Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1

On Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 in Parliament, Questions on the Order Paper

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is absolutely right. The terms around FATCA are not defined.

The intergovernmental agreement, the so-called IGA between the U.S. and Canada, has not been ratified as a treaty by the United States. We are treating it as though we have treaty obligations. The U.S. has not ratified it. We have been warned by the leading lawyers in this country, including Professor Peter Hogg, our leading constitutional expert, that this FATCA would violate section 3 of the charter. We have been warned by Professor Christians, who is the Stikeman Chair at McGill, that this FATCA would not need to be implemented to protect our banks from U.S. retaliation, that the U.S. would not have an automatic legal right to pursue sanctions against the banks based on something that is as outrageous as the extraterritorial application of U.S. law, treating Canadians citizens now in two classes. Those two classes would be those who have some contact with the United States and those who never did.

I ask if my hon. colleague would agree with me that we will see this FATCA before the Supreme Court of Canada where, once again, one of the current administration’s laws will go down to defeat.

Mike Sullivan: Mr. Speaker, yes, this is yet another bill that is likely to find its way to the Supreme Court at some point and be ruled ineffective and that it is not possible to have this bill, particularly the FATCA portion of it. That is something we face, apparently, almost on a daily basis. The government brings forward laws that are in violation of Canada’s charter and Constitution and, in fact, of other laws that the government supposedly wants to uphold, like privacy laws.

We just cannot continue this way. We cannot be bringing forward laws that are not in compliance with the other laws of this country.

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