While the citizenship bill tabled today contains some important reforms, the Conservative government has included many provisions that are concerning and which will require serious study.
“Everyone agrees that Canadian citizenship is something of enormous value. What we don’t want to see is an approach that plays politics with the issue—something we’ve seen all too often from this government,” said NDP Citizenship and Immigration critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds – Dollard). “The Minister needs to do the right thing and commit to working with us to bring real improvements to our citizenship laws.”
The changes proposed under the new bill include extending the waiting period to become a citizen, extending citizenship to the “Lost Canadians”, and revoking citizenship from dual citizens in some situations. The bill also puts more power in the hands of the Minister to make decisions related to citizenship.
“The Conservatives have failed to take action on the most obvious problems – the enormous citizenship processing backlog that they themselves created,” added NDP Multiculturalism critic Andrew Cash (Davenport). “Instead of giving himself more power, the Minister should focus on helping thousands of families still waiting to reunite.”