Under my radar, there appears to have been public griping about Canada's recent rescue of Canadians from the Israeli bombs raining on Lebanon. Many of the evacuated people are dual citizens, both Canadian and Lebanese. Horrors.

Apparently it is a horror for some people, who believe dual citizens are not "real Canadians" - that's the phrase being thrown about - and that Canada shouldn't recognize or offer dual citizenship. Dual citizens are "freeloaders", potential terrorists, disloyal and only using Canada for convenience. Based on what evidence, we don't know. Because we say so.

I first became aware of this debate bigoted ranting through this opinion piece on the CBC's website. The author is in favour of dual citizenship and responds to critics.
The debate over whether dual citizens are "real" Canadians represents the worst of Canada in that it seems at times to be both parochial and uninformed. Strong words perhaps, but it is difficult not to come to that conclusion after reading or listening to comments that ignore or overlook some basic facts.

Let's start with the implicit assumption by many commentators that the benefits in the relationship between country and citizen flow only in one direction — from Canada to the citizen. It is an obvious conclusion to draw in the midst of the evacuation of Lebanon, when what Canada had to offer was safe transit out of a war zone. But is this the whole story? There has been little or no consideration given to the idea, startling as it may seem, that benefits also flow in the other direction — from the citizen to the country — and that these benefits should also be considered within the context of the debate.

One would think that this would be evident from the fact that Canada is busy beating the bushes around the world at the moment for new immigrants. If these new citizens, who are allowed by Canada to keep their former citizenship if they so choose, represent only a burden, why are we seeking them out?
It's a good piece, but the real eye-opener is the comments afterwards. Some are supportive, others are just sickening.

One commenter writes:
When I read about some of the dark sides of Canadian history such as "Gentiles Only" and "Irish need not apply" signs or putting Japanese Canadians into concentration camps, I used to think, "How did that happen here?". Judging by some of the comments I've read, there are still some people who haven't learned from history. - Terry T., Toronto
Terry T, I thought the same thing. Good piece, worth reading, hold your breath for the comments.

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