Canadian Government Proposing Changes to Citizenship Act

According to several sources this morning, our government is going to be announcing changes to our citizenship act today. I think we will all be anxiously waiting to see how this affects us.
The Toronto Star: Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
Macleans: Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
CTV News: Tories to unveil ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
The Globe and Mail: Tories’ citizenship revamp to lengthen permanent residents’ waiting period
The Macleans Article:
Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
“Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will detail the changes at a Toronto news conference. The government is calling the overhaul the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation. Alexander recently said the government planned to implement new rules that will ensure Canadian citizenship “has value.” Among the reported changes is one that would allow Ottawa to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals in “extreme cases,” such as in cases of treason or acts of terrorism.Alexander also suggested recently the government will try to give citizenship to those who have been wrongfully denied it in the past, such as the children of war brides.”
Don’t know about anyone else, but I am very afraid, considering how they caved so absolutely yesterday.

14 thoughts on “Canadian Government Proposing Changes to Citizenship Act

  1. Perhaps some article of this new Citizenship Act will redefine Canadian citizenship.
    1st class. (With full rights and freedoms) All Canadian citizens born in Canada or elsewhere; except:
    2nd class. (Limited citizenship) Canadian citizens born in the US or otherwise deemed by the US govt to be a US person.

  2. @Pacifica, you’ve voiced my fears, all right. What I would hope they would say is that all Canadian citizens owe primary allegiance to Canada, and other countries comes 2nd, and Canada will hold that sacred and protect us from foreign govt’s, but, doubt that’ll happen.

  3. Why we would believe the Canadian government no matter what oaths might say?
    The words on our Our Canadian citizenship certificates are worthless. They say each of us are “entitled to all of the rights and privileges and bears all the responsibilities, obligations and duties of a Canadian citizen.”
    That and a SIN will get you FATCAed if you were born in United States.
    Canadian citizenship “has value?” Yeah right.
    At least we now know the answer to our simple question to Flaherty. “Do all Canadians have the same rights under Canada’s laws and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The answer is equally simple. No.

  4. This story is very much related to yesterday’s FATCA IGA in that the Tories have now managed to violate the Charter twice in two days. Both yesterday’s news and now this Citizenship reform create tiered Canadian citizenship levels, which are clear Charter violations in each case. If they can strip away the citizenship of naturalized and dual citizens, but not the citizenship of single-nationality, Canadian-born citizens, then that is a clear discrimination based on national origin and is not allowed under the Charter. The FATCA IGA also says that certain citizens can be discriminated against based on nation origin, hence violating the Charter in the same way. Also, who decides what “terrorist” and “extreme cases” mean? Perhaps, they could come to mean troublesome Americans who question out FATCA IGA if we protest these things too loudly! If the Supreme Court of Canada doesn’t strike both of these down, then our Canadian citizenship certificates aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

  5. Well, if they insist on re-engineering the Citizenship Act, may I humbly suggest they fast-track citizenship for all the USPs they screwed yesterday.
    If you meet all the normal residency, language, and knowledge requirements, why not just invite you in to the judge’s office for an immediate swearing in.
    That’s the least they can do for those afflicted with the defective US gene.

  6. While they’re at it , why not just offer (for a small additional charge) a genuine, made in Canada CLN for new Canadians with the US affliction.
    Something like: “Today I, Joe Blow, naturalized as a Canadian and I fully intended to relinquish my US citizenship at the same time.”
    The FATCA agreement talks about showing your bank a CLN, but there is no language about who issues it or whether it must be from the US department of State. Problem solved!

  7. @Maz57: My Canadian citizenship oath in 1973 had a signed oath renouncing any other citizenship. It is witnessed by a Canadian citizenship official. It’s not a CLN, but I consider it my restraining order if my bank or credit union demands information from me.
    It’s unfortunate people can’t just get a notarized statement that they intended to relinquish US citizenship when they became Canadian citizens, voted in Canadian elections, etc. etc. Being forced to go to a foreign government Consulate in a far away city is insane. Even more insane is why any Canadian citizens or legal residents should have to prove to Canadian banks or credit unions that they are not “persons” of a foreign country.
    We had one report here of someone who traveled 17 hours to the Consulate in Calgary for an appointment. When he arrived, he was given forms and told to come back another time. I don’t know what the eventual outcome was.

  8. @ Blaze. The day I became a Canadian I emailed the nearest Consulate, told them I had committed two expatriating acts, told them that my intention was to relinquish my US citizenship and that I wanted a CLN. They responded with all the usual obfuscation, but I kept an archive of all that correspondence. So it’s clearly a matter of record; they may lose it, but I won’t.
    I’ve thought about swearing a statement before a notary but I think the email is just as good. After all, people have gone to jail on the basis of an email record. Will it work if push comes to shove? I don’t know, but I sure dread going to one of those Consulates with all the paranoid security and US bullshit. I just want them to leave me and mine alone.

  9. @maz57: I personally won’t go anywhere near a US Consulate. I learned you can’t trust them in 1973 and again in 2004.
    So, I’m certainly not going to go there now to officially tell them something I did 41 years ago so they can pass that information on to the IRS.

  10. @Blaze, although it would only be a 10-12 hour trip for my mother, if she had to go to a US consulate to obtain her CLN, it would, quite literally, kill her.
    She became a Canadian because she loved the country she lived in, she has voted in every election since 1975, she worked hard all her life in Canada, and paid her taxes, not only on time, but early. She has lived her life as honestly as anyone I have ever known; she was a member of town council, she was a justice of the peace, and now she just wants to live the remainder of her life out in peace and as worry-free as possible.
    Thanks, Canada, for standing up for your citizens!

  11. @Outraged: How depicable is that for your mother. Even travelling a couple of hours to a US Consulate is impractical for me because of MS, but to have elderly people like your mother caught up in this after everyting she did is outrageous.
    And our own Canadian government simply shrugs at the human cost and spouts off about the sovereign right of the U.S. to set their own tax laws! What about the sovereign right and obligations of our countries to set their own laws and their obligation to protect their own citizens from foreign demands.

  12. @Outraged, others: If Iran was making similar demands, we can be certain the Justice Minister would be screaming Charter, Human Rights, Privacy, Bank Act, etc. His wife was born in Iran. Iranian citizens cannot renounce.
    I have pointed that out to him and Flaherty. As usual, there was no reply.

  13. maz
    You are still a US citizen for tax purposes until you complete the IRS requirement. You can file a W8 ben but it may be false.

  14. Any change that the government proposes to the Citizenship Act would have to fit within the Constitution.
    I would not (or should not) discriminate on the basis of place of birth or national origin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *