“The Department of Homeland Security is proposing a rule that would allow the government to use facial recognition data to identify everyone traveling to and from the country, including U.S. citizens.
Non-citizens traveling through U.S. airports have been required to get their fingerprints scanned and have their picture taken since the mid-noughties. American citizens have enjoyed the choice of opting out of this requirement. However, in a recent regulatory filing, DHS is pushing to require all international travelers — including U.S. citizens — have their photograph taken.
“To facilitate the implementation of a seamless biometric entry-exit system that uses facial recognition and to help prevent persons attempting to fraudulently use U.S. travel documents and identify criminals and known or suspected terrorists, DHS is proposing to amend the regulations to provide that all travelers, including U.S. citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure,” the filing continues.”
Read more at
Note that any citizen of any country in the rest of the world had been required to register their biometrics, now US citizens outside the razorwire must be identified also.
Currently, the only people not assumed to be guilty of crimes are US citizens living inside USA, but that’s not stopped most other stompings on the Bill of Rights
Article from U.S. Tax Lawyer Stanley C. Ruchelman and Toronto lawyer Sunita Doobay about the @ADCSovereignty #FATCA Canada lawsuit. The article is a good argument for donating to the appeal – this issue needs to go to the Supreme Court of Canada! https://t.co/BDHY0vorwm pic.twitter.com/e4M06HIPmY
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) December 3, 2019
All I can say is that if you read the article referenced in the above tweet you will see why the FATCA lawsuits are important. An excerpt includes:
Deegan v. Canada
A similar conclusion was reached in Deegan v. Canada.18 The provisions of the Implementation Act and Sections 263 to 269 of the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985 (5th Supp.), were challenged by individuals who were accidental Americans.
The plaintiffs alleged that those provisions cause Canada to act as an intermediary between Canadian financial institutions and the I.R.S. Those institutions are required to provide C.R.A. with certain information concerning financial accounts belonging to customers whose account information suggests that they may be U.S. persons. C.R.A. then provides that information to the I.R.S. As a result, the plaintiffs alleged that the provisions of the Implementation Act violate the Canadian Constitution,19 asserting that they constitute an unreasonable seizure of financial information belonging to U.S. persons in Canada. The plaintiffs also alleged that the information exchange under the Implementation Act violated other provisions of the Canadian Constitution because they singled out individuals based on citizenship or national or ethnic origin.20 Finally, the plaintiffs alleged that the violations do not constitute reasonable limitations on the privacy and equality rights of affected individuals.21
The Federal Court disagreed with the allegations and held that the disputed provisions of the Implementation Act are not unreasonable and do not violate the Canadian Constitution.
The information that is obtained by C.R.A. from Canadian financial institutions is not an unreasonable search and seizure. Departing from the approach taken under the revenue rule, the Federal Court determined that an expectation of privacy is appropriate principally when a Canadian statute is criminal or quasi-criminal in nature. Reporting of tax information by Canadian financial institutions to C.R.A., and ultimately to the I.R.S., does not fit into that protected framework. Tax is essentially a regulatory statute, and the information relates to the manner in which income tax is calculated and collected. Hence, a lesser expectation of privacy exists.
The Federal Court also disagreed with the plaintiff’s assertion that the information is not of a kind that is regularly obtained under the Income Tax Act and therefore should not be delivered to C.R.A. Following the holding in Hillis v. Canada, the banking information is foreseeably relevant to U.S. tax compliance and can be obtained by C.R.A. pursuant to a request from the I.R.S. under Article XXVII of the Treaty.
To the extent that the disputed provisions draw a distinction based on national origin and citizenship, they are not discriminatory. In reaching its decisions, the Federal Court took into account the detailed negotiations that were carried on by the Canadian government, attempting to negotiate a carve-out for Canada. When the Canadian government realized that a carve-out was not possible, it realized that entering into an I.G.A. was the only way to avoid a potentially devastating effect on the Canadian financial sector.
The plaintiffs alleged that the purpose of the Implementation Act was to assist the U.S. government in implementing F.A.T.C.A. and finding U.S. tax evaders and cheats, a purpose that cannot be described as pressing and substantial for the Canadian government or Canadian residents. However, at the same time that Canada was negotiating its I.G.A. with the U.S. government, the O.E.C.D. was involved in developing and implementing a common standard for the automatic multilateral exchange of financial account information along the lines of the I.G.A. Hence, the Implementation Act could not be said to be out of line with global expectations of financial privacy.
