Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I share the concerns of the hon. member for Vancouver East.

There are some good elements of the bill. I appreciate the member for York Centre pointing out he is best minister we have ever had, although I do not know how the current Minister of Employment and Social Development feels about that. However, with all due respect to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the bill represents a dangerous departure from fundamental understanding of what it means to be a citizen. It runs contrary to international commitments that Canada has made under the Convention on Statelessness and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It arguably also runs contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in treating classes of Canadian citizens differently from each other.

I do not quarrel for one moment with what the minister says. If somebody obtains his or her Canadian citizenship by fraud, there are already ways in which that citizenship can be revoked because it was obtained fraudulently.

However, for Canadian citizens who arguably might or might not be dual citizens of another nation, to lose their citizenship from Canada is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Libby Davies: Mr. Speaker, the member has identified a real problem in the bill, in that the bill would create two tiers of citizenship. That is unheard of in Canada. I do not know what kind of debate there has been out there in the community. I do not know if people are even aware that this is what the consequence of the bill would be.

We have yet to see whether it will contravene international conventions. As we see with so much of the legislation passed by the government, there are all kinds of legal challenges that have to take place because legislation is brought forward in such a narrow partisan way.

I feel that the whole notion of sound public policy is being eroded by the Conservative government. Bill C-24 is a very good example of that.

I thank the member because her comments are very relevant.