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When is a Canadian Not a Canadian?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Armchair_QB, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    This article appeared in this week's Economist. Thought it was kind of interesting. The new Homeland Security rules governing international travel are inadvertently shining light on Canada's citizenship laws.


    Canada's citizenship laws
    Lost in Kafkaland
    Feb 1st 2007 | VANCOUVER
    From The Economist print edition

    When is a Canadian not a Canadian?

    IN THE deathless prose of bureaucracy, it is known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Adopted after the terrorist attacks of 2001, it requires all returning Americans, as well as citizens of Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries, to present a passport when entering the United States by air. Since many such travellers previously got by with a driving licence, it was dreaded by tourism officials in the countries concerned. But when it came into effect earlier this month, all seemed to go smoothly.

    Except it didn't for several thousand Canadians who, when they applied for passports, discovered that their own country's bureaucracy had incomprehensibly stripped them of their nationality. Some of them have even become stateless.

    Up to 20,000 people may have fallen foul of a little-known provision of the Citizenship Act of 1947. In some cases, their misfortune lies in having been born during the period when Canada did not recognise dual citizenship until the act was amended in 1977. Some are the children of war brides who came to Canada after the second world war. Others are “border babies” born in an American hospital because it was closer to their home than the nearest Canadian town. A third group are children of parents who moved to the United States for work and took out American citizenship. The law states that if any of these Canadians were living outside Canada on their 28th birthday (or 24th in the 1947 act) they would automatically lose their citizenship unless they filled out a form saying they wished to keep it.

    One of many who knew nothing of this requirement is Barbara Porteous, a British Columbian born just over the border in Washington state. When she applied for a passport last July she was told she would first have to re-apply for citizenship. This would take three years, involve health and criminal checks and a C$125 ($106) fee. “It just blew me away,” she said. “I've been living here for 46 years and getting the Canadian pension for the past five years.”

    Andrew Telegdi, a Liberal MP, dubs those affected “lost Canadians” and says they were deprived of their citizenship without proper notice. He is campaigning to reform the law. But like its Liberal predecessor, the current Conservative administration shows no inclination to do so. Diane Finley, the immigration minister, announced on January 24th that she had directed her department to resolve these cases as quickly as possible. That means about a year, her officials admit. It makes the complex immigration procedures at American airports feel like greased lightning.
  2. When he's either Mark Steyn or David Frum?
  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    When he doesn't play hockey.

    And I bet Steyn and Frum qualify.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    It's bad enough being Canadian. Can you imagine being a Canadian reject? [Sorry, J.R. Someone was going to say it]
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I thought this was about Alan Thicke.
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That story is embarrassing. I hate bureaucracy. If there's a problem, just fix the bloody thing.
  7. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is, Double J, I read about this around the time the passport stuff came into affect.

    And I'm thinking, how could this happen? How would people have known about it. Let's face it, not everybody reads Canada Gazette. :)
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    If that shit happened to me, my ass would present a bill for back taxes paid.

    I'd bet that would make you a citizen pretty quick.
  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    You pay taxes if you live and work here whether you're a citizen or not.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Not if I declare an independent republic, I don't.

    If those quacks in Quebec can try it, why can't I?
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    The Republic of Zeke would probably be invaded by the U.S. for harbouring terrorists. :)
  12. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Let them come.

    I have the Ilk to help defend the sacred borders of the Republic of Zeke.

    And I shall build a big fence made of broken hockey sticks and shattered dreams.
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