Tag Archives: Canadian nationality law

The legal status of "citizen" is different from the reality of "citizenship"

Once upon a time, so very long ago, in a not so far off land, I was beginning my first year of University. During the “orientation week” I listened to a “Welcoming speech” from the President of this particular institution. The man was a “living legend”. But, what I remember was the manner in which he was proudly introduced to the freshman class.
His introduction included the following description:
“I would like to introduce to you _________________
A man who was an American by birth and a Canadian by choice
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The oath of alligiance as a requirement of citizenship

The above tweet references an interesting article about the relationship between the oath of allegiance to the Queen and Canadian citizenship. It raises the questions of:
1. Does an oath of allegiance matter at all?
2. If so, to whom or what should the oath of allegiance be?
Interestingly, under S. 349 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, an Oath of Allegiance to a non-U.S. sovereign is an expatriating act.
The article includes:
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Does the stripping of Canadian citizenship from dual citizens violate Canada's rights charter?

The article includes:

The proposed changes come along with higher maximum fines and jail terms for citizenship fraud, as well as new options to – through the courts – strip citizenship from dual citizens convicted of certain serious crimes, such as terrorism. Many of the provisions are retroactive, leaving lawyers to wonder whether they’ll affect past high-profile cases, such as those in the “Toronto 18” terrorist plot.
But “several aspects” of the citizenship-stripping provisions wouldn’t likely survive a constitutional challenge, said Audrey Macklin, chair of Human Rights Law at the University of Toronto, who once served on the Immigration and Refugee Board. Other lawyers agreed.

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