@PMHarper gives @BarackObama #FATCA – the “Gift that keeps on giving”

The article referenced in the above tweet includes:

On this week when national holidays mean cross-border expressions of friendship and neighbourly bonhomie, the Stephen Harper Conservatives officially gave the U.S. the gift that will keep on giving.

They have allowed Uncle Sam to reach across the border and grab what they can from hundreds of thousands who have made Canada their home, are Canadian citizens and have pledged loyalty and affection to their adopted land.

It is a tax treaty, unusually enshrined in Canadian law through an omnibus budget bill, which rudely views not only Americans living in this country but dual citizens, Canadians who have returned after holding U.S. green cards, those with American spouses, even so-called “border babies” who never actually lived south of the borders — as cheats.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a typical bully-boy move by the U.S. government, which unlike most other countries, compels its citizens to pay taxes regardless of where they live.

The American reach is worldwide, with more than 70,000 financial institutions in more than 80 countries complying with Washington’s wishes, but only in Canada are expatriates fighting back.

A court challenge is being prepared that will likely focus on Ottawa’s willing move to breach the privacy of its own citizens and discriminate against citizens based on their ethnic origin.

Stephen Kish, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, often has competing loyalties on this week, but this year those divided loyalties are eclipsed by his anger at the government of the country in which he has lived for almost four decades.

“My adopted country . . . how it could turn against us?’’ he says. “That hurts a lot.

“I had a generic hope that no government would ever do this, that no government that respects itself as a separate entity would cede its rights to a foreign government.’’

Kish, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, was born in Seattle, but first crossed the border into Canada in 1970, settling here permanently in 1977.

Kish is also now the chair of the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty, a fundraising group established to raise money needed to launch the court challenge.

He’s not there yet and he knows he is fighting the ultimate battle, taking on the machinery of not only official Ottawa but, by extension, the massive machine of the U.S. government.



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