Mr. Speaker, revoking someone's legal status in Canada is a very serious issue and carries significant ramifications for the individuals impacted. I have no doubt that the minister knows this and yet the Liberal government is continuing with Harper's unconstitutional process to strip people of their citizenship due to fraud or misrepresentation without ensuring that they have the right to an independent hearing. The minister said that this is wrong, but, to date, the Liberals have failed to fix this.
On top of that, Liberals are aggressively revoking people's citizenships without ensuring that there is procedural fairness. In addition, cessation applications continue to be brought against permanent residents who came to Canada as refugees if, for whatever reason, they travelled back to their countries of origin.
Based on these current laws, the Minister of Democratic Institutions could have her citizenship revoked for misrepresentation. Just imagine if she were in the process of obtaining her citizenship and cessation proceedings were brought against her, given the fact that she was born in Iran and had travelled back to Iran. Do members think that is the right thing to do? Of course not. Some 300 others are faced with this unjust law.
Mr. Nilam is a taxi driver in Vancouver. He is a refugee from Sri Lanka. He has committed no crime and violated no immigration laws. In fact, he has complied with all requirements to maintain his permanent resident status and has passed the knowledge and language tests to earn his Canadian citizenship.
As he was waiting to be called to the oath ceremony for his citizenship, he found out that his citizenship application had been suspended because cessation proceedings had been brought against him. Why are cessation proceedings being brought against Mr. Nilam? It is simply because he travelled back to Si Lanka twice after the civil war had ended, once to marry his wife and the second time to be part of a special wedding reception as per the customs of his culture and faith.
As a result of the cessation proceedings, his wife's immigration visa to Canada was cancelled. Mr. Nilam had to hire a lawyer to fight this and even though he was successful in getting his wife's immigration application process resumed, he is still waiting for the re-approval of his wife's application so he can reunite with her. In the meantime, because there are cessation proceedings against him, he has had to travel to a third country in order to see his wife. To say this is absurd is stating it mildly. The emotional stress of this is unbelievable, not to mention the financial burden.
As for Mr. Nilam's Canadian citizenship application, even though his lawyer was successful in filing an mandamus application, the minister is appealing that decision and is actively trying to stop him from becoming a Canadian citizen. This is so wrong on so many levels. Mr. Nilam's life has been so significantly disrupted and he has done nothing wrong.
Then somewhere along the way, a punitive government, the Harper administration, retroactively brought in a law that put Mr. Nilam, unbeknownst to him, in violation of the cessation provisions. Why is the Liberal government continuing with the Harper government's unjust laws? Why are law-abiding people having to fight these unjust cessation provisions that even the current government has condemned?
Instead of carrying on with this absurdity, I am calling on the government to stop all actions against those with cessation proceedings against them.