Finally, the argument that the Implementation Agreement resulted in discrimination based on citizenship and national origin were misplaced. The Federal Court held that a classification based on national origin is a form of discrimination only where it perpetuates ongoing disadvantages or prejudice. That is not the case where compliance with laws of a country of citizenship are in issue.
The Charter does not require Canada to assist persons resident in this country in avoiding their obligations under duly-enacted laws of another democratic state, nor does it require this country to shelter those living in Canada from the reach of foreign laws. Indeed, as was noted earlier, insulating persons resident in this country from their obligations under duly-enacted laws of another democratic state is not a value that section 15 of the Charter was designed to foster.
Overall, the arguments raised by the plaintiffs paled in comparison to benefits that are derived by the banking industry in Canada. The I.G.A. was necessary for Canadian financial institutions to be deemed compliant with the requirements of F.A.T.C.A. and simplified the related data gathering obligations. In sum, the Implementation Act allowed Canadian financial institutions to avoid 30% withholding taxes on the receipt of capital payments on loans to U.S. residents and simplified the information gathering that would otherwise have been required under F.A.T.C.A.
(The author appears to imagine the the purpose of the Charter of Rights is to protect the banks.)
Notice that the “U.S. Centric” tone to the article which underscores why the FATCA lawsuits (both here and in the UK) must continue!
Many thanks to MuzzledNoMore and LM for suggesting that we have current Media Contact information readily available on the site, and for kicking this project off with the these Canada media lists. Links to these lists at end of post.
Contact information for the remaining provinces is most welcome, as is contact information for other countries. Each country, including Canada, will have its own Media Contact page.
If you have a list of contacts regarding a specific topic, these are equally most welcome.
I will put a link in the Sidebar linking to this post. Once we get a second country or topical list, I will create an Index page with links to all Media Contact pages, and I will replace the original sidebar link with one to Media Contact Info index page.
MuzzledNoMore and LM have provided very comprehensive lists. Maybe yours is much more limited. That’s still very useful. I can put more than one list on a Country or Topic page, and I’ll be happy to collate two or more lists together, where that may be more efficient for users.
Coordonnées des journaux québécois
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island newspapers contact info
I’m noticing two points coming up frequently on a variety of threads and a few other people have mentioned it to me (some of us, including me, are very strong supporters of these two points).
In short, these 2 points, except in replying to questions on Brock, are generally more useful when commenting in Mainstream Media or basically anywhere that isn’t Brock. The points are:
(1) Advising people that non-compliance may be a viable option; and
(2) Some aspects of CBT/FATCA are not as frightening as they first seem.
On Brock, however,
(1) It’s pretty obvious at Brock that “non-compliance is an option and here’s why” and, at the least, it’s very obvious at Brock that “You gotta slow down, it’s not that bad, and do not do anything til you know what you’re doing.”
RefugeeFromAmerica was in contact with BMO’s President’s Office about BMO’s FATCA policies and also with the CRA Commissioner’s Office and has sent in the following report.
In response to the CBC story about the vast number of bank accounts reported to the CRA/IRS, I thought I’d share an experience we had at a BMO branch back in August. In particular, I wanted to provide a data point to corroborate the suspicion that at least some Canadian financial institutions are not observing FATCA reporting minima and that, at least at the local level, they are violating Canadian law by not readily providing information to customers about FATCA reporting. Quoted below is a previously composed account of what transpired during our branch visit [and the events that followed it]
Last year Laura Snyder asked visitors to the Isaac Brock website to participate in a survey about FATCA and the taxation of US citizens living overseas.
In addition, in early December the report will be the subject of a presentation at a conference in Prague on the subject of diasporas. Snyder’s conference paper that specifically addresses the myth of the wealthy American expat is available here .
The survey report corroborates and complements the results of other surveys demonstrating that US citizens and green card holders living outside the United States experience a wide range of hardships as a result of US non-resident taxation and banking policies.
Further, as discussed in detail in Snyder’s conference paper, the new survey data dispels the myth of the wealthy American expat whose principal purpose in living overseas is to avoid US taxation.
Notably, among the 602 survey participants living in 47 different countries:
- 67% have an income of less than $70,000 per year and 90% have an income of less than $150,000 per year;
- 39% left the United States to join a romantic partner in another country, 28% left to pursue professional opportunities, and 2% were born outside the United States and have never lived in the United States; just one participant reported leaving the United States in order to avoid US taxation;
- 48% of those with annual income of $21,000 to $40,000 and 41% of all participants pay significant fees for professional tax preparation despite owing nothing in US taxes;
- 32% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 38% of all participants are unable to reconcile the US tax system with the system of their country of residence, with the result that their investments and retirement vehicles are harshly penalized by the US system;
- 37% of those with annual income of $41,000 to $70,000 and 30% of all participants have been unable to open one or more bank accounts because they are a US citizen or green card holder;
- 19% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 13% of participants overall have been removed from one or more joint accounts with their non-US citizen spouse because the survey participant is a US citizen or green card holder. With respect to unemployed participant, the number experiencing this problem jumps to 26%.
More on the insatiable US search for information. First, your bank accounts. Second, your mail: U.S. customs officials have been searching packages bound for a community that, for most of the year, can only be reached from Maine – and locals aren’t happy. https://t.co/UVIJ5UMriR pic.twitter.com/lVIFTLxjHp
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) October 28, 2019
The above tweet references an article in today’s Toronto Globe and Mail about the tiny New Brunswick island of Campobello. Basically, the issue is that the primary access from Campobello is through the state of Maine. A recent article in the National Post included:
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) October 28, 2019
But despite Campobello’s postcard-worthy attributes, the 23-year-old Matthews has pretty much had it with the place. It’s not that the island doesn’t feel like home. It’s that Campobello makes her feel as though she is a Canadian living in exile — physically, politically, practically, medically and economically separated from the rest of the country — which, more or less, she is since the bridge is the island’s only physical link to mainland North America and it’s not to Canada.
The bridge goes to the State of Maine in the United States. This means that all mail sent to residents of this Canadian island must go through Maine for delivery to Canada. According to the article, a disproportionate amount of this mail is being searched by U.S. customs officers.
It also means (as noted by the National Post) that:
“The residents of Campobello must travel through a foreign country while transporting goods and services from one part of N.B. to another,” Richards said in an email to the Financial Post. “The regulations imposed and the new regulations enacted will make it almost impossible to conduct daily affairs.
(and you think you have problems …)
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A great FATCA backgrounder from John Richardson, published in American Expat Finance yesterday. FATCA articles aimed at the general public often focus on the impact on individuals, but this one primarily covers the macroeconomic impact. It packs a lot in a short article, good for sending to people who want to know more about FATCA (friends) or who should know more about FATCA (policy makers).
American Expat Finance Editor’s introduction below, article itself continues next page. Reprinted with permission of American Expat Finance.
Over the last few weeks and moths, more media attention than usual has been paid to the 2010 Obama law knows as the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). And invariably, we have been noticing, journalists from respected media organizations like The Guardian and Financial Times newspapers in London keep referring to it as a “tax evasion law,” no doubt because that was its original purpose.
That may well have been true in 2010, says Toronto-based expat lawyer and expat rights campaigner John Richardson…
But, he argues here, as anyone familiar with FATCA’s massive impact on individuals who don’t live in the U.S. now – and indeed haven’t for decades and possibly never did, and are tax residents of other countries – it has evolved into an all-but- impossible-to-avoid “extra-territorial money-sucking machine.”
It has also made it very difficult for such individuals to engage in normal financial and retirement planning – or even to get, and keep, a local bank account.
And while it may remain a disincentive for Homeland Americans to attempt to hide their wealth (the way some used to) in Swiss banks, FATCA (along with the Common Reporting Standard, as the OECD’s global version of FATCA is called), is now playing a role in enabling the U.S. to act as a tax haven to wealthy individuals in other countries who are seeking to keep their personal wealth from their own tax authorities.
The fact that the U.S. hasn’t signed up to the CRS, arguing that it has no need to – because FATCA gives it all the information it needs to know about its own citizens – helps to make this possible, Richardson points out. Continue reading