On ‘real’ Canadians and how Freeland could have responded to McQuaig

Why does the NDP star candidate like FATCA?


Photo by Cole Garside

The first round of Linda McQuaig vs. Chrystia Freeland went to McQuaig, according to most of my colleagues who followed the Toronto Centre by-election debate last Friday (if you haven’t, you can watch it here). A book author and veteran of the Toronto Star McQuaig, who’s running for the NDP, is as much of a political neophyte as Freeland, the Liberals’ pick and also an acclaimed journalist with a bestselling book. But McQuaig seemed a more experienced, agile debater, as Anne Kingston points out here, delivering verbal blows left and right that Freeland seemed unwilling or unable to reciprocate.

There was one side of Freeland, in particular, that McQuaig kept poking: Her supposed un-Canadianness. “Toronto is my home, I’ve lived and worked here all my life,” McQuaig noted in her opening remarks. It was a clear side swipe at Freeland, who’s been abroad for years in Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., and settled down in Toronto Centre only recently. Later on came McQuaig’s straight-out jab: “You’ve been there in Manhattan, hanging out with the rich,” McQuaig told Freeland, speaking, for those in the know, about her competitor’s former gig in New York and her recent book on the ultra-rich.

I suspect Freeland chose not to respond in kind. Because if she’d wanted to, there was an obvious line of attack. For all her fondness of being a true Canadian and disdain for hanging out in Manhattan, McQuaig has publicly praised a controversial U.S. law that might end up encroaching on the constitutional rights of a good many Canadians, including, possibly, Freeland and her family.

I’m talking about FATCA, which stands for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a little-known piece of U.S. legislation that passed in 2010 and should enter into force in Canada next year. (More on that here.) FATCA would require Canadian banks to turn over to the IRS the financial account details of anyone in Canada who might owe taxes to the U.S.

The idea behind FATCA was a good and important one: Catch the fat cats who’ve been skirting U.S. taxes by stashing their money abroad. But the law is designed in such a way that its practical results are quite different. In Canada, FATCA wouldn’t just go after the Canadian accounts of people who live in the U.S. It would go after the Canadian accounts of Canadian citizens—and they don’t need to be rich—who happen to have some sort of link to the U.S. This isn’t Canadians who hold a U.S. passport or green-card. It could be Canadians who were born just south of the border, even though they spent the rest of their lives north of it. It could be Canadians whose grandparents were American. Or any single-passport-holding Canadian who has, at some point, had a U.S. address or a SSN. FATCA would force our banks to sift through their client data to extract the private banking information of these Canadians and pass them on, via the CRA, to the IRS.

This kind of snooping could turn out to unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects privacy and liberty and forbids discrimination based on “national or ethnic origin.” And among the many whose rights might be trampled over would likely be Freeland, who must have a SSN, if not a green card, and certainly had a U.S. address. It would also include Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who was born in Connecticut, and probably other MPs.

Is Linda McQuaig really in favour of letting the U.S. peek into private bank across the nation and, here and there, Parliament Hill as well? That’s unclear. In her own book on the super-rich and inequality, she and co-author Neil Brooks write that: “The reporting requirements in FATCA, assuming they survive the lobbying onslaught, could go a long way toward preventing U.S. citizens from hiding money offshore.” However, the two quickly go on to note that there might be better and most cost-effective ways of doing the same thing. In a Toronto Star column earlier this year, McQuaig wrote that “Even the U.S. Congress passed a sweeping law, to take effect next year, requiring foreign banks to report all assets held by their U.S. clients to U.S. tax authorities.” But again, she rapidly moves on to present an even better idea to catch the fraudsters.

Perhaps McQuaig simply meant to endorse the good idea behind FATCA and not how it has actually been designed. Her apparent lack of attention to the devil in the detail, and how this law targets not just dodgy millionaires and billionaires but middle-of-the-road Canadians who do not live in the U.S., is troublesome. An aspiring MP should know that the road to awful legislation is paved with good intentions.

That’s one sharp jab Freeland could have delivered in response to the just-visiting-Canada attacks. I can see, though, why she might have chosen not to go down this road. FATCA, for one, is a complicated thing to explain in a 30-second soundbite. Besides, talking about FATCA would have kept everyone’s attention on the fact that Freeland has been absent from this country for many years without clearly turning that from a perceived liability into a point in her favour. Sensibly, she preferred to focus on how her “international experience” will be an asset in her work on Parliament Hill. Finally, I think Freeland, once a high-powered Reuters editor who has been attacked for laying off some people, wanted to play down her tough side. Instead, she appeared to be trying hard to come across as the “nice person” one debate caller said she seemed to be.

