NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
It’s nice to stay in touch at Xmas even if the people you are staying in touch with can be – well a little rude!
Celtic League deals with all sorts of people from local Councils, Ministers to Prime Ministers and a plethora of agencies and bodies. Invariably you always get a very full response or at the very least an acknowledgement. We always try to be nice in return! I mean we even got a ‘positive’ response when we asked the CIA to change an entry in their (Isle of Man) country yearbook some years ago!
However we noticed that Canadian High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, despite his obvious Celtic antecedents, was a bit ‘sniffy; when it comes to responding to Celtic League correspondence. From his photograph (attached) he seems a congenial sort!
We had written to Gordon following the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) revelations about KPMG Canada using the Isle of Man for what CBC called a ‘tax sham’ (here are some links):
We were a bit concerned when we heard that Canadian Revenue Authorities may do a ‘sweetheart’ deal with KPMG to avoid the issue going to Court so we contacted Gordon to voice our concern. The text of our letter is set out below:
“Mr Gordon Campbell
The High Commissioner for Canada
Canadian High Commission
Canada House Trafalgar Square London SW1Y 5BJ
2nd October 2015
By email and post
I draw your attention to the attached link which relates to a CBC report on a so called ‘tax sham’ scheme in Canada being operated via the Isle of Man:
Having followed the reports on this matter since CBC first started to air them in early September I was disappointed at suggestions that the Canadian authorities were having ‘confidential discussions’ to try to resolve this issue.
I see from the latest report that the so called deal has fallen through and a court case is now proceeding in Canada.
I do not expect you to comment on the current issue before the Federal Courts however I would place on record our concern that ‘ a deal’ to resolve this issue quietly was ever contemplated.
It is outrageous of any government to attempt a back room settlement of an issue when allegations as serious as this are aired.
As we pointed out in correspondence to the OECD recently (copy enclosed):
“the damage caused by tax evasion allegations is not only counter-productive to the State (in this case Canada) which alleges lost revenue but also by the territory (in this case the Isle of Man) which is the subject of the allegations and thereby suffers reputational damage.
Legitimate and credible financial services business must be tarnished when the only medium for resolving issues over taxation is via the mass media.”
Canada’s second largest Trade Union has correctly pointed out that;
“For low- and middle-income Canadians, tax avoidance by the wealthy and privatizing public services have the same result: the average person pays more so a few wealthy individuals can get even wealthier,”
Clearly it is the responsibility of the Canadian government and the CRA to ensure that the correct ‘tax take’ for the Canadian Exchequer is achieved and that anyone alleged to have evaded or facilitated the evasion of tax is brought to book.
Finally, I would point out that US authorities when similar allegations were raised in their jurisdiction several years ago were prepared to use the full weight of criminal law to resolve the matter. There was no talk of shameful back room deals there!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”
You will see that it is very politely worded and we were not asking Gordon to ‘put his neck on the block’, just common courtesy would have sufficed. But apparently when you are Canadian High Commissioner too London ‘you don’t do courtesy’ and Gordon did not see fit to send an acknowledgement.
Maybe, like KPMG Canada, Gordon hopes horrible things just go away.
Anyway we have written again to remind him of our concerns – but seeing its Xmas we’ve enclosed a nice Xmas card – after all we wouldn’t like Gordon to think we are as rude as he is!
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE. The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues https://celticleague.net