Time to put an end to tiered citizenship

The usual tired commentary by Chapman, with minimal information on the cases he sites, which presumably relate to the first generation limit on transmission of citizenship, introduced by the Conservatives and maintained by the Liberals.

So I suspect the Canadian parents in the cases cited were themselves born outside Canada and thus their children, also born outside Canada, were caught by the provision as foreseen.

The purpose was, after all, to avoid citizenship transmission independent of any residency in Canada, provoked in part by the 2006 Lebanese Canadian evacuation, where minimal to no connection to Canada nevertheless meant costly evacuation (and when the situation became calm, many returned to Lebanon).

The changes did include provisions to address statelessness, where the process is likely time consuming and where there may well be some administrative issues that should be addressed.

“Thousands and thousands.” Where is the evidence?

Justin Trudeau is a hypocrite.

Case in point: On June 17, he met with Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. In a Prime Minister press release: “During the visit, Prime Minister Trudeau and High Commissioner Bachelet will discuss efforts to protect human rights and promote gender equality around the world. They will underline the importance of the international rule of law, and emphasize how countries must continue to work together to protect the world’s most vulnerable and make sure everyone’s rights are equally respected.”

Woah, wait a minute, Trudeau’s government is currently violating three UN Human Rights Conventions: the Rights of the Child; the Reduction of Statelessness; and the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. I’m the head of the Lost Canadians, the driving force behind several bills on citizenship, including several court challenges. How shameful for Canada to be an abusing nation, and how disgusting that taxpayers have no choice but to fund it.

And I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut that most Canadians are completely unaware.

Cutting to the chase, Trudeau’s statement that, “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” is pure hogwash. In citizenship law, some Canadians have more rights than others. Tiered citizenship exists. Naturalized Canadians have more rights many Canadian-born citizens. Some children born to a Canadian citizen parent have been denied basic rights, like attending school or getting health care—something that doesn’t happen to children of naturalized Canadians.

Babies like Chloe Goldring and Rachel Chandler were born stateless, despite having a Canadian-citizen parent. Rachel is now 10 years old. Her father fought for over nine years trying to get the government to accept his daughter. She recently got approved—not as a citizen mind you, but as a Permanent Resident (PR).

Ten-year old Akari Maruyama wasn’t so lucky. Her Canadian mother could only get her daughter ‘temporary’ resident status. The result was that Akari and her sister were denied healthcare in Alberta.

As signatories to several UN Human Rights conventions, it’s a human-rights violation to refuse children health care; or not letting them live with their parents; or to deny them a national identity. Children are never to be made stateless, and they must be able to attend school.

The Trudeau government has violated all the above.

Cleary, the U.S. is not alone in abusing children. The difference: Canada targets youngsters with citizen parents, the U.S. does not.

Seriously, had Rachel or Akari been adopted by any Canadian, had they been abandoned, or if their parent had been naturalized, they’d immediately qualify for citizenship. Their only guilt was being born to a Canadian parent.

And they’re not alone. Thousands and thousands of other children are in the same boat, they simply haven’t been discovered by IRCC. Most of their parents have no idea that amended citizenship legislation put their little ones at risk.

For Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, one must question their motives. Why are they silent when it comes to children of Canadians and ongoing human rights violations? They can’t claim ignorance, as 11 years ago, the Conservatives passed the offending legislation, which prompted Trudeau nine years ago to issue a press release saying: “The rules regarding Canadian citizenship must remain consistent with the values of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

So what did Trudeau do about this once he held a majority government? Legislatively, nothing. But he did welcome tens of thousands of refugee children with absolutely no connection to Canada. Kudos, but what about first welcoming children of Canadian citizens?

Trudeau then restored citizenship to terrorists who had their Canadian status stripped away for being, well, terrorists. For should-be Canadian kids like Rachel and Akari, the Liberals did nothing, except to enforce the offending laws keeping them out.

In another situation, it took less than a week for the prime minister to grant asylum and PR status to Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. Barricaded in a Thai hotel, she drew global attention after launching a social campaign about the lack of rights for Saudi women. Taking notice, Trudeau quickly rolled out the welcome mat. By doing this, he risked further upsetting Saudi-Canada relations. Just months earlier Saudi expelled Canada’s ambassador, then withdrew its own ambassador after Canada’s foreign ministry tweeted support for several Saudi women’s right activists. Saudi followed through by selling Canadian investments, then ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave. It was quite a gamble.

For Alqunun and the Syrian kids, the world was watching. Trudeau looked like a saviour.

Also watching, but in Canada, were Rachel and Akari’s parents, whose daughters got little to no media attention. Could that be why  Trudeau and Scheer didn’t come forward? I pleaded with both sides for compassion, but no dice. They did, however, put me on their Christmas card list, which included a picture of each leader with their respective “Canadian” children. I wondered what they’d do if one of their kids had been turned away?

The other UN Convention being violated is the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Just over a year ago, Bill S-3 received royal assent, giving Indigenous women the right to pass Indian status to their grandchildren. Ojibwa Canadian Joan Valliere could now confer Indian status to her two granddaughters, but she couldn’t confer citizenship. Why? Because the gender inequality that existed in the Indian Act and deemed unconstitutional by the courts was corrected legislatively, but only in the Indian Act. The Citizenship Act still allows gender discrimination, making it impossible for Joan to pass citizenship onto her now ‘Indian status’ grandchildren.

That led to another Charter challenge. At risk are Sec. 15 and 28. To win, Trudeau will have to undo his father’s signature accomplishment—the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Regarding the meeting between Trudeau and Bachelet, I don’t know how it went. My guess is that Bachelet left Canada not knowing that the leader she met with is a human rights abuser, albeit with a reputation as a human rights leader.

For Trudeau, it made him look good.

For the Canadian public, they remain mostly unaware.

For Rachel Chandler and Akari Maruyama and countless other should-be Canadian children, they remain as outcasts and victims.


Source: Time to put an end to tiered citizenship

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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