6.11.2010

jason kenney lectures the country on canadian citizenship

In a lovely coincidence of timing (for me personally), our pal Jason Kenney announced yesterday new guidelines designed to "strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship".

According to Kenney, "Canadian citizenship is more than a legal status, more than a passport. We expect citizens to have an ongoing commitment, connection and loyalty to Canada." In order to enforce this commitment and loyalty, Kenney has introduced legislation to make it easier for the government to revoke citizenship, cut down on supposed fraud, strengthen one-generation limits on passing on citizenship, and in the usual one positive move they throw in to any creepy bill, crack down on unscrupulous citizenship consultants who take advantage of immigrants.

The bill - Bill C-37: Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act - does not propose removing dual citizenship rights. There seems to be wide agreement that that will not fly in Canada.

So it seems like the legislation is not as bad as many people feared after the Throne Speech. I do have concerns about allowing the government more leeway in revoking citizenship. Who might that be used for, I wonder? But mostly the bill reads like a hodge-podge of nonsense aimed to placate the anti-immigration crowd without much real substance.

Details of Bill C-37: Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act are here.

11 comments:

skdadl said...

Jason Kenney can take his pontificating about my "loyalty" to Canada and stuff it. The forking nerve. This kind of talk is creeping McCarthyism, and it both enrages and scares me.

Thanks for the links, Laura -- will catch up on the reading.

L-girl said...

Jason Kenney can take his pontificating about my "loyalty" to Canada and stuff it. The forking nerve. This kind of talk is creeping McCarthyism, and it both enrages and scares me.

Well said, skdadl! It is enraging, I agree.

I am determined not to let it scare me, and to believe the Conservatives are imploding, not gaining strength. I may be wrong but I need to believe it in order to fight.

johngoldfine said...

I'd always thought that there were two tiers of citizenship in the USA--natural-born and naturalized, and that the first was immutable and inviolable and that the second had the asterisk next to it: revocable.

Now, of course, we've learned that US citizens can not only be deprived of their Constituional rights without court interference or interest but, further, that the xenophobic right somehow feels that people born of illegal immigrants in the USA--these born-in-the-usa people by definition, "real" Americans with all the rights and privileges thereof--should not be allowed to be citizens.

So, a third tier of US citizenship possible: natural-born now depending not just on place of birth but status of parents.

Dark times.

L-girl said...

Thank you, John. You're right.

One of the crazier aspects of the anti-immigration fervor in the US is how different the US economy would look without the labour of undocumented workers.

If you saw the movie Food Inc, you got a glimpse of how immigration rules are bent and broken for corporations to pay sub-standard wages (and the standards are low enough!), zero benefits, zero job security - and zero workers who can afford to speak up.

Without undocumented workers, the hotel, food production and restaurant industries would be forced to pay real wages and the occasional benefit, or risk lawsuits. (Not to mention child care, gardening, home attendants, and other one-on-one hiriing arrangments.)

As it stands, the companies have a steady pool of labour who is unlikely to mobilize for their rights - and when their services are no longer needed, they can simply be deported.

redsock said...

As it stands, the companies have a steady pool of labour who is unlikely to mobilize for their rights - and when their services are no longer needed, they can simply be deported.

Sounds a tad like the military. Use 'em up and toss 'em away (either above or below ground, whatever).

johngoldfine said...

"Sounds a tad like the military. Use 'em up and toss 'em away (either above or below ground, whatever)."

OT sort of, but an infuriating editorial in today's local Bangor (Maine) Daily News arguing that a very important reason to fund early childhood education (ECE a very bad idea IMO but that's another comment) is so that these preschoolers can someday be literate, hs diploma-ed, and fit to join the military!

Jesus wept!

L-girl said...

is so that these preschoolers can someday be literate, hs diploma-ed, and fit to join the military!

Oh good lord. That is perverse.

Sounds a tad like the military. Use 'em up and toss 'em away (either above or below ground, whatever).

That's a very astute comment, and points to the merging of the capitalist and militaristic mindsets.

Troy Thomas said...

I thought being Canadian was either by accident, if you were born here, or choice, if you moved here.

Immigrants by that standard would be more 'Canadian' than the people born here.

L-girl said...

Troy, I agree completely. Why is the loyalty of one who has consciously chosen Canada, and worked so hard and for so long to get here, in question? The loyalty of Canadian-born Canadians is never questioned.

I don't even know what loyalty to a country means. No one seems to be able to explain it or define it, either.

geek guy said...

I do like this part

The Federal Court decision may be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal and with leave, to the Supreme Court.

Under the Current Revocation Process
You can not appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal and or with leave, to the Supreme Court at all!

geek guy said...

Federal Court is the last stop in the Current Revocation Process