On January 28, 29/16 I attended the Canada 2020 “Building A Foreign Policy For Canada’s Future” forum. It was enormously interesting (apparently you will be able to view the sessions online – “Full Conference Video Coming Shortly”). I would recommend it.
Incidentally it included:
- a presentation by Fareed Zakaria (who had an interview with Justin Trudeau which aired on Sunday January 31/16)*
- plenty of discussion of the role and importance of the United States
- no discussion of FATCA (“who could have known?”)
The full agenda is here:
Canadian “foreign policy” and the United States …
The two days included a disproportionate amount of discussion about the United States (the “Spectre” of a Trump Presidency, etc). It was sobering. For the most part the speakers and attendees see the United States as a positive force for good in the world (of course they are not receiving FATCA letters). The perception of the United States as a positive force, makes it very difficult for people to understand the effects of the “Extra-Territorial Overreach” of FATCA, CBT, etc. A Conference on Foreign Policy assumes that Canada is a sovereign nation. There is (but the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty will change this) precious little awareness of how the U.S. FATCA regime is eroding Canada’s sovereignty. As a recent comment by Lake Superior Guy at the Isaac Brock Society noted:
@ Native Canadian “This issue is making huge waves…”
I wish I had your optimism NC. If the issue is making huge waves, then why the virtual silence in the media, from politicians, and the general public? I don’t think we’re on anyone’s radar, probably because of our Yankee roots. We are a privileged class and deserve to suffer a little, right? Or, at the very least, suck it up and come clean to the IRS. The social justice crowd (i.e. the CCLU et al) laughs us to scorn during their coffee breaks, and American relatives just don’t see why we can’t get a lawyer and “just come home!” Joe Arvay had better have some mighty compelling arguments, because I’m not seeing any interest in our cause except from us and even those who should be joining us seem to have not a care in the world. Being blissfully ignorant has its benefits:-)
(Speaking of Americans in our midst, I would say that membership in that “privileged class” is rather large. I am tempted to include the names of two very well known and respected Canadians. But, I won’t accuse them of being “U.S. citizens in a FATCA world. Are these people “blissfully ignorant? Are they “willfully blind”? Are they in fact “U.S. tax compliant? I rather doubt it.)
Of particular (and the subject of this post) is Item 2 described as:
The Ottawa Forum 2016
| Canada 2020 | Centre for International Policy Studies
Getting the North American Relationships Right
• Dr. Fen Olser Hampson, CIGI
• Hon. Gordon D. Giffin, Dentons LLP
• Ian Mallory, SeaNG Corporation
• Agustín Barrios Gómez, Mexico Image Foundation
•Hon. Anne McLellan, PC, Bennett Jones (moderator)*
Why this panel was interesting and important …
The panel focused on relationships among Canada, the United States and Mexico. Of particular interest were the perspectives of the Mexican and American panel representatives.
From the perspective of Agustín Barrios Gómez, Mexico Image Foundation:
Mexico is a nation of 150 million people with (are you ready for this? – 30 million Mexican citizens living in the United States as either U.S. citizens or Green Card Holders). Can you imagine the potential (my thought and not his) for the U.S. to impose FBAR and other “Form Crime” penalties on accounts those Mexican citizens and Green Card holders have in Mexico? He described the United States and Mexico as “roommates” and NOT as “neighbors”. Clearly there are far more “Mexican Americans” than there are “Canadian Americans”.
He suggested that the North American relationship was so important that each country should have a “North American Relations” department. He views “North America” as one neighborhood.
From the perspective of Hon. Gordon D. Giffin, Dentons LLP:
This was of particular interest. I had forgotten that Gordon Giffin (U.S. Ambassador to Canada in the Clinton years) grew up in Canada. Mr. Giffin actually grew up in the Toronto area and attended Richview Collegiate (Stephen Harper’s High School). He returned to the United States for College and law school. In other words, the former U.S. Ambassador to Canada clearly has “Roots” (not the store, which also has a U.S. connection) in Canada.
He began by stating his view that the TPP should be understood to be an update to the NAFTA Treaty.
Mr. Giffin echoed the view that Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are “in effect” part of the same “neighborhood” and that each of the three countries should have a “North America Relations Department”.
Mr. Giffin made the statement (and this is a bit of a paraphrase) that it should “NOT be hard for people to move around the neighborhood”. Hmm… Do you think that FATCA and U.S. “citizenship taxation” might make it hard for North American residents to “move around the neighborhood”?
I assume that Mr. Giffin’s family was filing both U.S. and Canadian taxes during the many years the family was living in Canada. Therefore, he “might” have some concept of U.S. citizenship-based taxation. On the other hand, any concept of citizenship taxation that he might have, would have been formed prior to:
– FBAR, FATCA, PFIC, Foreign Trusts, etc.
– the FBAR Fundraiser
In conclusion …
I highly recommend that you watch the videos of Canada2020.
*And now, for you viewing pleasure …