An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act

Sponsor

John McCallum  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to, among other things,

(a) remove the grounds for the revocation of Canadian citizenship that relate to national security;

(b) remove the requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada;

(c) reduce the number of days during which a person must have been physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship and provide that, in the calculation of the length of physical presence, the number of days during which the person was physically present in Canada before becoming a permanent resident may be taken into account;

(d) limit the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54;

(e) authorize the Minister to seize any document that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe was fraudulently or improperly obtained or used or could be fraudulently or improperly used;

(f) change the process for the revocation of Canadian citizenship on the grounds of false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances; and

(g) remove the requirement that an applicant be 18 years of age or over for citizenship to be granted under subsection 5(1) of that Act.

It also makes consequential amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 13, 2017 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act
May 17, 2016 Passed That Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments] .
March 21, 2016 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipStatements By Members

October 5th, 2017 / 2 p.m.
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Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize another significant promise fulfilled by our government. We have heard loud and clear from Canadians about the significant hardships they have faced on their journey to citizenship, due to unnecessary barriers created by the previous government.

Yesterday, I was proud to join my colleagues from Brampton and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Brampton to announce that effective October 11, changes will be implemented to ease barriers for future Canadians on their quest for citizenship. The physical presence requirement for citizenship will be reduced to three out of five years, and the age range for knowledge and language requirements will be returned to 18 to 54 years.

These changes, along with those previously announced in Bill C-6, will help residents of Brampton West and across Canada reunite with their families, contribute to our society, and reaffirm that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

October 5th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Director General, Admissibility, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Mieke Bos

I have heard those stories with the scenario you are referring to, but this falls outside of my area of expertise. The entry-exit information will apply to everyone leaving Canada, which is information that we currently don't have. The purpose of this information is for us to establish whether the clients applying for permanent residency or citizenship have met the residency requirements. We are legislated to do that.

The committee will have followed the Bill C-6 proceedings. Bill C-6 will come into effect shortly, and it determines exactly what the residency requirements are for future citizens. As I explained before, currently we rely on the information from the client. The vast majority of clients are entirely legitimate, of course, but there are cases of abuse, so this allows us to objectively verify when applicants were in Canada and when they left.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

October 4th, 2017 / 2:50 p.m.
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Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Mississauga—Erin Mills for her incredible advocacy on so many important files.

In one week from today, on October 11, key changes to the Citizenship Act resulting from Bill C-6 will come into force. We delivered on a promise we made to Canadians to repeal the unfair two-tiered citizenship provisions brought in by the previous Conservative government.

We know that one of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving Canadian citizenship. We know diversity is our strength, and for this side of the House, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipStatements By Members

June 19th, 2017 / 2:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the standing committee that assisted in drafting Bill C-6, I am honoured to rise today to celebrate the recent changes to our immigration system. The passage of this important legislation represents not only the realization of another pivotal Liberal campaign promise, but also reaffirms the highest ideals of Canadian identity and inclusive citizenship.

As the member of Parliament for one of Canada's most multicultural ridings, I am proud to represent a government that fully appreciates that our diversity is a source of great pride. Furthermore, as an immigrant to this country myself, I found the previous government's unjust, two-tiered citizenship model to be disgraceful and abhorrent.

By contrast, Bill C-6 repudiates the previous government's cynical politics of division and once again upholds our noble calling that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, irrespective of where one is born.

June 14th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Thank you.

All right, here we are, and I'm looking at my colleagues and their staff from a point of wanting to do something that resembles work.

What I've found in my time as opposition critic for immigration is that the immigration file involves some legislative and macro-level things that we need to look at, such as the study that's before us today, but it's also really process heavy.

A lot of the things that come before us in terms of problems.... If we all agree that it's not a matter of if Canada does immigration but a question of how, then we need to look at process issues when they come up.

I don't think anyone here could argue that this year, we've seen some pretty challenging situations involving process, in terms of immigration policy in Canada. Without getting into partisan rhetoric one way or the other on how we think process should go, there is a legitimate need for study on some of these issues.

On the motion that my colleague, Jenny Kwan, raised with regard to border crossings—I don't have the exact wording—the reality is that while we might differ on how that process should look, a woman froze to death trying to cross into our country this year, and we've had no study on the process by which that happened. I think the border crossing issue is probably one of the top public policy issues that we've seen in Canada this year. Ms. Kwan moved a motion on this, and debate was adjourned. I'd like us to have an opportunity to see that voted on.

