This is an open letter to the federal Minister of Revenue, Martin Cauchon
As Cicero said, 'Let the good of the people be the chief law'
My name is David Pryke and I live in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. I consider myself to be a non-violent, civil, well educated, and reasonably well-informed individual. Like you, I have a post-graduate university degree.

I do not believe -- I think. I am an avid reader, a careful listener, and have a personal computer for research into a wealth of libraries and other sources of information. I have an innate interest in politics. I have been retired for the past 10 years or so and have indulged my many interests which included becoming well-informed of much that is political and economic.

I have read many sections of the NAFTA, especially Chapter 11and the ubiquitous dispute mechanism, the BNA Act and the Constitution Act 1982. I have knowledge of the Fractional Reserve System of banking and its impact on governing the people of Canada since the Bank Act of 1913.

I am well aware that all federal governments have been formed by Liberal or Conservative political parties since confederation in 1867, and in recent years, much of their legislation has been supported by ultra-conservative parties such as the Reform/Alliance Party.

I have, over a period of time and at different times, become aware of many international organizations and the various agreements concluded by them -- for example, the World Bank, IMF, WTO, OECD, GATS, MAI (now part of WTO), EU, NATO, etc. -- and I most certainly do not fit the RCMP intelligence brief released to Southam Press for publication.

Now that you have my name and address, everything else about me and my personal life is available to you, I am sure, regardless of the protestations of your cabinet colleague, Jane Stewart, in the House of Commons last year.

Despite the wide range of political propaganda and problems that were and are assailing us every day of our lives, nothing seemed to me so preeminent as that of taxes and, in particular, personal income taxes. And it was there that I decided to focus my attention.

I will be quite honest and straightforward in this disclosure of my thoughts, actions and experiences. I decided on a methodical approach and that my research should be two-pronged: both empirical and academic. I made an assumption that, somewhere, somehow, the two would link.

I have, in my lifetime, written many letters to politicians and others who have claimed importance -- most times to be ignored, answered with a form letter, or some other example of irrelevant information, relegated to my place amongst the illiterate and the great unwashed.

What is generally assumed or thought to be public service is an assumption of power. Politicians, and those they appoint, become our masters, with little or no intention of even listening to the people they are supposed to represent. That was not an avenue to be pursued any more.

I began to read of many people, individuals and others, who had joined together to form "un-tax" and "de-tax" groups. Their research into matters legal and constitutional was impressive. Many have seen the insides of courtrooms. Those who tried to use their research as a matter of concern for their defence when prosecuted were constantly rebuffed. Their experiences in the courts, before the judiciary and the legal profession (crown attorneys), included ridicule and contempt (and it still continues today) left much to be desired. I had to find another way.

I discussed taxation, particularly personal income taxes, with friends and acquaintances -- in fact, with anyone who would spend the time. It was very revealing. Everyone had something to say and many expressed resentment.

Since that time I have made contact, both directly and indirectly, with many people across the country. There is a not-so-silent fire that's burning in the bellies of what could be tens of thousands of courageous Canadians who are resisting what was once described to me as "this evil imposition" of personal income taxes.

I discussed the possibility of not concurring with what was deemed a necessity of life -- the commitment to give to the ruling masters a considerable portion of one's wages, salary or pension.

I was quite impressed, but not really surprised, at the number of people who counseled me to conform. Did I not know the consequences? Had I not heard the stories? You will lose everything, they said: your house, your car, everything you own. Had I not heard about the people whose bank accounts had been cleaned out, the complicity of the banking institutions, government ministries like Human Resources, government employers (provincial and federal) to aid the agents of what was then Revenue Canada -- because it was the "law"? Had I not heard how ruthless, how vicious, "they" are?

There was a distinct atmosphere of fear.

Do these people really live in fear, I thought? Is that why they pay their income taxes -- not because of a sense of duty or loyalty to country, but because of some dread imposition from the "agents" of governments that were "freely" elected and protested democracy at every turn?

I thought, somewhere, somehow, there is a need for positive thinking.

The right to dissent is my right, the right to challenge -- that is what I decided to do. I realised that my adversary was powerful, very political, appointed every judge, controlled every court, could totally ignore the common law rights of people, could ignore or change the Constitution of our country at will (as if it were their own), could ignore the Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenched in that Constitution, had a bias towards the wealthy, and could, with impunity, condone the use of pepper spray, tear gas, police on horseback, truncheons and plastic-covered metal bullets on innocent people: the Liberal Party of Canada. I realised that political incarceration could be a consequence, that punishment without trial could be imposed. And now I know that the Liberal government-enforcement agencies can "legally" break the laws by which we are all supposed to live -- to enforce (and I do not use that word lightly) the will of a select group of politicians upon us all.

