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Canadians Confront the Banks and the Yanks: Open Letter Urges President of Canadian Bankers Association to Oppose FATCA

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First was MP Elizabeth May of the Green Party.

Now, more recently by Murray Rankin, the Official Revenue Critic of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in a September 2013 letter to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Then, the Leader of the Opposition, Tom Mulcair (NDP), later upped the ante in a letter to voters, endorsing Rankin's stand and even mentioning the dreaded "S"-word: "sovereignty"!

Even more pointedly, another Party joined the chorus. Liberal MP Ted Hsu addressed to the Government detailed questions about the FATCA IGA, to which the Government is obligated by law to answer in 45 days.

A few days later, Liberal MP Scott Brison also added a different set of FATCA questions to House of Commons Order and Notice papers which again will require a response.

These questions include disclosing "which specific individuals and groups did the Minister of Finance consult regarding any IGA, and on what dates."  We look forward to examining the details of the CBA's and your member banks' consultations with the Finance Ministry.

Everyone is a FATCA critic, but some become witting or unwitting co-enablers

Mr. Campbell, it is well known that Minister Flaherty is no less a critic of FATCA than you are.  However, it simply does not pass the test of credibility for the CBA to claim that an IGA would "hopefully address your concerns and ours and balance out Canadian law and rights with the requirements of FATCA."

To the contrary, if the CBA's efforts to get an IGA signed are successful, it would mean that all of the violations of the rights of Canadian citizens and residents of which Professor Hogg, Ms. May, Mr. Mulcair, Mr. Rankin, Mr. Hsu and Mr. Brison warn would be institutionalized in Canadian law.

In fact, as made clear in the U.S. Fiscal Year 2014 Budget request, removing existing protections and legitimizing their violation is a specific and intended goal of finalizing an IGA. Your support for a FATCA IGA guarantees the success of the U.S. mission.

FATCA's 30% withholding threat leaves no options?

We understand CBA's concern over the imposition of a 30% withholding penalty on U.S.-source transactions for any institution that does not toe the FATCA line. Such blackmail is almost unprecedented in modern history. And we know that this withholding threat is, in your opinion, a trump card held by the U.S. to make sure everyone falls into line.

But has it occurred to you that all it takes is one courageous nation to stand up to this kind of bullying to destroy FATCA altogether?  The CBA thinks it has no choice, but consider this defining moment in Canadian political history and perhaps you'll reconsider:

Correction:  "You had an option, Sir."

Those are the words, which Brian Mulroney thundered at John Turner in 1984, and changed Canadian history.  Going into the leadership debate, the Liberals had a comfortable lead. Instead, Mr. Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives were elected with 211 seats, the largest in Canadian history:

MR. MULRONEY'S WORDS:

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www.globalstrategicpr.com

Managing Director, Global Strategic Communications Group; government and media relations specialist. Former US diplomat, US Senate staffer. JD Georgetown 1978, BA Penn State 1974.

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With US influence sinking faster than a stone, it ... by Archie on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013 at 2:53:29 PM