Similarly, we spent a lot of time on Bill C-6 this week, with regard to the appeals process for citizenship revocation in cases of fraud. I moved a motion to have study on that in committee, and the best way to do that. That was not voted on either. Debate was adjourned.

The minister has only appeared before the committee once. He hasn't even appeared before committee on this.

When all of these process issues happen, we have to ask ourselves, as opposition members what our avenues and ways are of being able to address these issues to do what we're tasked to do by the Canadian public. The answer is to question the government's management of these types of processes and policies.

While there was unanimous consent in the House to—

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2017 / 3:15 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion in relation to the Senate amendments to Bill C-6..

The House resumed from June 12 consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 10:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address important Senate amendments to Bill C-6, an act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another act. It is critical that the House give thorough consideration to the amendments to Bill C-6 to ensure public safety, to ensure fair treatment of all citizenship applicants, and to ensure that the greatest possible opportunities for success are given to newcomers.

Conservatives are pleased to recognize how immigrants have contributed greatly to Canada, strengthening and enriching our nation. Immigrants offer unique experiences and perspectives that add to Canada's diverse culture and strengthen the nation's future. It is important to ensure that Bill C-6 in fact enables newcomers to have every opportunity for economic success and to enjoy fulfilling and safe lives here in Canada.

The Senate revisions to Bill C-6 address three areas. First, Bill C-6 would be amended to ensure a court hearing for people facing citizenship revocation on the basis of fraud or false representation. Second, it would be amended to change the requirements regarding age and knowledge of an official language to 60 years of age. Third, it would seek to minimize red tape so that minors applying for citizenship could have their applications processed in a manner that was fairer, less complex, and more efficient than the existing process.

The first revision I will address is the amendment that would ensure that a court hearing is given to people who face having their citizenship revoked for fraud or false representation. If the amendment were passed, the immigration minister would be required to inform people who are having their citizenship revoked of their right to appeal their citizen revocation in Federal Court. The inefficiency of this proposed system is unacceptable. It would lead to further backlogs in the already inundated Federal Court, which is already strained due to the Liberals' inability to fill judicial vacancies. It would also cost Canadian taxpayers thousands of dollars to process. The process of stripping citizenship should be left to officials rather than an arbitrary appeal board, which is now stacked with Liberals. Not only that, but applicants already have the right to appeal decisions made by the lRCC in Federal Court if the immigration department made an error in the interpretation and application of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

At this point, if the appeal mechanisms for those who obtained their citizenship through fraud are increased, it could provide an incentive for people to lie on their applications. The government should not focus on increasing appeal mechanisms for those who obtain their citizenship by cheating the system. The focus should be on educating people about the consequences of fraud and how to properly obtain citizenship.

The Federal Court recently ruled that there should be an appeals process, but this ruling and the Senate's amendments are at odds. For example, there is inconsistency between the Federal Court ruling and the Senate amendments with regard to which body people should be appealing their citizenship revocation to. We expect the Liberals to make it immediately clear whether they plan to appeal the Federal Court ruling. This information is necessary for parliamentarians to consider before voting on these amendments. In light of this, we call on the federal government to appeal this ruling to protect the integrity of our immigration system.

At this time, we also call on the government to address the holes in the immigration fraud detection process that were identified by the Auditor General in 2016. Although Canada is compassionate, we must maintain that Canadian citizenship obtained by fraud and deceit is not a right, because that person was never entitled to it in the first place.

Second, the Senate's amendments to Bill C-6 raise the age requirement for knowledge of an official language from 55 to 60. Although we would have liked to see the age remain at 64, we are relieved to accept this new age requirement over the original age of 55 that was proposed by the Liberals. Language proficiency is an integral component of Canadian citizenship. In Canadian society, we see evidence every day of how language binds us together and knits together Canada's incredible pluralism.

On a practical level, knowledge of one of Canada's official languages eases the transition for immigrants into a new workplace, school, or community. Immigrants who cannot communicate in Canadian society struggle with ordinary tasks such as grocery shopping, hospital visits, and driving. In fact, access to language services is a serious problem for refugees and immigrants.

Over and over again, the Liberals have heard how serious this issue is for newcomers to Canada, and how the existing system is failing immigrants. While refugees and immigrants are anxious to begin working, they are unable to access language training and thus are unable to secure a job. Rather than reducing the age requirement for knowledge of an official language, the Liberals should be talking about how to ensure that immigrants will have a smooth transition into Canadian society.

Third, the Senate amendments to Bill C-6 would eliminate the red tape that currently complicates the application process for many minors. Specifically, it affects minors who are permanent residents, but who are applying for citizenship without a permanent resident parent or guardian.

