Sunday, 20 March 2016

Has Justin Trudeau Devalued the Canadian Citizenship?

The introduction of new immigration laws by the Liberal government, which will overturn existing law that was duly passed by the Conservative government, may change the value of a Canadian citizenship forever.  As a proud immigrant and Canadian citizen, with no other citizenship, I am very worried about the changes being made by this government. Should other Canadians be worried too?

Some of the criteria to become a Canadian citizen include that:
· You must have resided in Canada for at least three of the last four years.
· You must not have any criminal prohibitions.
The previous Conservative government made changes to some rules under Bill C-24, which included government powers to revoke citizenship of dual nationals convicted of specific crimes, including acts of terrorism, high treason and spying offences. Britain and 20 other European countries have similar laws in place. Previous to Bill C-24 Canadian citizenship could only be revoked in cases of fraudulent applications, mostly to restrict the practices of arranged marriages.
The newly elected Liberal government, in their strategy to reverse anything done by the previous government, proposes new legislation that would change the rules for citizenship. Proposed laws would restore citizenship to anyone affected by the existing law.  Convicted terrorists will now be able to keep their Canadian citizenship, which means that Zakaria Amara, convicted in 2010 as ringleader of the Toronto 18, can apply for parole this year and could also be eligible to re-apply for his Canadian citizenship.
In keeping with father Trudeau’s strategy, the newly elected government is back to their manipulation of the immigration system to score cheap political gains. They plan other changes which will allow citizenship applicants to count up to a year's worth of the days they spend in Canada as non-permanent-residents (PR).
In addition the new legislation proposes to repeal the intent to reside provision, and reduce the time required to be spent in Canada for citizenship for adults to three years (1095 days) within the five years before applying for citizenship. Physical presence which was for 4 out of 6 years before the date of application will be changed to 3 out of 5 years before the date of application.

The Liberals also want to eliminate the language test for older immigrants and start handing our Canadian citizenship to people who don’t speak a word of French or English. Existing law already allows an exception for elderly immigrants. Anyone over the age of 65 does not need to pass a language test in order to become a Canadian. The new legislation simply lowers the exemption from age 65 down to just age 54.
The result will be that the Liberals want to eliminate the language test for older immigrants and start handing our Canadian citizenship to people who don’t speak a word of French or English.

Coupled with the policy of bringing in 25,000 refugees from Syria, now the government
proposes another 300,000 influx of immigrants’ spouses, refugees to the detriment of skilled workers.
Moreover, the Prime Minister goes to New York to pander to the United Nations and takes the opportunity to announce that the government will lower the OAS age to 65 from Harper’s 67 years. This is a decision which is contrary to most countries which have increased their age limit to 67 or 68. This decision combined with the influx of older immigrants eligible to CPP without ever contributing to the Canadian economy or paying taxes in Canada will put an undue burden on the economy and costs of CPP and OAS.
Suppose the new refugees, having acquired dual Canadian/Syrian citizenship go back to Syria, which many could well do, it means that a return of conflict may require the Canadian government to engage in a huge rescue to bring them back.
A Canadian passport and citizenship meant that citizens travelling around the world were welcomed everywhere, mostly without visas. Changes that allow terrorists to maintain their citizenship may put law abiding Canadians under further scrutiny and undue travel requirements even from friendly nations.
All these changes to the Immigration Act are nothing but old Liberal manipulations of the law to get ethnic votes. Moreover any changes to the election Act to introduce proportional representation is to further change the Canadian political landscape forever, as refugees are scattered around the country to change the demography of certain constituencies. Compassion and humanitarianism are noble traits, but to use them for gerrymandering purposes is insidious, devious and deceptive.

Pandering to the United Nations immigration and refugee policies have unintended consequences. As PM Justin Trudeau changes the laws to suit his government’s political agenda, Canadians should ask themselves: What is the cost and value of a Canadian citizenship?