Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act: New Court Ruling

Evelyn Ackah | Calgary Immigration Lawyer | Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act - New Court Ruling

Federal Court Voids Canadian Citizenship Revocation

On July 12, 2017, the Federal Court voided the revocation of 312 Canadian citizens who lost their citizenship without a hearing and without consideration of individual circumstances under the Harper era changes. The court ruled that while becoming a Canadian citizen is a privilege, once citizenship is granted the individual is entitled to all rights, benefits and privileges of citizenship, including due process of law.  

It is essential that Canadian citizens retain their rights as citizens whether they are born Canadians, or are granted citizenship later on; regardless of which political party is currently in power. Once citizens, their rights cannot be arbitrarily taken away without due process. If a court finds their citizenship was granted under fraud and citizenships is revoked, only then should they lose their right to due process. 

In May 2015 the Harper government enacted the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act” (SCCA), which gave immigration officials new powers to revoke someone’s citizenship if they believe that person lied or committed fraud on their citizenship application, and expedited the revocation process by removing their right to a hearing. Previously, the right to revoke citizenship was held by the Governor in Council. 

Learn More Here: Court Voids Canadian Citizenship Revocation 

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  1. Marion Vermeersch says

    I am just so pleased to see that, henceforth, there will be no more stripping of Canadian citizenship with no judicial process. That is just exactly how so many of us (in fact, thousands) of us, known as Lost Canadians, lost it, many of us decades ago. It was a terrible shock to go to apply for a document such as a passport, or service, such as a new Health Card, to be told you no longer had Canadian citizenship.

    Over the years, some got it restored in amendments of 2009 (i,e, War Brides, those born on Canadian bases abroad) and more again in the legislation of 2014. But there never was any recognition that the loss of it for years was not right, and many of us are still out for various reasons, many are yet to find out this has happened.

    My family lost ours in l2003-4, and only found out when my brother, by then retired from a lifetime serving with the Canadian Navy and the Calgary Police. My Dad had been a Home Child from Scotland to Canada, went back to serve with the Royal Canadian Artillery in WWII, and my mother was his War Bride. We came here to join my father in 1946 and lived here all our lives. Yet today, my brother and I still do not have our citizenship back, we are told we “did not have a Canadian Parent” and my father “should never have been given that citizenship in the first place.” We got no help, only disdain and dismissal from the very places you would expect help, like the MP you thought served the constituents where you live.

    So I am so glad that the Court has finally realized and will be looking after the responsibility of decisions on revocation of Citizenship in Canada.

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