of Natural Resources in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Hon. Mr. Greg Rickford (representing the elecral district of Kenora), refused comment in the article and was defeated by Liberal candidate Bob Nault in the 2015 election. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt was also defeated in the election last week.
While these examples are not directly related to ADCS, they offer hope that Mr. Trudeau does stand for Canadian values and the plight of Canadian people, something for which the Harper government didn’t give a damn about.
As Canada regroups and rebuilds, it is not difficult to imagine some sort of change regarding the US overreach into Canada!
For more on the issue of Stephen Harper’s court battles that the Liberal government has inherited please see Will Justin Trudeau Keep Fighting Stephen Harper’s Court Battles
Hat tip to Lynne Swanson