Liberals' citizenship bill to proceed with some Senate amendments

Posted
June 13, 2017
Article Source
The Globe and Mail

The Liberal government is prepared to adopt some of the Senate's proposed amendments to its citizenship bill, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Friday.

Bill C-6 is designed to repeal many of the previous Conservative government's changes to how people become citizens — and how they can lose that status.

Among other things, the legislation would repeal a provision that strips dual citizens of their Canadian status if convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage. It has been applied to one person: Zakaria Amara, convicted for his role in a 2006 terror plot in Toronto.

Far more people lose their citizenship because it was obtained fraudulently, and the Senate wants to amend the bill in order to give those people a chance at a court hearing before their status is stripped away.

Hussen said the government will accept that proposal, albeit with some modifications of its own, including giving the minister the authority to make decisions when an individual requests it.

Hussen's hand was partially forced by a recent Federal Court decision that said people have a right to challenge the revocation of their citizenship, although predecessor John McCallum had earlier suggested he would support the amendment.

"This amendment recognizes the government's commitment to enhancing the citizenship revocation process to strengthen procedural fairness, while ensuring that the integrity of our citizenship program is maintained," Hussen said in a statement.

The government will also accept a Senate recommendation that would make it easier for children to obtain citizenship without a Canadian parent.

Read more: Liberals' citizenship bill to proceed with some Senate amendments