The government of Canada is considering the removal of a controversial citizenship law that allows citizens who misrepresented themselves in the citizenship and permanent residence application process to have their citizenship status revoked without a hearing.
The controversial law was introduced during the previous Conservative government, and it could possibly affect Myriam Monsef who was thought to have been born in Afghanistan but was actually born in Iran and is currently the Liberal member of Cabinet. Mrs. Monsef revealed she was told by her mother about her country of birth last week, as the mother hadn’t thought her place of birth mattered since she was still legally considered an Afghan citizen. Mrs. Monsef was granted permanent residence status through the refugee settlement program before she became a Canadian citizen.
The current minister of Immigration John McCullum described it as “dictatorial” and has promised to have the law amended to have an appeal process.
On Monday, September 26, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), and the Canadian Association for Refugee Lawyers (CARL) argued that the law violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and subsequently filed for a legal action with the federal court.
Immigration minister John McCullum is quoted as saying the government is looking at a “number of options” and will halt all proceedings. The law will however not be removed using the Bill C-6 which was regularly used to revoke other controversial immigration laws introduced by the previous Conservative government. ”I understand that it was considered and it was declared to be out of scope, so it could not come into that bill at the time,” Mr. McCullum told reporters at parliament Hill on Monday.