"Canadian citizenship is predicated on loyalty to this country and I cannot think of a more obvious act of renouncing one's sense of loyalty than going and committing acts of terror.
"Right now, under the current law, we have no power to revoke or deem 'renunciation of citizenship' on the part of a dual-citizen terrorist of this nature although every other western democracy I've studied does have a similar power."
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney - Canada
Canada The Good. Incapable of imagining that anyone with the intelligence to wish to migrate from countries of oppression to haven in Canada would ever betray the trust of this country's values to align themselves with terrorists, to set out on a voyage of personal jihad. Well, then, in recognition of realities brought home by the reality of Canadian citizens, including those born within Canada to immigrant families sometimes going astray, it is time for new legislation to be brought into law.
Canadian citizens who see fit through either the polarizing draw of double loyalties, or having succumbed to the blandishments of those dedicated to violence in the expression of tribal or religious faith, to travel as mercenaries, combatants, jihadists, guerrillas, mujahadeen, rebels, insurrectionists to countries like Bosnia, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Algeria, Lebanon or anywhere else their fervour takes them should lose the privilege of Canadian citizenship.
A Canadian citizens is claimed to be implicated by Bulgaria investigators, where a deadly attack on Israeli civilians took place in that country a year ago. One of the three attackers in a Hezbollah-linked bus bombing held Canadian citizenship. This was an instance where a boy of eight accompanied his parents to settle in Canada, then separation took him to Lebanon at age 12, but he retained Citizenship and travelled on a Canadian passport ten years later.
A month ago, as spill-over of the current conflict in Mali, two Canadians are claimed by Algerian authorities to have taken part in a siege that resulted in the deaths of 37 foreign workers at a giant gas plant installation, and the deaths of an almost equal number of violent insurgents when the Algerian military stormed the plant, rescuing a large number of workers and saving the plant from destruction.
Statistics Canada figures indicate that 863,115 people - representing three percent of the Canadian population - qualify as "citizens of Canada and at least one other country".
It is perhaps past time that dual citizenship not be officially accepted by the Government of Canada. It is not unreasonable to assert that if people see fit to leave their country of origin for good reason, to escape poor living conditions or ethnic, religious, political or social oppression, they should also be prepared to renounce that citizenship in favour of obtaining Canadian citizenship.
Minister Kenney has announced that the federal government is in the process of considering stripping dual citizens of the Canadian component of their citizenship standing should they be involved in crimes such as the attacks in Bulgaria and Algeria.
A private member's bill has been tabled by Devinder Shory to that effect. The deputy director of operations of CSIS has informed a Commons committee that roughly 50 young Canadians are believed to have made their way to Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, along with Afghanistan's and Pakistan's tribal areas, to join the cause of jihad. This type of activity should result in an automatic revocation of citizenship.
The Canadian government is already sitting on a report that had been undertaken in 2006 after 15,000 Lebanese Canadians, many of whom had chosen to live in Lebanon permanently, were rescued from Beirut at the time of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. That cost came dearly to Canadian taxpayers, at $100-million, though free of charge to the rescued Lebanese-Canadians many of whom turned right around to return to Lebanon, with Israeli troop withdrawal.
The bill currently before Parliament, thanks to Conservative MP Devinder Shory would, if passed, strip dual citizens of Canadian citizenship should they commit an act of war against the Canadian Forces. As has occurred when young Muslim Canadians opt to travel abroad to fight against NATO troops in conflict with Islamists threatening the security of countries who reject fundamentalist Islam.
It is a bill that should be amended, with a wider net, to include those who leave Canada to commit violent acts in the name of a violent ideology. It would of necessity have to be a carefully worded document that is capable of making a distinction between a jihadist call to arms, and one that draws people abroad to aid those battling an ideology similar to Islamism, such as fascism.
The fascistic pre-WWII Spain took socialists from Western countries abroad to defeat an enemy of human rights.That too was a conflict whose end was to have resulted in world domination. The enemies of liberty and human rights who champion a violent ideology that they propose to impose upon others through intimidation, terror and violence, must discover that the convenience of using Canadian passport holders to advance their cause will not be countenanced by Canada.