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I am a little confused; the facts seen odd and unusual. Can you explain you question in more detail as I am not sure what you are trying to ask. Second, Canada does not prevent people from leaving the country just because they owe taxes.
Custody by whom and where? Is he a US Citizen or Canadian? Also, how long have you known him?
The only thing I can find is this: "individuals can face prison time for offences such as providing false or deceptive statements, destroying, altering, or disposing of books and records, or willfully evading or attempting to evade taxes". Or, "tax evasion or fraud related to claiming an inappropriate tax refund or credit". Those are very serious charges. Just owing tax is not enough to land in prison. And, from what I read, the Canadian Revenue Agency won't detail people who make reasonable efforts to pay taxes even if delinquent.