Birkenfeld believes there’s at least $1-billion in federal unpaid taxes in Canada

By Allan Cutler

For the past four years, I have been attempting to get Bradley Birkenfeld to come to Canada and assist the Canadian government by testifying and providing valuable documentation regarding the illegal off-shore industry. Birkenfeld believes that there is at least $1-billion in federal unpaid taxes in Canada.

Birkenfeld was an American banker working in Switzerland. As a whistleblower, he exposed the largest and longest running tax fraud by Americans using off-shore accounts. The unprecedented results were shocking and ultimately he received an award of $104-million from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since more than $5-billion of unpaid taxes were recovered. In keeping with the fine traditions of the U.S.A., the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecuted him (and only him) for the exact revelations that had resulted in this award. The absolutely false argument made by the DOJ was that he withheld a client name from them. In any event, he received a criminal record and a 31-month jail term for the historic and courageous actions.

The story does not end there. Birkenfeld has been instrumental in the massive fraud investigation against the Swiss Banks and the further release of names of tax evaders by Swiss authorities. To this day, Birkenfeld continues to fight this corruption and has helped a number of foreign governments to recover what is rightly owed them.… Read the rest

Time to turn a new leaf with whistleblowers

We are now about six months into the new Liberal government mandate. It’s a good time to stop and take stock. From a whistleblowing viewpoint, has anything changed under the new regime?

There are some indicators of a positive change. In November 2015, scientists were reported to have been “unmuzzled.” We’ve also heard from public servants speaking off the record about a positive change in culture inside government; impartial advice is again valued. The new government has also dropped several legal cases—for example, one in which the previous government tried to silence Cindy Blackstock and her efforts to get fair funding for aboriginal education.

On the other hand, there are also negative indicators. While the Liberals promised to be open by default with information—and continue to reinforce this message—they have recently announced that reforms to the Access to Information Act will have to wait until 2018. This is a major disappointment for advocates. They believe that good recommendations for change already exist and simply have to be enacted. So why the wait? After 10 years of Conservative government, none of the skeletons in the closet will belong to the Liberals. There are still significant delays in obtaining information from departments under the ATI.… Read the rest

The inaccessibility of politicians

Allan Cutler

I have a problem. No, I am mistaken, I have two problems. The first problem is an awareness of potential corruption and fraud on Ontarians at the federal level. The second problem is the difficulty of discussing what appears to be a bureaucratic cover-up with federal politicians.

When you are trying to expose what appears to be a serious, multi-million-dollar problem that Ontarians have been made to pay for, you cannot afford to limit yourself to one party. You have to approach all of them in the hope that one will take action. Without going into details regarding what I view as a serious case of potential corruption or fraud, let me explain my actions with regard to each of the four parties represented in the House of Commons.

First, there is the Green Party. Originally I sent an email to Elizabeth May on July 8, 2013. The result: nothing, not even an acknowledgement. When May was at meeting in Winnipeg, Cecilia Basic, the western regional director for Canadians for Accountability, attended the meeting. According to Cecilia, May expressed an interest in meeting with us. Based on that, I sent another email on Oct. 16, 2013. The result: exactly the same, nothing, not even an acknowledgement.… Read the rest