Foreign Born Canadians Unable to Pass on Citizenship
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Below is my petition which was submitted to the Canadian Government via their e-petitions website. It is a petition against the changes made to Canadian citizenship which affect thousand of Canadians, such as myself. It doesn't allow people born overseas, the right to pass on their citizenship to their children. I, a 10th generation Canadian, was born overseas which means I don't have the right to pass on my citizenship. This means unless I have my children in Canada, or marry a Canadian born in Canada, my children won't be Canadian. This will affect their identity, relationship with Canada and its culture, and other things such as where they go to University. Please note that the petition is in the format required for the Government petitions website.
Petition to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
1. The Canadian Government denied thousands of foreign born Canadians citizenship due to the “after first generation” rule which took effect in 2009
2. The changes made disregards the Canadians who live, have lived, or are considering living overseas.
3. The Charter of rights and freedoms includes the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.
4. The Prime Minister campaigned on a promise to respect the Charter, and during the debate on September 28th, 2015 said, "A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and you devalue the citizenship of every Canadian... when you break down and make it conditional for anyone;" and
5. The Minister said, as reported on March 3rd, 2016, "If one believes that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and there is only one class of Canadian, those principles must be applied universally."
We, the undersigned, Citizens (or residents) of Canada, call upon the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to A; rescind the changes made to Canadian citizenship in 2009 that deny Canadians born outside of Canada to pass on their citizenship, or B; implement a system which allows Canadians to receive a full citizenship.
Here is a more detailed account of the changes made, why they were made, and how they affect Canadians.
Changes made in 2009:
In 2009 there were changes made to Canada’s citizenship act that affected the citizenship of people born abroad. While these changes didn’t take citizenship away from anyone, it did change who could pass on their citizenship. If you are born outside of Canada do Canadian parent’s you will be Canadian, but you can’t pass on that citizenship Even an 8th generation Canadian wouldn’t be able to pass on their citizenship of born abroad. If a pregnant lady was sent to a hospital in the US, because the Canadian hospitals didn’t have enough room or didn’t have the proper equipment to help the lady, that child wouldn’t be able to pass on citizenship. If the parents are traveling and the child is born prematurely, that child won’t be able to pass on citizenship. If the child is born outside of Canada to non-military or government workers, they won’t be able to pass on their citizenship.
Why These Changes Were Made:
Over the Summer of 2006 there was a war between Lebanon and Israel. This war endangered civilians, an estimated 50,000 of which were Canadians, who required evacuation from the Canadian government. Canada evacuated approximately 15,000 of these Canadians, and spent 94 million Canadian dollars to do so. What Canadians didn’t like about this is that many of these people were Lebanese born, and had gone to Canada for the 5 years needed to become a citizen, passed all the requirements, and then left. Some of these people then had kids in Lebanon, who then received their parents Canadian citizenship. People believed that these people aren’t true Canadians, and Canada shouldn’t be responsible for the evacuation of these people. While citizenship couldn’t be taken away, they made the changes so Canada wouldn’t have to pay for the evacuation of a group that natural born Canadians didn’t think were true Canadians.
Justin Trudeau strongly opposed part of the changes that allowed the government to take away citizenship from those who committed a crime relating to treason, terrorism, or spying, if they had dual citizenship. He’s stated several times that
all Canadian are equal, and there shouldn’t be multiple classes of citizenship.
"A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian" - Justin Trudeau, 2016
That was said by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a mock debate, and while it wasn’t referring to being born abroad, it is still relevant to this situation. All Canadians should be regarded as Canadians no matter where they’re born. Despite Trudeau saying that, there are still two classes of citizenship. Petitions have also gone to parliament and they’ve been addressed, but the house of commons decided supporting a change.
In 2009 when the changes were first implemented, people were becoming stateless, which is when you aren’t a citizen of any country. Now, if a foreign born Canadian has a child outside of Canada, and that child doesn’t receive their spouses, or that countries citizen, Canada will grant citizenship. Even though statelessness isn’t an issue there are other consequences.If a child is born to two foreign Canadians, in a place that grants citizenship through birth, that child would not be Canadian. That means that child would lose out on much of what it means to be Canadian. Rights, freedoms, family history and part of that child's sense of Identity would be taken away.
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