As it stands, permanent residents who wish to apply for Canadian citizenship must either be over 18 years of age, or must apply concurrently with their permanent resident parent or guardian. This means that even if a minor fulfills all other citizenship requirements, if he or she does not have a permanent resident parent or guardian, the minor has virtually no choice but to wait until the age of 18 before applying.

I say “virtually” because it is technically possible to prove that it is necessary for the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to waive these requirements, but actually getting this waiver is inconceivable for most permanent resident minors. Apart from taking years for IRCC to process, it requires a great deal of financial resources and specialized legal assistance. Additionally, minors who may benefit from this discretionary decision likely do not know of its existence, since it is hidden in the statute. In short, the waiver mechanism is not a solution.

The existing system effectively penalizes some of Canada's most marginalized people based on their age, which is not a factor that they can control. The category of “permanent resident minors” includes minors without a parent or guardian in Canada, minors whose families cannot afford the fees for citizenship applications, and minors whose parents do not meet the citizenship requirements. It also includes minors whose parents or guardians cannot or will not help them apply, and minors who no longer have family relationships due to abuse or neglect. In fact, numerous witnesses testified before the House of Commons and Senate committees, highlighting the consequences of such restricted access to citizenship.

We now know that highly marginalized minors with a less secure status risk deportation in their adult lives. This is extremely unfair. The Senate amendment would change the Citizenship Act by repealing the 18 years of age requirement and clarifying that the language and knowledge requirements do not apply to minors.

It also authorizes the minister to waive the requirement that a minor's application must be made by an adult. These changes will ensure that in almost all cases, a minor will be able to submit his or her own application. It is important that all members of the House lend their support regarding the amendment, since Bill C-6 does not currently address this unfair discrimination against minors.

Canadian citizenship is a crucial component of our national identity. It knits together our diverse country and comes with many rights and protections. Preserving its integrity is of the utmost importance.

I therefore ask my hon. colleagues to reject the amendment regarding the appeals process, at least until further information is given regarding the recent Federal Court ruling. I ask that all members of the House support the amendments regarding age and the knowledge of an official language.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 10:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Willowdale for sharing his time with me.

I welcome the opportunity to speak today about Bill C-6. The legislation would send a clear message to Canadians and indeed anyone who aspires to become a Canadian citizen that Canada is a country of inclusiveness and fairness. Many of my constituents in Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam spoke to me about the need for Bill C-6. The aim of the bill is to provide greater flexibility for applicants to meet citizenship requirements. In doing so, our goal is to help foster an even greater sense of belonging and connection to Canada among all newcomers.

In my time here today, I wish to address proposed changes to Bill C-6. It would amend the age range of those required to meet language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. Under changes implemented in 2015, the age range for citizenship applicants who must now meet language and knowledge requirements was expanded from those aged 18 to 54, to those between 14 and 64 years old.

Older newcomers, in particular, may have greater difficulty in learning a new language and taking tests. For that reason, we believe these changes unnecessarily introduce barriers for applicants in the expanded age group. Bill C-6 would make citizenship more accessible to both older and younger applicants. Under the legislation, the age range of people who must demonstrate knowledge and language competency would be reduced once again to those aged 18 to 54.

Proficiency in either French or English and knowledge of Canada are important aspects of citizenship and this will still be required for a majority of citizenship applicants. However, we also believe that acquiring citizenship is an important step in the integration prospects for immigrants. It is also important for all Canadians as they benefit from newcomers' full participation in our society.

Reducing the age range to meet language and knowledge requirements would make it easier for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada. Through citizenship, newcomers gain a deeper sense of belonging in our society. They become more engaged and they become more active members of our communities.

These changes under Bill C-6 would ensure newcomers, when they apply for citizenship, are not at a disadvantage due to their age, whether they are younger or older. Older adults would continue to find support to speak our official languages and gain more knowledge about Canada through a wide variety of services. Just as all other Canadian children learn about our country and master our official languages, younger applicants will acquire knowledge of Canada and official languages at school.

Once again, it is our objective to make it easier for newcomers to succeed in Canada and gain a deeper sense of belonging. Therefore, we do not support the proposed Senate amendment that would change the upper age range from 54 to 59 years old. It is our aim to require only applicants aged 18 to 54 to meet the knowledge and language requirements and we continue to support the intent behind this important change. We wish to remove barriers to citizenship. We believe that expanding the age range to applicants who are 59 years of age would create a potential barrier for older applicants.