I chose to be affected by you, your Ministry of Revenue, and in particular, what is now the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA). I accepted the voluntary aspect of income taxes, which I understood was a feature of the Income War Tax Act of 1917, and ceased to conform to customary filing of the T1 Income Tax form. I also ceased to comply with demands for interim payments of taxes which arrived with some regularity from Revenue Canada and, recently, from the newly formed CCRA.

I wrote letters and emails, made phone calls and talked to a great number of people. I subscribed to a number of email lists and generally became more informed about what was happening to many people that form a large and growing group of tax critics that is spread across the nation. I was impressed by their tenacity, personal strength and willingness to join a very unequal struggle. I was not alone by any means, and I now estimate their numbers to be in the tens of thousands. Their treatment by the CCRA, the court system, the RCMP and other government agencies was frightening, unnerving and, in some cases, downright ruthless.

Little or nothing ever appeared in the media. These people, who now included me, were on their own. I sensed their fear -- and their courage.

I followed the changeover of Revenue Canada, a government department, to the CCRA, a self-administered, independent corporation, at arms length from government and even further from elected parliamentarians, with a fair degree of trepidation. There are no apparent checks and balances. It is a law unto itself, supported by other enforcement bureaucracies like the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Solicitor General. There appears to be very little interest on the part of elected representatives to monitor that which they had legislated into existence.

I have read everything I could find that was fed to us, the citizens of Canada, by your predecessor, Mr. Dhaliwal; and here are some quotes from notes I made during that time. Comments in brackets are mine.

The creation of the CCRA is part of Federal government initiative to provide Canadians with improved, streamlined, more responsive, cost-effective services. The CCRA will offer an innovative, unique structure to better serve the public, Canada's business community and the provinces. (Whether they like it or not.) One way to do this is to change from a department into an agency. Agencies have more freedom to develop new ways of doing business and to tailor their services to meet unique needs and expectations of their clients. (Client: plebeian under the protection of a noble. One who engages the professional services of another. The first depicts an attitude and in this case is an insult; the second -- I cannot for one moment think of any right-minded Canadian who would voluntarily engage the professional services of the CCRA.) The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has the flexibility to introduce new, more innovative ways to deliver taxation, benefit payments, trade and customs services. Canadians are going to find it more convenient to deal with the CCRA. (Open our mail, poke through our most personal possessions and generally humiliate us at will.)

I visit the current CCRA website reluctantly. I must be one of a very few Canadians who endure this form of masochism. The website itself is rife with cynicism and ambiguity. It is couched in the jargon of an experienced public relations corporation. In reality, it is an iron fist.

The CCRA is contrary to the Constitution Act (1982) and the BNA Act and any Justice System that is based on English Common Law and the Magna Carta of 1215/1225. In fact, it is a controlling corporate takeover of the wages, pensions, salaries, assets and savings of every Canadian, in their entirety. The irony of the mandate of the CCRA Act itself, parallels that of the IRS in the USA. My experience now tells me the CCRA is Draconian in the imposition of its dictatorial powers and assumptions.

I am constantly drawn to the hypocrisy demonstrated on the CCRA website and the insistent use of the word "fairness" -- yet can find no evidence in reality. Examples I have are in stark contrast:

• An obviously distraught mother of 10 children, driven to commit suicide in order that her husband could collect insurance to pay back taxes after constant harassment from tax enforcers.

• An older woman made responsible for her deceased husband's former responsibilities and thus relieved of all her assets.

• The Bronfman case where $2.3 billion was spirited out of the country, avoiding the payment of over $700 million in taxes -- and condoned by the Liberal government.

Fairness?

Nearer to home, a good friend of mine returned from holiday last summer to be confronted with an empty bank account and other assets confiscated by CCRA agents, allegedly for non-payment of taxes. When he showed that the taxes had been paid and overlooked by the CCRA, the response was that the money would not be returned until a complete audit of previous taxes are completed. He now has to respond to any demand by CCRA agents at his own expense. The money cleaned out of his bank account has still not been returned.

