[The critical Section 1 of Canada's Charter of Rights is mentioned below: Canada says in a lawsuit submission for our January 28 FATCA trial in Federal Court, that if compliance with the U.S. FATCA law is "found to limit any Charter right, any such limitation can be justified under s.1 of the Charter" [and that] In order to be justified the Impugned Provisions must have a pressing and substantial objective” …”.
— Canada argues that avoidance of economic “catastrophic effects” that will be inflicted on Canada if she does not comply with the U.S. FATCA demand is a “pressing and substantial objective”.
— But Plaintiffs point out in their submission that: “Kevin Shoom, Canada’s witness who participated in the negotiations with the United States that ultimately resulted in the IGA, agreed [in cross examination] that any consideration of what would transpire if any part of the Impugned Provisions were declared of no force or effect would be highly speculative. He agreed that it would depend on “a whole lot of considerations,” that Canada would negotiate with the United States to achieve the best possible outcome, and that “we don’t know how the US would respond.””.
More generally, Plaintiffs say: “Canada effectively maintains that it enacted the Impugned Provisions under duress from a foreign state. The Court should be very slow to accept this as a justification for infringements of the Charter. Canada is expected to defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of its citizens and not bargain them away or capitulate to threats from a foreign bully state.” and, what “if another state’s laws required a person residing in Canada to report to that state obviously private, personal details about their lives – such as their religious practices…”?
Canada is a Westminster Parliamentary democracy. Historically it has had a constitution (British North America Act) which defined how Canada was to be governed. In simple terms: the Federal Government has the jurisdiction to legislate in some areas (example criminal law). The Provincial Governments have the right to legislate in other areas (property and civil rights). These laws are made by democratically elected legislatures. Prior to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (April 17, 1982), the only limits on the legislative bodies were jurisdictional. Any law could be enacted. It was just a question of whether it was the Federal Government or the Provincial Government that could enact the law.
In 1982 the Charter of Rights became part of Canada’s constitution. The Charter imposed limitations on the powers of elected legislatures. In other words, there were certain areas of activity that were presumptively beyond the reach of legislatures.
The Alliance For The Defence Of Canadian Sovereignty FATCA lawsuit is a Charter of Rights lawsuit against the Government of Canada. Our claim is the Government of Canada does not have the right to enact the legislation which requires banks to (1) Search for customers who are U.S. citizens and (2) then turn their account information over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In general terms the arguments are based on the theory that by so doing the Government of Canada has violated Charter Rights which include the:
- S. 15 Equality rights; and
- S. 8 rights against unreasonable search and seizure
Essentially the court will be asked to rule that the laws enacted by a democratically elected legislative body (the Parliament of Canada) violate the Constitutional rights of Canadians.
In other words: Does a democratically elected legislature prevail or do the rights of individuals prevail?
Supports of the our FATCA lawsuit might frame the question this way:
Should we have rule by law (the legislature prevails) or rule by justice (the law should be declared unconstitutional)?
Canadian Federal Court FATCA IGA trial at 701 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia in JUST 17 DAYS –… https://t.co/OSt8brX8Jk
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) January 12, 2019
On January 11 and 12, 2019 the Runnymede Society is running its annual law and freedom conference. In general terms, the Conference is designed to debate the question of whether there should be limits on the powers of democratically elected legislatures. If so, what should those limits be? How does S. 1 of the Charter interact with the rights enshrined in the Charter? This should be of interest to all of those who are interested in the ADCS-ADSC FATCA lawsuit.
You can attend the Conference by Facebook and follow the conference on Twitter
Twitter – Hashtag = #RSCON19
Facebook live -
— Runnymede Society (@RunnymedeSoc) January 11, 2019