The federal government believes some 1,800 people have obtained their Canadian citizenship through fraudulent means and it intends to revoke their status, Postmedia News has learned.I haven't seen much commentary yet on what that process actually means. So let's unpack it to see just how the Cons see Canadian citizenship.
After a lengthy investigation by police and the department of Citizenship and Immigration, letters have been issued to hundreds of Canadians telling them the federal government intends to revoke their citizenship.
Individuals can challenge the decision in Federal Court but if they don't, cabinet will move to void their passports and strip them of their citizenship.
The apparent starting point for the Cons' action is based on nothing more than what they "believe". There's no indication as to what evidence, if any, there is to support the letters of intention sent out this week - no reason indeed why the Cons couldn't simply be picking the name of immigrants out of a hat (or worse yet, targeting specific groups with no reasonable basis for doing so) in assembling their list.
From there, the onus is being placed on Canadian citizens to go to the trouble of going to court to avoid having their citizenship revoked. And it's particularly noteworthy that the Cons aren't the least bit open to considering citizens' positions at the applicant level; instead, they don't plan to even consider reversing their decisions (however unsupported) unless a court orders them to.
Of course, that will result in massive costs to anybody who wants to challenge the Cons' arbitrary decision. And it wouldn't be surprising at all if many of the immigrants targeted by the Cons have trouble proving the circumstances of their arrival and application for citizenship; after all, what reason would most have had to think they'd need to preserve evidence of how they became Canadian after making the effort to secure citizenship?
In sum, it's bad enough that the Cons think it's their job to try to slash Canada's citizenship rolls. But it's even more telling that they've chosen a process which involves zero accountability or willingness to listen to individual circumstances, combined with a maximum amount of formality and cost in trying to have any mistakes reversed. And the lesson for immigrants across the country can only be that as long as the Cons are in power, it's dangerous to think one is safe in Canada.
(Edit: fixed wording X2.)