Case of Mohamed Fahmy shows failing of new citizenship rules | Macklin and Waldman

More from Macklin and Waldman on C-24 Citizenship Act revocation provisions and the possible implications for cases like Mohammed Fahmy’s, and the discretion it gives the Minister (Government has indicated they will not revoke Fahmy’s citizenship):

These cases are simply three examples that show why the new citizenship law has been condemned as fundamentally flawed and why several organizations have indicated they will challenge it under the Charter. The law will create two classes of citizens: dual citizens who are vulnerable to revocation and those who are not. But the bill is also problematic in other ways. Naturalized citizens unlike citizens by birth will not be able travel and live abroad for extended periods without fear of jeopardizing their citizenship. Other provisions will make citizenship more inaccessible to those who need it most — refugees.

Instead of listening to the legitimate concerns of those who criticized the legislation, the government attacked the messengers and impugned their motives. Undoubtedly the government thinks that this new law will be well received by its conservative base. We think that when most Canadians come to realize the implications of this new legislation they will reject it. Canada is a big country, but there is no room for second-class citizenship.

Case of Mohamed Fahmy shows failing of new citizenship rules | Toronto Star.

Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian injustice and Canada’s spineless response: Neil Macdonald

Good overview piece on Ottawa’s reaction to Mohammed Fahmy’s sentence.

Does seem a bit out of step with the normal language and rhetoric out of the Government, and particularly out of step with the US, UK and Australia:

The government of Canada, on the day that one of its citizens was sentenced to a long prison term in Egypt for the crime of committing journalism, was moved to note that Egyptians are, after all, “progressing toward democracy.”

And, added our prime minister’s parliamentary secretary, “We don’t want to insult them.”Because, you know, that would just be rude.

Instead, the government in Ottawa, which runs around the world, chin out and elbows up, lecturing other governments about respecting human rights and democratic self-determination, prefers soft-spoken diplomacy toward the regime in Cairo….

It’s probably best, the Harper government has apparently concluded, to remain largely silent as a journalist who carries a Canadian passport is sent off to some hellishly violent Egyptian prison for doing his job.

Best to have cabinet members avoid cameras on this sensitive and unsettling day, instead sending out Harper’s parliamentary secretary, Paul Callandra, to advise against giving any insult to Cairo.

Technically speaking, this foreign conviction could trigger revocation (the Government refused an amendment to the Citizenship Act requiring an explicit test of equivalence in judicial processes), although unlikely the Government would do so.

Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian injustice and Canada’s spineless response: Neil Macdonald – World – CBC News.

Dual citizenship can complicate diplomatic protection

A good overview on some of the implications on dual citizenship when visiting one’s country of origin, in light of the Mohammed Fahmy verdict (Mohamed Fahmy, jailed Egyptian-Canadian journalist, sentenced to 7 years).

A counter example to some of the comments on the Government side during the debate on C-24 Citizenship Act, who talked about the benefits of dual citizenship, not the risks.

As Macklin notes, some countries do not allow dual nationals to enter with their Canadian passports:

As well, unlike Canada, many countries, in particular non-G8 countries, do not recognize dual citizenship. Canada doesn’t require an individual to give up any citizenship of another country. But whether that persons country of origin recognizes their dual citizenship is a question from country to country, Niren said.

Some applicants will have to give up their home citizenship because they’re not going to be recognized anymore. For example, many Chinese nationals coming to Canada must give up their Chinese citizenship, as China doesn’t recognize dual citizenship.

A government of Canada website also cautions Canadians who have dual citizenship that it “may not be legal in the country of your second nationality, which could result in serious difficulties.

“You may have outstanding obligations in the second country, such as military service or taxes. Dual citizenship can also cause problems in a third country if there is confusion over which citizenship you used to gain entry,” the website says. It advises people to contact the appropriate foreign government office in Canada before heading abroad.

Some countries may also feel more justified on their claim on a dual citizen who has gotten in trouble with the law if that person used that country’s passport to enter.

An easy solution for Canadians would seem to be to always use their Canadian passport.

But “some countries take the position that they don’t mind if you’re a dual citizen, we don’t care, but when you’re coming into our country, you use your passport from this country,” Macklin said.

Dual citizenship can complicate diplomatic protection – Canada – CBC News.