Still, if not Freeland, someone else should ask McQuaig to come clear on her stance on FATCA. I, for one, would be very interested in what she has to say.


On ‘real’ Canadians and how Freeland could have responded to McQuaig

  1. I’m amazed that Dipper McQuaig has taken up this Con idea that you’re not a ‘real’ Canadian unless you’ve lived here for generations in a log cabin in the woods and never been more than 5 miles from home.

    There is no mention that McQuaig is wealthy from birth, a private school graduate….or that her leader has dual citizenship.

    Yet she complains about Freeland, born and raised in Alberta and a success in her adult life?

    Campaigns are strange things.

    • agree. and McQuaig’s “hanging out with the rich” jab? Does McQuaig consider herself poor? She went to an expensive private school in Rosedale and lived in very expensive neighbourhoods – she is definitely rich compared to 99% of Canadians. A joke that McQuaig doesn’t consider herself to be rich.

      • Well I don’t begrudge her the money….but it’s ludicrous for her to sneer at others for it.

        She’s more ‘silver spoon socialist’ pretending to be working class for the sake of votes. Rob Ford with better hair. LOL

        • exactly, no problem with any candidate or MP being rich, but don’t be a hypocrite and pretend you are something you are not.

        • Better hair? Now, THAT’S debatable.

          • LOL

          • What do you think about FATCA? So many Canadians aren’t aware of what it means for Canada. Some refer to it as the sequel to the War of 1812. Where’s Laura Secord?

          • Well there are lots of American corporations that pay no tax at all….or minimal amounts….I’d rather see the US spend the time and effort going after them rather than the small fry

          • The Canadian Bankers Association is pressuring the Canadian government to enter into a secret deal with the US that would allow banks to circumvent Canada’s privacy laws in order to comply with FATCA. That should concern all Canadians, I would think.

          • ‘Distraction’ is the key to most magician’s tricks….so I assume we got 1812 festivals while people like Diane Francis promoted a merger between the US and Canada.

            I can think of no other reason than possible merger why Canadians….and Americans who have become Canadians …..are now subject to US law.

            It’s made 1812 merely a pointless time delay.

          • Isn’t there anything we could or should do?

          • Do your best to bounce Harp and Co out of there.

          • It will be too late for 1M Canadians and their families by then.

          • Best you can do in the meantime is tell the media…repeatedly.

            Harass your MP….letters to the editor…usual things.

            Lots of Cons are transplanted Americans and they certainly won’t like it

          • Many of us have done just that, but we need a groundswell of support from every Canadian. Most US persons are terrified to come forward for fear of retribution from the IRS, so they hide and hope FATCA won’t happen. The media in Canada is asleep, would rather follow Rob Ford or Senate scandal, or worse are being gagged by the banks here for fear of a bank run.

          • You are going after the wrong bogeyman. This law has always been on US books. It is Obama that is going after the Canadians with any US ties. I know someone, who got dual citizenship because her father is an American. She however, has never lived in the US and has only visited there a few times. Now she has received two hefty tax bills in the tens of thousands of dollars. The advice you are giving is useless. What you have to do is get a special accountant in Ottawa that deals with US taxes and get them to appeal on your behalf. The IRS is the US doesn’t care who is in office in the Canadian government, they are going after low hanging fruit and if they send you a bill you don’t pay, you won’t be able to visit their country OR you will be detained indefinitely.

          • Under Harper the US gets to see census data, flight information and background, plus taxes.

            This is the same Harper that ‘won’t take no for an answer’ on a pipeline.

          • Emily, one day you are bemoaning how Canada’s past great reputation has suffered because of Harper’s refusal to “play nice in the sandbox” and the next you are disgusted that he is handing over information to your friend, Obama. As for the census info. Flight information of people flying into the US is available to the US automatically as is information about all dual citizens and their addresses in Canada. Get a clue. They don’t need the info. from Harper, the IRS has it at their finger tips. What needs to happen is for Canadians to be aware that applying for dual citizenship because their grandparents were American is not a good idea. Also, those who are dual citizens need to get out in front of this problem and file US tax returns through a special accountant who is knowledgeable BEFORE they get nailed with some outrageous tax bill. That is, if they want to continue to visit the US or even fly over that country because if they end up in tax arrears there, they could end up prison.

          • ‘Play nice in the sandbox’ refers to the 200 other countries in the world. And doesn’t mean personal Canadian info should be handed over.

            If we just refrained from invading other countries or otherwise ‘punishing’ them it would be a start.

            Now find someone else to bore.

          • Cretien invaded Afghanistan Emily. I know you are old but do try to keep historical facts straight.
            Given your multiple lol’s over Harper’s interactions with Obama, I am shocked that you now claim that you didn’t mean for him to play nice in the sandbox with (suck up to) Barack.
            Certainly I will leave you alone. I know how the facts do tend to bore you.

          • Chretien was called out under section V of NATO. And as I already said ‘playing nice in the sandbox’ doesn’t mean turning over everyone’s information to the US.

            Hundreds of people post on here….you spend all your time on site attacking me instead of talking to other people

          • Chretien did not wait to be called out. As soon as George Bush called him, he immediately announced that Canada would be providing the US with military support in Afghanistan in their hunt for bin laden and Al Qaeda. Why the revisionist spin?
            As for your claim that I single you out for “attack”, that isn’t exactly accurate. You make a lot of comments and I do try my best to ignore them but so many are so inaccurate and full of hyperbole…for instance, this claim about Canada’s past stellar reputation. The truth is we are a country of little consequence. Today, the news ran a story that the graduates of Harvard, that revered hallowed hall of learning don’t even know the capital of our country. So either they are not so learned or we are not very important.

          • Yes, it was a NATO call-out.

            And once again you are posting me.

            Americans didn’t even know where Iraq and Afghanistan were….AFTER having been there to kill it’s citizens. Don’t go by their knowledge of anything.

          • Get a hold of special accountant in Ottawa who deals with dual citizens (US/Canadian) and get advice. If you get a big tax bill, the accountant can appeal on your behalf. This is IRS, it has nothing to do with Canadians. It is all American government and if you don’t comply with their demands, you can never attend that country. Bush didn’t enforce this law which has long been on the books but Obama is. He is going after every dual citizen, even those who have NEVER lived in the US. He wants them all to fill out US tax returns. I know one person who has received huge bills. She is appealing them but if she loses, she is prepared to give back her US passport and never attend that country again because she will likely be arrested there. She was born in Canada and has never lived in the US or worked there…..ever.

          • DON’T get a hold of a tax accountant right away, their duty is to push you into into an amnesty program. Learn as much as you can before you do anything. Good resources are American Citizens Abroad, Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox. There you can find others who have been through the process (or not). You may actually be an undocumented EX-US citizen and not know it – complying will throw you back into the system!

          • I am not a dual citizen. I was born in Canada and both my parents are Canadian. Multi-generation Canadians.
            I am only talking about a woman I know whose father was an American military man stationed in Canada. Her mother is Canadian and she was born in Canada. She is 50 years old but two years ago decided to apply for a dual American citizenship. and an American passport. A few months ago, she received a tax bill from the IRS for less than $10K. She appealed it and then received a bill for $40K. She is also appealing that bill. I also met a man whose wife is an ex-US citizen. They own several businesses. She files US taxes every year and although he is a Canadian citizen, they force him to provide all of his personal information as well.

          • Sadly, stories like this are not uncommon.

          • Yes, at least 3% of Canada’s population plus their families and business partners will be effected by FATCA.

          • Well, last time we had this discussion you said something along the lines of “we need to sell them oil” as the reason for accepting FATCA. Have you changed your tune and now agree that FATCA is a real threat?

          • Noop didn’t say that. Maybe you misunderstood.

          • Then you misunderstood it…..I said ‘we’….Canada.

            Harper has been keen on not annoying Americans all his life.

          • So you agree that we should annoy the US and not accept FATCA?

            Also, would like to hear if you still think that FATCA would not be a violation of the Constition?

          • Jim…..I said we will go along with FATCA, and it won’t matter about the constitution several times now.

            Time for some realpolitick

          • Well at least Liberal MP Ted Hsu is showing concern about FATCA and the Constitution.
            See: http://blog.tedhsu.ca/2013/10/28/looking-for-answers-on-facta/

            And Liberal MP Scott Brison has a boatload of questions re FATCA.
            See: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blogs-and-comment/ted-hsu-and-scott-brison-have-questions-about-the-coming-u-s-foreign-account-crackdown-good-questions/

            Glad to see some Liberals have a bit of backbone and won’t just accept it as a fait accompli. Greens and NDP have already staked out solid positions.

            Having said that, do you really not have an opinion of your own? Seriously?

          • I’m with the crowd that tells the US to sod off….but realistically speaking we’ll go along with it.

            I’m sure there will be ‘talks’ and a few slight changes…..but we still think DC is Rome….so we’ll go with it in the end.

    • Definition of Dippers – take from the rich, give to the poor(tax, tax, and more tax) – outlaws.

    • More interesting is how McQuaig is more than happy to show support for “statist” American legislation that will have a real impact on thousands of Canadians. I’d bet dollars to donuts that she was one of the ones proclaiming from the rooftops that we didn’t need any American influences on domestic Canadian policy when the NRA waded into our gun control debate.
      The mendacity of the political left, especially that of limousine liberals such as McQuaig, knows no bounds.

      • The Cons are of course above lying about opponents. [rolls eyes]

      • Whatever else she is McQuaig isn’t a Limo Liberal. Lame attempt to lump liberals and lefties in the same pot. It may have escaped your notice the 2nd and 3rd party are scrapping here for a reason.There are genuine differences between the two parties despite Mulcair’s attempt to pull the party to the middle.

        • Okay, then, she’s a champagne socialist. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

          • That’s better.

    • You didn’t know this?

      And Erica is as Canadian as I am….7 generations here, although we gave up the log cabin some time ago. LOL

      • In an age of globalization, FATCA is America’s new Berlin Wall.

  2. it seems Maclean’s and the Toronto Star are really going after CF. These two(TS@MAC) have been relentless going after her. So what will happened if Trudeau gets the hat-trick next week, will they all be reporting about the hat-trick if he wins, or will it be reporting how close LM came ? these are useless articles by contrite supporters of LM. LM seems to have more bitter friends in the media circles.

  3. I believe it is worth repeating my comment from the referenced FATCA article:

    The US overreach that FATCA represents is massive.
    – FATCA would basically make the CRA an extension of the IRS.
    – FATCA would impose massive compliance costs on Canadian financial institutions and the government.
    – FATCA would provide zero benefit for Canada.
    – FATCA would potentially disrupt the lives of significant numbers of law abiding Canadian citizens and residents.
    – FATCA would likely violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    – FATCA would not be reciprocal.

    FATCA is an example of stunning arrogance.

    For a FATCA fact sheet, see http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/What-is-FATCA-CAN-1-4.pdf

  4. Thanks for some very good information on FATCA. It’s horrifying to hear a Canadian politician offer support for such a hideous law. Imagine if Ms. McQuaig were elected and her constituents listened to her rather than investigate for themselves. No “real” Canadian would ever support FATCA! I also would like for Ms. McQuaig to clarify her stance on FATCA.
    I wonder if Ms Freeland, due to her long time in the US, is a “US Person” and thus, liable to the reporting requirements regarding “foreign” bank accounts. If one has signing authority for accounts, the banking information for such accounts must be reported to the IRS. I don’t know if there is a situation where an MP has such authority but it could pose the question of whether or not that is appropriate.

    • and to the US Treasury on the FBAR form …. LOL …. suppose these people have signing authority (or even co signatory responsibilities) on any organizations’ accounts (worse yet any Government Agency Accounts) can you imagine the horror show reporting all those account details to the US Treasury under penalty of a fine of 50% of the maximum balance in the account each year !?!

  5. Is it Canadian to accuse Canadians of not being “real Canadians”? I thought that such was more of an American trait.

    • I don’t know. But it’s certainly un-Canadian of you to bring up such a question. Go back to America.

      • Oh, so “going to America” is the secret for becoming a “real Canadian”? That makes sense for Ms. McQuaig, I guess.

      • rather rude I’d say …..

        • In the past, Canadians were known for being generally friendlier than those down south. Now, with the push of southern law up north, the “real” Canadian has emerged.

          • Don’t judge Canadians by a guy who post under a false id[ Omen] not even Conservatives. We have our moron fringe up here too.

          • Not all Canadians are rude, and insensitive. Especially those of us who have been pooped on by USA with all this FATCA and citizenship based taxation nonsense.

      • You make Canadians look as ignorant as Americans. BTW, SwissTechie is not American, and does not live in USA.

  6. Between the two of them they couldn’t scare up half a brain.

    • You got Rick’s vote, there’s your half a brain anyway.

  7. Linda McQuaig sounds clued in, self-possessed and speaks plainly. She’s clearly in her element here in Toronto-Centre and nobody, least of all her party, doubts her competence. McQuaig is at ease alongside Thomas Mulcair and her colleagues.

    Freeland on the other hand is new. She seems so terrified of the Liberal party whip that she can hardly function, which puts her at a serious disadvantage. Then again even if she wins it won’t really matter what she thinks, she’ll just be standing up and sitting down on demand for big oil subsidies, pro Keystone XL, enviro-lipservice and against PR. At events together Justin Trudeau does almost all the talking and she just sits there next to him. Justin Trudeau features more in their lit than she does. If they’re not careful Liberal voters might be hard pressed to remember her name and will be searching instead for “Justin Trudeau” on their Toronto-Centre ballot.

    • Could you take the pom-poms elsewhere please….they’re making me sneeze.

    • I don’t know how at ease McQuaig will be with Mulcair when her opinion of FATCA conflicts with Mulcair’s.

    • Did anybody mention the Conservative attack ad in Toronto-Center “That lady with Trudeau is just visiting”.

      • LOL

    • How many Freeland/Trudeau events have you attended?

      • None, and it shows And if he thinks the liberal whip is somehow poised over JT’s star candidate he’s deluded.

    • Freeland sounds like the backbench type. That might change — she is new, and prone to front runner vagueness and empty sounbites. But McQuaig stands out as another possible NDP maverick in the house, who will have influence on NDP caucus.

      So, this is another aspect of this issue, aside from “party”.

      What kind of voice in the house does Toronto Center want?

  8. “Real Canadians” seem to believe that American law, such as FATCA, is superior to Canadian law, such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  9. It is stunning that Macleans coverage has failed to mention the Progressive Canadian Party and Toronto Centre PC Party candidate and president the Rev. Dorian Baxter on FACTA or the issue focussed and factual Fact finding forum on FACTA hosted by the Progressive Canadian Party? Instead the personal styles of the less than substantive McQuaig and Freeland seem to interest them alone in the Toronto Centre by-election.

    • The by-election also raises the opportunity to discuss a number of important local and citizen-concerned issues of wide importance to Canadian infrastructure including the failure of the Harper Conservatives to consult the community rather than just his political allies in Toronto City Hall on GTA transit issues.

      What of national issues? Progressive Canadians continue to share the Progressive Conservative national vision and policies which reinforce Canada?s parliamentary institutions, democracy and social fabric in areas like health care and education and our responsibility to our veterans founded on real Tory principles which balance progressive social policy and fiscal responsibility in the national interest. All of this has been referenced by PC Party president and Toronto Centre candidate Dorian Baxter. Yet this is unreported.

      The by-election called following the retirement from Parliament of Toronto Centre MP, recent Liberal Interim Leader and former Premier of Ontario the Honourable Bob Rae is in a very real sense a referendum on the Harper government and calls into question the standing of the Harper Conservative Party as a national party.

      Ten years after the take-over of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Harper?s party continues to try to reshape Confederation and Parliament around old Reform Party prejudices as evidenced by his partisan Senate appointments, reform proposals and Scandal, and political prorogations of parliament as a zealous, inward-looking movement rather than with responsibility to all Canadians as a national party.

    • That’s a good example of the American “fair share” desired by “real” Canadians, where France gives and America takes. Give to America and take nothing in return.

  10. What a hilarious conjectural smear job. As if my support for transit expansion in the city of Toronto, immediately translates into support for the Liberals Rob Ford inspired Billion dollar “Subways! Subways! Subways!” vote buy in the Scarborough-Guildwood provincial by-election this summer. Being supportive of legislation that attempts to thwart efforts by the rich to offshore their money, as a form of tax evasion, does not equate with supporting the stupid way it is implemented.

    I could as easily hypothetically ask: “Does Freeland support a woman’s right to choose?” based on her (as yet unretracted) assertion that Sarah Palin is a “Feminist role model” and then write about regressive abortion legislation in the US for another ten paragraphs, and then ponder why Freeland hasn’t spoken to the issue.

    And where does Freeland stand on the “right to choose” given that Palin is a “role model” Inquiring minds want to know.


    My takeaway is that McQuaig has not made any major gaffs to pick on,

    • If a “conjectural smear job” is what it takes to get Linda McQuaig to take a position on FATCA then so be it. 3% of her constituents, their families and business partners deserve to know whether she’s willing to throw them under the bus for the IRS.

    • As a Canadian citizen for 50 years with Canadian born parents and grandparents, but cursed with a US birthplace (I left as a baby), FATCA is making my and my family’s life a living hell. I won’t have any respect for Linda, unless and until she makes her position on FATCA clear. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, and the pressure for her to speak up on this issue will increase as more and more so-called ‘US persons’ wake up to the fact that USA is trying to claim them and their families as a source of revenue to help pull the USA out of its astronomical debt. I represent the tip of the ice burg, as the vast majority of the affected 1 million ‘US persons’ in Canada (most are also Canadian) haven’t even heard of FATCA, YET, never mind understand its outrageously, abusive effects.

      • Have you asked her?

        Try that. I don’t imagine that her constituents are beating down her door asking about this obscure IRS regulation.

        I guess the reason that you are too loose “respect” for her, indicates that you are not taking away your vote, which was going elsewhere anyway, regardless of her views on this issue.

        • I have not personally asked her, but many others have.

          Although FATCA may be obscure in the sense that few people know of it, and fewer still understand it, it will have immense impact world-wide when the full force of it comes to be. At that point, there will no longer be anything obscure about it, but it will be much harder to defeat, particularly if our Canadian politicians have allowed this American law to trump Canadian law. It is Linda’s job to understand FATCA NOW, before 1 million Canadians and their families are mowed down by the FATCA train rolling directly towards them.

          • I agree. It fits in with a whole series of “deep integration” issues, and as such, I don’t even think anyone would have thought this would be possible 20 years ago. But here it is.

          • You can’t imagine how persecuted people like myself feel right now. My parents and grandparents are Canadian born. I spent only the first 18 months of my 51 years in USA. I have identified as Canadian all my life, and have been Canadian since birth because of my parents Canadian status. I never went to school in USA, never worked in USA, never had any US sourced income, and did little travelling there other than the occasional shopping trip.I don’t cost the US anything, and will never be able to collect any benefits such as social security. Its not like I had a choice where I was born, yet US thinks it owns a piece of me because I had the misfortune to be born on its soil.

            I cannot hide because my Canadian passport shows my US birthplace. They may as well have tattooed me with a red, white and blue flag when I was born.

            I think of FATCA constantly, and have been part of 3 different public demonstrations against it, and have done lots of letter writing and emailing to politicians who mostly ignore me. This is so brutal and unfair. I pay my taxes here, and have always had a pet peeve against people who cheat the Canadian tax system. How ironic that I am considered a tax evader. If Canada rolls over on this, there is going to be a riot on the streets and I will be part of it.

        • Both acquaintances and strangers to Linda McQuaig have been asking for her position on FATCA for over a year now, after she referred to it in her book “Billionaires’ Ball” where she touts it as something that “could go a long way toward preventing US citizens from hiding money offshore”, and makes no mention whatsoever of the terrible effect FATCA would have on Canadians. Either she didn’t research is thoroughly prior to offering her opinion of it as a panacea for tax evasion, or she believes that destroying the lives of a few Canadians is ok in the bigger fight against offshore tax evasion. Which do you think it is?

      • I entirely agree on point about FACTA.

        Have you tried asking her, as opposed to presuming that she is ignoring the issue that few if any of her constituents are bringing up?

        Sound like a good question to me. But to assume failure to answer a question not posed amounts to evasion is absurd. This article is just haymaking of the worse sort.

        I assume the reason that you will loose “respect” for McQuaig if she does not “speak up” means that she will not be “losing your vote” because it was headed elsewhere anyway..

        • Both acquaintances and strangers to Linda McQuaig have been asking for her position on FATCA for over a year now, after she referred to it in her book “Billionaires’ Ball” where she touts it as something that “could go a long way toward preventing US citizens from hiding money offshore”, and makes no mention whatsoever of the terrible effect FATCA would have on Canadians. Either she didn’t research is thoroughly prior to offering her opinion of it as a panacea for tax evasion, or she believes that destroying the lives of a few Canadians is ok in the bigger fight against offshore tax evasion. Which do you think it is?

          • I see, well, has Freeland answered this question. And I highly doubt she supports IRS SWAT Teams rousting Canadians out of their beds over small potatoes.

            But keep asking. It’s a question that any of candidate standing for election to a federal seat should answer.