Our reasons for these changes to the Citizenship Act are quite simple and reasonable. We are committed to a Canada that is both diverse and inclusive. One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving citizenship. That is because the acquisition of citizenship contributes to a greater sense of belonging. By removing these barriers to citizenship for younger and older applicants, we will facilitate the integration of these newcomers and foster their full participation in our society.

In summary, our proposed change in Bill C-6 would help both younger and older applicants achieve Canadian citizenship faster, it would help them to build successful lives in Canada sooner, and it would help them to contribute to the country's economic, social, and cultural success.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 10:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I stated previously, under both ministers of this government, we have seen energetic leadership. It would be fair to say that on a monthly basis we see concerted efforts to improve our immigration system.

As Bill C-6 was being contemplated, I recall that the question of revocation of citizenship did arise. On numerous occasions, the then minister of immigration stated that he was open to considering procedural safeguards that could be brought in to strengthen the integrity of our immigration system.

This is a government that recognizes full well the merits of immigration and how it enriches our country. Going forward, I have no doubt there will be more changes to come.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 10:10 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased the member for Willowdale says the government is open to certain additional changes, but I agree with my friend from Vancouver East. We had every reason to hope that there would be more in Bill C-6 to undo the damage of Bill C-24.

I certainly will support the bill. I am grateful the amendments were made by the Senate. It improved the bill over what left this place to go to the other place.

As we continue to try to repair the damage done by the previous government, can we do more to address the issue for refugees, particularly those who are facing deportation? I asked the hon. minister this question and he said that there were adequate means for people to protest and to appeal. I have not found them adequate. People who pose no threat to Canada are being deported and do not have an adequate opportunity to defend themselves or stay in our country.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 10:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, after the House adopted Bill C-6, it went to the Senate. Numerous people had an opportunity to speak to the senators who were examining the bill. As we are all well aware, they put a lot of hard work into this. The various revisions and amendments they made are reflected in the bill as it has come back to us.

Obviously we have a government that is very much concerned with ensuring our immigration system is accessible and it is not arbitrary like the previous bill brought to the House several years ago by the Conservatives. I am certain, with the energetic leadership of our minister, we would consider bringing more changes in the future.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 9:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would advise the House that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.

It brings me great joy to rise again before the House to discuss Bill C-6, an act to amend the Citizenship Act. Bill C-6 represents not only the realization of a fundamental Liberal campaign promise and a signature achievement of our government, but also serves as a powerful articulation of Canadian identity and a reaffirmation of the various benefits of diversity.

Before I continue, I would be remiss if I did not thank both the former minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, the Hon. and, I might add, tireless John McCallum, for his hard work on this file, as well as the steady leadership of his successor as minister, my hon. friend and colleague from York South—Weston.

I would also like to commence by thanking my former colleagues on the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration for their work on the legislation, as well as the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for providing sober second thought to the bill. Having had the honour of being involved in the committee study of the bill as it was originally conceived in the House before it was sent to the Senate in June last year, I am deeply aware of how important the bill is to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

In fact, since being elected in October of 2015, few, if any, issues have resonated with my constituents in Willowdale as powerfully as the need to modernize our immigration system and to repeal and repudiate the most odious changes to our immigration system brought in by the previous government. Whether knocking on doors or in ongoing conversations with constituents, my staff and I have consistently heard the same refrain. Bill C-6 represents a welcome change in policy and tone for Canadians and their families. If any concerns have been expressed, it is the delay that people have experienced in seeing the enactment of Bill C-6.

As an immigrant to this country, I am profoundly sympathetic to this inclination. I understand what Canadian citizenship means, both here and abroad, to generations of families who have come to this great country seeking a better future. As someone who had the great privilege to arrive in this country in my teens, I certainly fully appreciate and would never take for granted the significance of immigration as a lifeline to our future well-being and prosperity.

I can also confidently say that the love of country one has for a place where we were not born but which has nonetheless given us all the opportunities in the world is very different than the affinity one feels for the nation of one's birth. Naturalization occupies a cherished place in one's heart that is neither blinded by history nor blood, but instead by one of deep gratitude. I have both admired Canada from afar and also lived to enjoy its greatest blessings: its educational system, its esteemed place in the world, its deep respect for all persons, its quiet dignity, and of course our spirited people. I recognize the noble value in Canadian citizenship and I am proud of our government's assiduous efforts to restore and reaffirm the bedrock values upon which Canadian citizenship is based.

In its original form, Bill C-6 aimed to accomplish four key objectives: first, to remove the grounds for the revocation of Canadian citizenship that relate to national security; second, to remove the requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada; third, to reduce the number of days during which a person must be physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship; and fourth, to return the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54.

