Last Friday, part of Bill C-24 went into effect, “officially” creating a two-tier citizenship system. So now it seems we have Second Class Citizens.
This means that people who are dual citizens and who have immigrated to Canada can have their citizenship taken away. In a press release last week government of Canada tried to justify this discriminatory law by associating it with the threat of “jihadi terrorism” but here is the undertone ….. Bill C-24 could easily be used against non-terrorists. For example, a journalist who is convicted of a “terrorism offence” in another country for reporting on human rights violations by the government or an activist taking part in an uprising against a corrupt regime.
Under this law, the only Canadians who can never lose their citizenship are those born in Canada who do not have another nationality (and are not eligible to apply for another nationality). No matter what crimes they may be accused of, these first-class citizens can never have their citizenship taken away. On the other hand, Canadians with another nationality (and those who are eligible to obtain another nationality) now have second-class status, even if they were born in Canada: under Bill C-24, their citizenship can be stripped.
Government of Canada has given info-graphics (below) on this new process as opposed to previous process where all the Citizens were treated equally. Link for complete detail here.
Right now a person get stripped of their citizenship only if they are convicted of crimes that are threats to Canada’s Security or show disloyalty to Canada like treason but legal experts say that there is no reason why that list can’t be added in future. After all the law has been changed. An addition isn’t that hard a thing.
Bill C-24 has turned millions of Canadians into second-class citizens with reduced rights and in turn has reduced the value of Canadian citizenship. Dividing people into different classes that receive different treatment under the law is unfair and un-Canadian.
A brief History till today (taken from CIC official site)
Other measures introduced by the Government of Canada to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians include:
- In January 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 which once passed will give Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies the tools they need to better protect Canadians from terrorism;
- In April 2015, Economic Action Plan 2015 announced $292.6 million over five years in intelligence and law enforcement agencies for additional investigative resources to counter terrorism;
- In May 2015 the Government introduced the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and changes to the Canadian Passport Order to revoke passports and prevent the travel of those seeking to engage in terrorist activity abroad; and,
- In 2013, the Combating Terrorism Act made it a criminal offence to leave or attempt to leave Canada for the purposes of participating in or facilitating terrorist activity.
(Excerpts taken from BCCLA original post about second class citizenship goes into effect)