            Here however is a letter from NDP MP for Toronto Danforth, which addresses this issue, wherein, it in part says:

            //New Democrats have also been fighting for the Conservatives to finally get serious when it comes to tax havens. But this does not mean rolling over and playing dead in the face of a misguided effort of the US to, in effect, treat Canada as a tax have. Just as we believe the Canadian Government has a responsibility to protect Canada’s tax base, we understand the United States’ desire to protect their own tax base — but this cannot come at the cost of the rights of individuals in our own country. We are demanding answers and transparency from the Conservatives on FATCA, and will not support an agreement that violates the privacy rights of individuals.//

            I suggest that Linda probably feels the same.


          • I sure hope so, but she’ll probably break ranks with organizations such as Canadians for Tax Fairness, Citizens for Tax Justice, and Canadians for Tax Fairness in doing so.

          • I sure hope so, but she’ll probably break ranks with organizations close to her heart such as the Tax Justice Network, Citizens for Tax Justice, and Canadians for Tax Fairness in doing so.

  11. This excerpt from a letter from Craig Scott NDP MP from Toronto-Danforth Probably belongs here:

    //New Democrats have also been fighting for the Conservatives to finally get serious when it comes to tax havens. But this does not mean rolling over and playing dead in the face of a misguided effort of the US to, in effect, treat Canada as a tax have. Just as we believe the Canadian Government has a responsibility to protect Canada’s tax base, we understand the United States’ desire to protect their own tax base — but this cannot come at the cost of the rights of individuals in our own country. We are demanding answers and transparency from the Conservatives on FATCA, and will not support an agreement that violates the privacy rights of individuals.//

    I suggest that Linda probably feels the same.


      • Yes, it pretty obvious, which brings us back to the decontextualized drive-by article, that other than starting this excellent discussion, misses the mark of credible journalism.

        Surely. were the author sincere in their efforts they could have googled the above letter, as I did to add balance to the story, but the methinks the author was more interested in extrapolating on a point of prevarication to score hits, as opposed to getting an answer.

        Which brings me back to my point about Freeland, does her support of Sarah Palin as a Feminist role model bring into question he support of a woman’s right to choose?

        This game is easy, and intellectually dishonest.

        • Had Linda McQuaig only spoken in support of Obama you’d have a better basis of comparison, but she spoke in direct support of FATCA. This is not about her clarifying her position, it’s about retracting her support of FATCA, either because she was ignorant to the effects it would have on a great number of Canadians, or because she was willing to sacrifice them in her crusade against offshore tax evasion, a position which conflicts with the official NDP position on FATCA.

          • Well, I think I made my point.


          • Look Steven, Linda McQuaig sold a lot of books that contained a statement that could be interpreted as support for FATCA. What else has she spouted off about that she has no understanding of, or worse, that show her support of measures that persecute a wide swath of people?

          • I have contributed as much as I can to this conversation. McQuaig is on record as supporting FACTA in a general sense to prevent the wealthy from using overseas bank accounts as a way of evading taxation.

            That does not translate into supporting measures that inveigh upon the rights of Canadians. At the time McQuaig wrote the quote in question FACTA was just an idea, the method of implementation had not been made clear.

            There is no way you can charge that McQuaig supports measures that had not been made evident, or proposed at the time that she wrote what she wrote just because she supported the general idea.

            The NDP position is also clear on the method of implementation.

            Meanwhile, Freeland has reconfirmed her view that she thinks Palin is a “Feminist Role Model”, even though Palin’s positions on the issues are eminently clear.

            And finally, you and I know that you were not going to cast a vote in her favour anyway, right?

          • To tell you the truth, I’m not even a constituent of hers, but I am an anti-FATCA advocate. ‘Billionaires’ Ball’ was published in March of 2012, two years after FATCA legislation was passed and long after tax advisors were warning Canadians about it. It’s conceivable that she wasn’t aware of FATCA’s ill-effects then, but any excuse of ignorance wears a bit thin when she opined “Even the U.S. Congress passed a sweeping law, to take effect next year, requiring foreign banks to report all assets held by their U.S. clients to U.S. tax authorities” in an April 9th edition of the Star earlier this year. IMO, she should have known about FATCA’s ill-effects by then (certainly many had written to her about it by then), and ignored them in order to make a point. The fact that she didn’t refer to FATCA by name is more than a little curious by me. What do you think?

          • Thanks for the corrections.

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