Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am glad my hon. colleague, the member for South Shore—St. Margaret’s, spent so much of his speech focusing on one part of the bill that I really do support, and that is the part dealing with the issue of lost Canadians. It has taken too long. It has proven complex. I know that the previous minister of citizenship thought they had done the job, but it is an enormously complicated area. I know a lot of the remaining lost Canadians are grateful for that.

My concern, though, remains, and I have phrased it in the House before, that the bill is designed to do something that no previous piece of Canadian legislation has ever done, which is strip citizenship from someone born in Canada for offences committed that, everyone would agree, are abhorrent offences but for which Canadian law is perfectly adequate to mete out punishment in a Canadian prison.

I ask the hon. member if he is not worried that we are creating a slippery slope with two classes of citizenship for people born in Canada.

Gerald Keddy: Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that question, because it is a serious question. It is one that was struggled with in the last incarnation of the bill.

My understanding is that this part of the bill, and I am not an expert on the bill, is for dual citizens. It would only affect dual citizens who actually are citizens of Canada but are also citizens of another country in the world. If people in that class of individuals commit treason against this country, they cannot expect to keep Canadian citizenship. I think that is fair and understandable, and I think most Canadians would agree with that approach.