Canadian Government Expresses Support for FATCA Despite Concerns

Post by
March 22, 2016

Canadian politicians have been at odds over enforcement of the United States-Canada Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), an agreement providing for the exchange of FATCA-related information, as some assert that the information exchange obligations arising from the IGA violate privacy rights of Canadian citizens.  However, recently elected Liberal Party leaders, who previously voiced these concerns regarding the IGA, now support its enforcement and insist that all FATCA-related information exchanges will fully comply with Canadian privacy rights.

One Canadian organization has gone so far as to challenge the constitutionality of the IGA, asserting that it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but the Federal Court of Canada upheld the IGA, leading to the first transfer of FATCA-related information in September 2015.  However, Democratic Party leaders in the Canadian Parliament have not backed down, as evidenced by one member requesting discussion of the IGA among the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.  Although these efforts may cast some doubt on the future of enforcement efforts in Canada, the new government’s support and insistence on privacy compliance suggest that enforcement of the IGA will, for now, continue uninterrupted.