Government must address public concerns about U.S. tax law

Last week, I wrote to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and demanded that he address growing public anxiety about the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and secret negotiations over an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the implementation of FATCA in Canada.


It was the second letter I have written to the Minister expressing my serious concerns about a new U.S. law that, if implemented, could require Canadian banks, investment funds and other financial institutions to disclose annually to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information on accounts held by American citizens, including dual citizens in Canada.


I’ve spoken to many of dual citizens in Victoria over the last few weeks. They’re worried about how this law might impact their lives. They’re also angry, rightfully so, at the secrecy surrounding the Conservative government’s negotiations with the United States.


Fear and misinformation are now filling the void left this government’s complete failure to communicate with the public about these negotiations. The Conservative government needs to bring transparency to this process, inform Parliamentarians on the status of talks, and reject any deal that is unequal or violates the rights of Canadians.


I am asking that the government acknowledge the very legitimate public concerns about the FATCA, bring transparency to this process and inform Parliamentarians on the state of negotiations as soon as possible.