From: the following members of Citizenship and Immigration Committee:
Andrew Telegdi, Chair Diane Ablonczy, Conservative Critic
Meilie Faille, BQ Critic Bill Siksay, NDP Critic
Ottawa, June 17, 2005 - The Honourable Andrew Telegdi, Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and Chairman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, today moved concurrence in the House of Commons on the Committee's tenth report, entitled Citizenship Revocation: A Question of Due Process and Respecting Charter Rights. The House unanimously agreed to adopt the report.
When a committee concludes a study and reports to the House, concurrence in the committee's report is an explicit acceptance of the report's recommendations.
Under the current Citizenship Act, citizenship can be revoked when a person obtained citizenship or permanent residence by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances. Following a review in Federal Court -- where a judge must simply agree that it is more likely than not that the person improperly obtained citizenship -- the Federal Cabinet becomes responsible for making the revocation order. The Committee has recommended a fully judicial process.
Members of all four parties on the Committee agreed that Cabinet should have no role whatsoever in revoking citizenship. Leaving the final decision on revocation to Cabinet fosters a perception of unfairness. It is not a transparent process and is thus open to abuse.
The report is the result of cross country consultations involving more than 130 witnesses during this parliamentary session. Evidence relating to previous citizenship studies in the 36th and 37th parliaments was also reviewed. Key recommendations in the report include:
We expect a new citizenship bill to be tabled in the House of Commons this fall. Given today's concurrence motion, I trust the bill will reflect the Committee's recommendations which have now become recommendations of the entire House of Commons.
Hon. Andrew Telegdi--------------Reevin Vinetsky (613) 996-5928
Diane Abloczy ---------------------Jason Valentin (613) 996-8257
Meilli Faille ------------------------Guillaume Simard (613) 957-3744
Bill Siksay --------------------------Sonja van Dieen (613) 996-5597