Trudeau may change law to protect Monsef | Malcolm

Malcolm conveniently ignores that Minister McCallum during the spring committee hearings on C-6 committed to reviewing the revocation process in light of testimony regarding the lack of procedural protections in C-24 for those accused of fraud or misrepresentation: “less protection than for parking tickets.”

So while the Monsef case may have accelerated this review, it was already underway.

And calling C-6 “comprehensive changes” is incorrect. C-24, the 2014  changes of the Conservative government, were comprehensive; C-6 is a relatively surgical set of changes, significant to be sure, but limited in scope:

The Trudeau Liberals have spun themselves into a corner when it comes to Maryam Monsef.

It now looks as if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is willing to change Canada’s citizenship and immigration laws to protect one of his own.

Monsef says her mother recently told her she was born in Iran, not Afghanistan, as she had previously been told.

If her immigration application, when she was a child, included false information about her birthplace, then it is possible her immigration application was fraudulent.

The penalty for providing false representation to immigration officials is steep.

In similar cases where a parent provided untrue information on behalf of a child, it has led to the stripping of citizenship and even deportation from Canada.

As I pointed out in my last column, the Trudeau government recently stripped citizenship from an Egyptian national who became a Canadian citizen at age eight.

In that case, the woman’s parents lied on her application, and therefore, as per Canadian law, she risks being deported.

But when it comes to their own star cabinet minister, Monsef, the Trudeau Liberals are scrambling to deal with the controversy.

On Tuesday, Immigration Minister John McCallum testified in front of a Senate committee discussing Bill C-6, the Trudeau government’s controversial citizenship bill.

Under pressure from Liberals in the Senate, McCallum suggested that his government would consider placing a moratorium on the practice of citizenship revocation.

How convenient.

“I will consider that moratorium. I won’t rule it out unconditionally,” McCallum told the Senate committee. “What I am saying is that we would welcome a reform to the system.”

The Trudeau government had no problem imposing this law during its first eleven months in office. None at all.

During the last session of Parliament, Trudeau and McCallum introduced comprehensive changes to Canada’s citizenship and immigration laws through Bill C-6.

On the issue of citizenship revocation, Bill C-6 halted the government’s ability to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists and those who commit treason against Canada.

As Trudeau said famously during the last election campaign, after all, “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” Even if that Canadian is a foreign-born terrorist.

But when it came to cases of fraud and misrepresentation, no changes were made under Bill C-6.

Quite the opposite, in fact, as Trudeau said he supported citizenship revocation under these circumstances.

On the campaign trail last September, Trudeau less-famously said that, “revocation of citizenship can and should happen in situations of becoming a Canadian citizen under false pretences.”

At the time, this statement contradicted Trudeau’s own position that Canadian citizenship is an absolute and inalienable right.

Now, that contradiction is catching up on him.

Until the Monsef scandal surfaced, the Trudeau government had no problem in stripping citizenship away from those who committed fraud and those who lied on their applications.

They had no issue with the process of revocation — determined by the relevant cabinet minister and not through lengthy court proceedings.

They agreed with the law, and implemented it routinely.

But suddenly, this law threatens to damage the Trudeau government’s reputation and punish a Liberal insider.

And all of the sudden, they’re willing to change course.

The Trudeau government is now suggesting it would rather change Canada’s longstanding immigration law, ad hoc, than face the inconvenient fact that, based on the story she’s provided, Monsef’s immigration application may have been fraudulent.

Source: Trudeau may change law to protect Monsef | Malcolm | Columnists | Opinion | Toro

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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