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Editorial: FATCA a foulup

Editorial: FATCA a foulup

It may concern a number of Canadians that on Canada Day, 2014, the Harper government enacted into law one of the most egregious assaults on Canadian sovereignty since the War of 1812. Most of you haven’t heard of the U.S. government’s law called the “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (FATCA).  The law requires that these Canadians – who may have been living in Canada for decades, be subjected to extra scrutiny by Canadian banks, have their private Canadian bank account information sent to the Canadian Revenue Agency, and in turn sent to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to enforce arcane U.S. tax law that until now was never enforced.

As it stands, anyone opening an account in Canada will be required to certify that they are not a U.S. person. The IRS now decides which Canadians are allowed to open bank accounts in Canada, and under what conditions. The Harper government said that being threatened with economic sanctions as if it were a tax haven put it in the position of having “no choice” but to sign the deal, even though Canada gets nothing it didn’t already have without it (the “agreement” is not reciprocal).

Prior to the last federal election, candidate Trudeau criticized the Harper government by saying, “The Government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights. We believe that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S. is insufficient to protect affected Canadians.”

But that was before the election. By all indications, the Trudeau government intends the FATCA Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) remain law in Canada.

Thankfully, a small group of dedicated Canadians has brought the matter before Canadian courts in an attempt to stop the FATCA IGA before more information is transmitted this September. The lawsuit is fully funded, and being litigated by Canada’s best defender of our Canadian Charter, Joseph Arvay. What it needs are more witnesses – those who are willing to come forward and speak of the harm that the Canadian government has and will expose them to by having entered into the FATCA IGA.

It’s easy to understand why one might want to keep a low profile under these circumstances and avoid offering one self as a witness as I have, but the success of the lawsuit is contingent on it. Should you be interested, please contact the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty at www.adcs-adsc.ca.

Suzanne Herman, 

Gibsons

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