Another acquaintance told me of a similar occurrence. Her business bank account had been cleaned out for alleged non-payment of GST. When she produced evidence that the taxes collected had been paid on time, the response she received from the CCRA: We must have missed it. We will deduct it from your next payment. The cleaned- out account was her payroll account for her very small business. She had to make other arrangements at her bank, at her own expense, to pay her employees.

Another neighbour had fallen behind in her GST payments. She operated a second-hand clothing store on a shoestring. One afternoon, at the blink of an eye, the CCRA (or CCRA-appointed bailiffs) had closed down the store, told the one elderly employee to collect her purse and other belongings and get out, changed the locks on the doors, and, within a week, had sold all the stock at 25 cents on the dollar.

If this is happening within a very short distance of my home, what is happening in Nanaimo? in Victoria? in Vancouver? all across Canada?

Fairness?

What is this ultra-vindictive agency that has been created by elected parliamentarians? It stops at nothing; laws are no impediment. I'm sorry, M. Cauchon, I have to laugh when a read at the very beginning of your CCRA website, and I quote:

Who we are
Foreword by the Minister of Revenue
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other Canadian laws give Canadians the right to be treated with dignity, respect and equality of justice.

M. Cauchon, you have in your Victoria, British Columbia, Vancouver Island Tax Services office two illustrious gentlemen who have apparently never read your foreword -- a distinct dereliction of duty. Their names are Ken Slawson, Director, and M. MacDonald. The former, I assume, authorizes and directs the activities of the latter.

They are incredible! In my opinion, neither gives any indication that they have even heard of the Criminal Code. They appear to believe they are a law unto themselves.

I have been shouted at, laughed at, ridiculed, threatened, interrogated, harassed and had the telephone slammed down onto the cradle as a way of terminating a phone call. Check it out, M. Cauchon. I understand that all calls made by CCRA agents are recorded for entrapment purposes. The number to check is 250-363-8148. While you are there, check for silent phone calls.

They, in collusion with others, have decided the extent of my alleged tax debt by making the most conservative estimates of my income, and they alone have decided which parts of the Tax Officers' Manual to apply in order to inflict the maximum penalties and punishment. They have decided, without recourse to a judge or court or court order achieved by any other means, on the following as appropriate:

Garnishee my pension income. I have records of all the streams of paper that have been directed at me -- all of which are available to you; and I will, for the purposes of this letter and of brevity, give evidence of the most recent activities.

Statutory Set-off: March 6, 2001. Agreement with Health and Welfare Canada to retain $15,380 at the rate of 95 per cent of my Old Age Security per month.

Statutory Set-off: March 6, 2001. Agreement with Health and Welfare Canada to retain $15,380 at the rate of 95 per cent of my Canada Pension Plan per month.

Requirement to Pay: March 6, 2001. In collusion with B.C. Superannuation Commission, to retain $15,380 at the rate of 95 per cent B.C. Pension per month.

As well, they decided to seek the collusion of the administrator of the Surrey Metro Savings Credit Union, Lloyd Craig, and together they have frozen $11,501.98 of my RRSP. This was verified by the assistant administrator.

This indicates to me that separate garnishee orders for a total of $57,641 were ordered against an ever-fluctuating alleged debt by your men in Victoria. Here is an example of my pension income for the month of April 2001:

CPP: $513.27 less garnishee $475.71 leaving me $37.56
OAS: $433.52 less garnishee $411.84 leaving me $21.68
B.C. pension: $875.87 less income tax at source $47.34
and garnishee $825 leaving me $ 3.53.

You can quickly see, M. Cauchon, that my monthly income has been reduced to $62.77, that is, $15.69 per week.

A friend advised me to call your "taxpayer's advocate" in your CCRA, Vancouver Island Tax Services office in Victoria, a Ms. Leslie Green at 250-363-3424, with the purpose of "problems resolution. She was immediately most indignant and wanted to know how I was able to get her number.

When I was eventually able to explain my situation, she interrupted with almost staccato repetition, "How much do you pay a week for groceries?" I was, of course, unable to give her an instant reply, so she terminated the conversation with, "If you can't tell me how much you spend a week on groceries, I can't help you," and slammed the receiver back on its cradle.

So much for dignity, respect and equality of justice.