In doing so, Bill C-6 repeals or amends the most misguided elements of the Conservative Party's Bill C-24 and establishes a more effective, robust, modern, and just pathway to citizenship. This is not, in other words, a radical departure from established laws and customs, but rather a return to sensible policies following the excesses of Bill C-24.

I would like to briefly examine these four key objectives before examining the amendments before us. First is that it removes the grounds for the revocation of Canadian citizenship that relate to national security.

The most crucial element of Bill C-6, I believe, is that it revokes the unprecedented ability, granted through Bill C-24, of the Canadian government to strip its own citizens of fundamental rights, namely the rights to inalienable citizenship and equal protection under the law.

In rejecting a two-tiered approach to Canadian citizenship, Bill C-6 would bring government policy in line with the recommendations of a litany of stakeholders who condemned the arbitrary, unconstitutional, and undue nature of Bill C-24. This includes the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Refugee Layers, the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International, and many leading academics, journalists, and civic leaders.

The second question relates to removing the requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada.

Further among its many ill-conceived statutes, Bill C-24 also stated that adult applicants had to declare on their citizenship applications that they intended to continue to reside in Canada if granted citizenship. The provisions created concern among new Canadians, who feared their citizenship could be revoked in the future if they moved outside of Canada.

By way of example, Canadians whose work required them to live abroad for extended periods felt that their declaration of an intent to reside could negatively affect their international mobility and, by extension, their ability to work abroad.

Within the current context of our open and global economy, this would place Canada at a serious competitive disadvantage. Rather than disincentivizing engaged global citizens from seeking Canadian citizenship, Bill C-6 instead supports the government's goal of making it easier for immigrants to build successful lives within Canada, reunite with their families, and contribute to the economic success and well-being of our country.

I will now move to the various amendments that were suggested. The legislation before us today has, of course, been further modified by several amendments put forth at the Senate committee stage. I would like to use my remaining time to briefly address these amendments.

There are three proposed amendments before us today. One is an amendment to change the citizenship revocation model. The second is an amendment allowing minors to obtain citizenship without a Canadian parent. The third would change the upper age for citizenship language and knowledge requirements to 59 years.

After careful assessment and consideration, our government agrees with two of the three amendments adopted in the Senate, as they support our commitment to remove unnecessary barriers to citizenship, make citizenship more accessible to the more vulnerable, and enhance procedural fairness in the citizenship revocation process.

With respect to the proposed model to have the federal court act as a decision-maker on most citizenship revocation cases in which citizenship was acquired fraudulently, allow me to reiterate that ever since the current decision-making model came into effect in 2015, the minister has been the decision-maker on most cases involving fraud and misrepresentation, while the Federal Court has been the decision-maker on more serious cases involving fraud related to security, human or international rights violations, and organized criminality.

Under the Senate's proposed model, all individuals facing revocation of citizenship would have the right to request that their case be referred to the Federal Court for a decision regarding revocation on grounds of fraud or misrepresentation.

In cases in which an individual refers their case to the court, the minister's role would be to bring an action in the court to seek a declaration that the person obtained citizenship by false representation, by fraud, or by knowingly concealing material circumstances. It would then be up to the court to make the final decision.

The government has considered this amendment carefully and is supporting this new decision-making model, but with some key changes. The government believes that the minister's authority should be limited to revocation cases that the individual does not wish to have referred to the Federal Court.

Our government also supports, with modifications, the Senate amendment allowing minors to apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent.

Our government must respectfully disagree with the proposed Senate amendment to change the upper limit for language and knowledge requirements.

As mentioned previously, the language and knowledge requirements brought about via Bill C-24 were seemingly imposed at random, and this side has yet to see a compelling argument for this amendment.

The government has considered these proposed amendments very seriously and has accepted some key proposals regarding a new decision-making process for the revocation of citizenship.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 9:50 p.m.
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NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, these amendments should have been in Bill C-6 to begin with. They were not.

These amendments were amendments that I brought to committee. Then they failed at committee. Then I had to go and lobby the senators to make these changes. I am glad that worked, and that they brought these changes back. I am glad that the government is going to accept what the senators are bringing forward.

I support Senator Omidvar and her work, because I met with her about it and urged her to take action. She did, and I am delighted to know that. I am delighted that Senator Oh took up my amendment on the issue around minors.

I wish there were senators who would have taken up more of the amendments I tabled at committee that failed. I know they did not, but given that this is where it is, I will accept what is here before us and will support the bill. This has been our position right from the beginning, that we needed to repeal Bill C-24. I wish the government had done that. If the government had done that, we would not even be here having this debate right now.