Hello from Vancouver – thought I would share my thoughts (after having slept on them) about Day 1
We can learn a great deal from John Le. Carre and from Warren Buffet. Read on.
Nevertheless, most of the wisdom in the world comes from reading bumper stickers.
Wisdom does not come from “Elevator Rumors”. Specifically, I saw the following comment on the Isaac Brock Society site:
Either way, it’s time to meet our $100,000 goal. So, come on … Really, this whole thing has been funded on the backs of repeat donors and many (but not all) people of modest means. Yet, the comments from Brock make it clear that there is WORLD INTEREST what’s happening on August 4 and 5 in Vancouver. It’s pretty clear that many of those who “have the most to lose” are doing the “least to support this lawsuit. So, come on. It’s time to step up up to the plate. You get my point …
In any case, it’s very encouraging that Justice Martineau addressed the question of:
What allows the Government of Canada to enter into the IGA at all?
Second, Team Arvay …
Joe Arvay and David Gruber did a superb job. The issue in this “Summary Trial” is whether the FATCA IGA can be authorized/justified under the existing Canada U.S. Tax Treaty. To this end, Team Arvy had to explain:
A. That the FATCA IGA was subject to and limited by the terms of the Canada U.S. Tax Treaty (the Government is arguing that the FATCA IGA should be used to interpret the tax treaty); and
B. That the terms of the Canada U.S. Tax Treaty do NOT extend to authorizing the kind of information exchange required by the FATCA IGA.
I believe that they made the argument about as well as it could be made (this does NOT mean that the Judge will agree). But, the argument was well made. What impressed me most about Mr. Arvay’s discussion of the FATCA IGA, was that his description “hit the sweet spot” of:
- explaining just enough so that the issue could be understood; but
- NOT explaining so much that the issue could NOT be understood.
Lessons from Warren Buffett – You may recall Warren Buffett’s saying that:
Joe Arvay and Warren Buffett both understand the “just enough, but not too much principle”.
Third, The Government lawyers …
Although our cause is just, the case is legally complex and the legal arguments are difficult. We all know that we begin with a presumption that the FATCA IGA will be upheld. Sorry, but that’s just reality. Anybody with a U.S. place of birth who lives outside the United States is now subject to oppression and persecution. It is incumbent on those who are oppressed and persecuted to reclaim their dignity, reclaim their rights and reclaim their freedom. That’s just the way it is.
The Government could have selected a better legal team. My impression is that the Government lawyers do NOT understand the broader implications of FATCA, that FATCA is an issue that affects ALL Canadians, that FATCA burden’s Canada’s sovereignty and most importantly that:
FATCA is simply wrong!
“It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.”
This will be appealed. It will continue for a long time. That said, this group of “government lawyers” has the capacity to “snatch defeat out the jaws of victory.”
We will see.
Fourth, the observers …
It’s significant that there are people there. There are people watching. It’s shows that people care. It makes it clear to Justice Martineau that his decision will affect the real lives, of real people in real ways.
This can never be a bad thing!
Conclusion, so far so good …
Today is August 5, 2015. Four years ago – on August 5, 2011 – the compliance industry was “herding people” into the IRS OVDI program. The “push back” is beginning. Today is day two of the hearing. I will keep you “posted” (okay, bad pun intended).
P.S. Speaking of bumper stickers, how about these:
or if you don’t agree then: