Canada approves changes to citizenship law

Canada has officially passed part of Bill C-24, which puts a two-tier citizenship system into place. Under this new law, dual citizens and immigrants can have their citizenship revoked, while other Canadians cannot. The only people, who cannot have their Canadian citizenship taken away, are those who have been born in Canada and do not possess another nationality and are not eligible to apply for another nationality. According to this law, no matter what kind of crime these first-class citizens commit, they can never have their citizenship taken away. On the other hand, any Canadian with dual nationality, or who is eligible to apply for another nationality, regardless of being born in Canada, is now classified as a second-class citizen.

According to the Canadian government’s press release, the new law is a way to counter “jihadi terrorism”. Citizenship can be revoked on the basis of crimes that are known to be a threat to Canada’s national security, such as terrorism and espionage and demonstrations of disloyalty to Canada.  Furthermore, Bill C-24 punishes criminal activity with exile.

The highly discriminatory two-tier citizenship system has a significant element: there is to be no judge involved in the citizenship stripping process. According to the government, removing the judge, improves the process, but the common argument from the public is that removing the judge from the process, makes it unfair and unconstitutional.

The new Bill C-24 has turned millions of Canadians into second-class citizens with reduced rights and as a result, the value of Canadian citizenship has been reduced.