Canada Still Lets U.S. Laws Apply Here
Date: Sunday, January 21 2007
Royal Bank case this week just the latest example
January 20, 2007
Here's what I don't understand. I don't understand why companies that operate in Canada are allowed to flout Canadian laws. I don't get why, when Canadian laws interfere with U.S. ones, the latter take precedence. Here. In Canada.
I understand why the federal government lets this happen. It doesn't like to rock the boat when it comes to dealing with Washington.
But I really don't understand why more Canadians aren't outraged that their own government is so cavalier about the centrepiece of any country's claim to independence – its right to legislate in its own territory.
The problem is ongoing. The latest example came to light just this week after the Royal Bank refused to let a Canadian citizen open a U.S.-dollar bank account in one of its Montreal branches – because he was born in Iran.
Payam Eslami, 27, moved to Canada when he was 8.
The bank's explanation was that if it wants to do business in the U.S., it must strictly follow American law. American laws discriminate against people from certain countries that Washington doesn't like, including Iran and Cuba.
All of which would have been fine if Eslami had been attempting to open a bank account in, say, Syracuse. But at last count, Montreal was still part of Canada. And in Canada it is illegal and unconstitutional to discriminate against individuals on the base of nationality.
Not that the Canadian government seems to care.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 22, 2007]