Tax agents rebuked, $1.3 million awarded to man who was target of raid

At a time when I have been busy losing faith that Canada is a kinder gentler country, there is a glimmer of hope that somehow our government agencies, that have become ever increasingly more punitive, will be reigned in.

Government agencies have been ignoring the Charter of Rights and invading privacy, behaving in high handed and arbitrary fashions.

The agencies are not consistent on how they treat one person over another. There is a lack of fairness.

The agencies do not care who’s life they ruin or what business goes down because of them. Bankruptcies are up 50% and you can be sure there is a government agency has played some role in making the situation worse.

There is a growing groundswell of citizens who have had enough. This recent court case in favor of the citizen will set the future in motion. You can look to see more cases and more losses by government agencies.

CRA and their tax regime pales in comparison to the Ontario Securities Commission who will post the details of allegations against a citizen. They know no boundaries of decency, not even stopping at the publishing of a citizen’s mental health on their web site. Further they will torment said ill person with consistent badgering …overruling Doctor’s letters, making demands and then publishing the information for the entire country to read. The OSC conducts a trial by media and tribunal of personal information with no concern of a citizens right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. They ruin businesses and lives in the pursuit of evidence. And if you want to understand the reason just add up all the fines posted on the OSC site.

The Minister Of Labor is a feared agency for businesses… they can come in and make orders and levy huge fines and have the power of incarceration. Usually it is just huge fines. Again there is trial by being guilty until proven innocent.

The OSC and MOL both can conduct trials (Called a Tribunal)  to discover evidence. They follow rules of court, but when you are sitting there being cross examined by their lawyers, you get the picture… you are in a judicial system with no protection by the Charter of Rights.

While CRA can not audit while they are investigating, and when it becomes an investigation, they lose a lot of their broad powers. Still their mandate is about getting as much money as they can. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) alone there are 2,400 auditors out looking for the almighty dollar.

WSIB comes in looking for increased premiums, missed anythings… Team leaders pump up their auditors to get as much as you can… make targets etc…. If you agree to their dollar assessments, then they will back date your debts. Fighting them is expensive, so most businesses fold. In order to fight them, you need to pay the premiums first and then they will listen to your objections.

Now CRA and WSIB have teamed up and share good leads. It makes them both more profitable, one Agency goes in and finds lots of money and then they tip off the other Agency. So now it is a double whammy.

And that is what the Government Agencies have become….Teams of Auditors and investigators, out to get as much money as they can. Success is measured in dollars and cents. They levy huge penalties on people in hard times who can not pay their ticket….. When a citizen can’t pay the principal debt, let alone the tripling of the final amount, very often the result is a bankrupt citizen.

Canada has become a place where its citizens fear their government even when they have done nothing wrong. You never know who’s life will be ruined by the government.

It is all about money and now that we are in tough economic times, the agencies are even more aggressive in their financial assaults on the Canadian Citizen.

A kinder gentler Canada? I think not!

The following case gives a glimmer of hope that Agencies will have to reign in their Dark Forces and respect the law, the Charter and the Constitution.  And God forbid… have a sense of fairness.

Dan White.

The following article is printed on line on the Times Colonist and written by L Dicson.


Hal Neumann, with wife Maureen Rivers, has been awarded $1.3 million in a lawsuit against the Canada Revenue Agency.

Hal Neumann, with wife Maureen Rivers, has been awarded $1.3 million in a lawsuit against the Canada Revenue Agency.
Photograph by: Darren Stone, Victoria Times Colonist

A B.C. Supreme Court jury has awarded a Saanich businessman $1.3 million in damages after finding the Canada Revenue Agency breached his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The jury also recommended the minister of revenue apologize to Hal Neumann for the Sept. 7, 2005, search of his home by five CRA agents and two armed and uniformed police officers for documents he had already given the government.

“This jury has told government agencies, ‘Be careful,’ ” said Neumann’s lawyer, Steven Kelliher.

Neumann called the verdict a victory for “ordinary folks in Canada who have been pushed around for far too long.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this,” he said.

Richard Neary, who was part of the legal team, called the decision earth-shattering. “It’s a landmark in law in terms of the recognition of the vital importance that the charter plays and the respect with which it needs to be upheld.”

The jury found Neumann’s right to privacy, which CRA employees infringed, was worth $1 million. The jury also found the CRA employees were negligent and damaged Neumann. They awarded him $150,000 for pain, injury, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, $100,000 for aggravated damages and $50,000 for loss of income.

The CRA is reviewing the decision and considering its next steps, media relations spokesman Noel Carisse said from Ottawa.

Neumann, who was born in East Germany and escaped with his family to refugee camps in West Berlin, launched the civil suit because he felt bullied and terrorized in the search. He has suffered from depression, paranoia and post-traumatic stress disorder ever since the search, court was told.

Last week, the jury heard Neumann was never the subject of a CRA investigation, but an innocent third party. In 2004, his business went through a successful audit. During the audit, however, the CRA learned that Leah Bonnar, an Alberta woman Neumann did business with, had received commission cheques from him. She later became the focus of a CRA tax-evasion investigation. Neumann gave the auditor his original documents concerning Bonnar. Those documents, which were photocopied and returned to him, were the same ones later sought in the search warrant.

Neumann was at home on the morning of Sept. 7, 2005, when he saw police cars driving into his small cul-de-sac. When he answered the door, a CRA investigator told him she had a warrant to search his home for records regarding the Bonnar investigation.

When Neumann asked her why the CRA was accompanied by police, the police officer said in most such searches, everyone in the house is arrested.

Neumann complied with orders to pull out all the cash he had in the house, and took a computer expert upstairs to his office to download anything he wanted. The search lasted several hours.

University of Victoria law professor Rebecca Johnson said there have been few awards in Canadian history for damages stemming from breaches of charter rights. In 1998, an unidentified woman was awarded $220,000 after suing Toronto police for violating her constitutional right to equality and for breaching the duties they owed her. She had argued that police should have told her she was a potential victim of the man known as the balcony rapist because of where she lived.

The Neumann case is groundbreaking, said Johnson, in that the jury’s decision reflects the fact that it was an unreasonable and unnecessary search.

“This is a very big fine against a powerful agency. It means the CRA will have to take very seriously the human dignity of the people whom they investigate,” said Johnson.

“This would be completely upsetting for any ordinary citizen to have five agents and two police officers show up at your house and tell you they can arrest you. It would be absolutely traumatizing and it would shake your faith in our system of justice.”

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