OTTAWA – New Democrats are calling on the Conservative government to recognize the children of Canadians who fought for our nation on the battlefields of the World Wars as citizens.
These so-called Lost Canadians are disqualified from citizenship because they were born outside the country prior to 1947, when Canada first established its own citizenship.
When confronted recently by a woman who was fighting for her citizenship, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blamed “old laws” for this problem and told the women she wasn’t a citizen because her Canadian-born father, who served our country in World War Two, was not technically a Canadian at the time she was born.
“There was no such thing as a Canadian citizen prior to 1947,” Kenny told Jackie Scott, a Lost Canadian, last week in Vancouver. “They [were] British subjects.”
New Democrat Immigration critic Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta) criticized Kenney for refusing to take responsibility and finally act to solve this problem.
“Minister Kenney keeps acknowledging this problem, but despite introducing a number of new bills, he has refused to fix this injustice,” said Sims. “Conservatives have recently introduced a number of changes to Canada’s immigration laws yet claim they are powerless to help these Lost Canadians who are denied citizenship on a technicality. It is shameful.”
“Heroes like Jackie’s father deserve to be recognized as Canadians,” said Veterans Affairs critic, Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore). “All of them fought and some of them died for Canada. Is this how we thank them?”