M. Cauchon, your government has created a monster. What is more, it is out of control. The alleged debt accredited to me, that has been created by these people through absolutely aggressive computation of estimates of my income, usurious compounded interest, and draconian penalties, is not repayable. It is increasing despite tax deducted at source from one pension and considerable amounts of money that have been taken from me over the course of the past several months.

"Abuse of power" might be a term that comes to mind, and "unlawful use of authority". Both are included in the Criminal Code.

But let's not stop there. If you look at the Statement of Account for April 11, 2001 (incl.), there is no record of the amounts taken from my CPP and OAS. The same is true of the Statement of Account for May 11, 2001 (incl.). M. Cauchon! It appears you are actually stealing my pensions in a most devious fashion. What is more, you are applying your usurious interest on the full amounts you record as outstanding. The words "embezzlement" and "fraud" would seem to describe these kinds of actions. To rob anybody in this way is abuse akin to violence.

This is the power your government -- no, the Parliament of Canada -- has given these hell-appointed angels of the independent corporation, the CCRA. They literally have the power of life and death. It is now mathematically possible, because of compound interest, penalties, theft and fraud, to enhance the exponential growth of the alleged debt so created to withhold any pension income due to me -- for the rest of my life! From this point forward, I must depend upon my wife and her pension for the food on my plate, the clothes on my back and a roof over my head. So it is for all Canadians who dare to challenge the dictatorial power of this government or its agencies.

It seems to me that seniors and pensioners are easy pickings for the Liberal Government of Canada. This, M. Cauchon, is the "Wappel Treatment" from a double-barreled shotgun!

I strongly suggest you return the money you have stolen from me and that you start again from square one. Take me to a Court of Law. I want the opportunity, which is my right under the Charter and in Common Law, to defend my innocence -- and for you to prove my guilt.

I have some very serious questions to ask your men in Victoria. Since it might be extremely difficult to find a judge who can rise above the politics of her/his appointment to the realm of honesty, decency and dignity, that should serve the people as a source of justice, a jury of 12 persons, strong and true, would be a necessity to deliver a verdict that is fair and just.

But, M. Cauchon, before we go to court, I need your help to properly prepare for my defence. I set a focus on the so-called Canada Income Tax Act and set up my research accordingly. I set out to investigate the current location of the original alleged Canada Income Tax Act, as printed by His/Her Majesty's Printer, and to find through Hansard and any other source available, all relevant details relating to the passage of this alleged Act through the Parliament of Canada. Hypothesis: That the alleged Canada Income Tax Act does not exist. It is a cruel hoax that has been perpetrated relentlessly on the people of Canada by successive federal governments for almost a century.

I have spent many hours looking for information, to no avail. I have been able to make contact with many people -- in particular, in federal government offices in Ottawa where an interesting phenomena has arisen. I have talked to quite a range of pleasant people; and, after explaining my quest, all have been most interested but unable to help me. Each has been willing to give me a name and a telephone number of another person who would surely be able to help, but again, to no avail. But almost without fail, each conversation has ended with the rejoinder, "Good luck".

Do I need good luck to find an original Act of Parliament?

At this particular time, I need to know where I will find the following information.
1. When was the Bill for the Canada Income Tax Act introduced into the Parliament of Canada?
2. Which political party was in power and what was the name of the Prime Minister?
3. What was the significant number given to the Bill?
4. Who introduced the Bill?
5. How much time was devoted to discussion?
6. When was the 1st reading? the 2nd reading? the 3rd and final reading? What were the recorded votes?
7. When was the Bill sent to the Senate?
8. What was the time devoted to discussion in the Senate?
9. When was Royal Assent given to the Bill?
10. Who was the Governor General at that time?
11. Where can I find the original copy of the Canada Income Tax Act as printed by Her/His Majesty's Printer that is replete with the Preamble to the Act and the Enactment Clause?

I am sure this information is readily available to you since it is the mandate of your ministry, through the CCRA, to enforce this alleged law on the people of Canada.

M. Cauchon, I hope I have drawn your attention to some very serious problems that I think certainly warrant some investigation and action -- especially, as you can see from the list of copies, as I have circulated my concerns in the public domain for everyone to see.

I think you must understand what I have done and the reasons why. I am not particularly concerned with my own safety, but I am concerned with integrity, truth and justice. I have taken the time and made the effort to write you an honest letter. I hope you have the courage to extend the courtesy of an honest personal reply.

This letter was emailed to M. Cauchon June 3, with copies sent to all MPs and senators. To date, no reply.