Many agree that Canada is one of the best and safest places to live in. Being a resident in the country gives one plenty of rights and privileges not found elsewhere.
However, the implementation of a new law called Bill C-24 has people a bit worried.
According to some, the newly-approved law will mean dual-citizens and immigrants are vulnerable to losing their citizenship. The law also creates a divide between two classes of Canadian citizens.
What does this all mean? Read on and let’s dig deeper.
Bill C-24 Explained
To begin with, Bill C-24 is an act that amends the Citizenship Act. It is also called the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.”
Under this law, people will have a second class citizenship status if they are:
- Born out of Canada
- Born in Canada but have another nationality
- Eligible to obtain another nationality
This does imply that a person with a second class status may be stripped of his or her citizenship arbitrarily.
A person’s citizenship can be revoked if an individual:
- Obtained his/her citizenship by false representation or fraud.
- Served as a member of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in an armed conflict with Canada.
- Was convicted of treason, high treason, spying offences and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
- Was convicted of a terrorism offence or an equivalent foreign terrorism conviction and sentenced to five years of imprisonment or more.
Josh Peterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, further elaborated:
“A Canadian who is born here whose grandparents are from Italy for instance and could get dual citizenship, could have their citizenship stripped under this act if they were involved in any of the activities. Meanwhile someone who arrived newly and became a citizen from a country abroad that doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, wouldn’t be able to have their citizenship stripped.”
Another aspect that sparks controversy in this law is that cases will be decided by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, not the Federal Court.
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once declared:
“Canadian citizenship isn’t a gift to be granted or taken away at the whim of a politician. It’s one of the fundamental building blocks of Canada. You took risks, made sacrifices and worked hard to become a Canadian citizen. Don’t let that take away.”