Less print reporting than I would have expected (or at least what came up on my regular media search) on the Minister’s outreach this past week in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Halifax, selling the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act.
From Vancouver with the Chinese Canadian community:
“The government is trying to control too much,” said Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian news commentator Victor Ho, who also edits the Sing Tao Daily. “To make everyone from age 14 to 64 learn English up to a mandatory level, I think the government is trying to interfere too strongly. If a teenager is living here, then he (or she) is already learning the language in schools, and will pick it up. And as for seniors, you can encourage them, but that should really be more of the family’s decision.”
Another hot topic was the end of the immigrant investor program, which offered visas to people with a net worth of at least $1.6 million who were willing to lend $800,000 to the Canadian government for investment across Canada for a term of five years. The change, which would leave 45,000 Chinese millionaires in limbo, was proposed in the new 2014 budget. The decision has angered some in the Chinese Canadian business community, with some people speaking out at a press conference in Chinatown.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander reveals contradictions in citizenship law | Vancouver Observer.
From the Halifax session, focussing on revocation and Lost Canadians:
The government had earlier signaled its intention to strip Canadians of their citizenship if they are involved in terrorist activities abroad, leading critics to say such a provision leaves Canadians vulnerable to false accusations from undemocratic regimes. But Mr. Alexander, speaking at a news conference in Halifax, said the new Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act makes it clear that terrorism convictions would have to be from Canadian courts and the provisions would only apply to people who have dual citizenship. He added that the measure is intended “to be a deterrent to dual nationals who might think of going to fight for extremist groups” in Syria or elsewhere.
High bar to strip citizenship: Minister
Some earlier commentary in the Indo-Canadian Voice, largely description of the proposed changes to citizenship by William MacIntosh, an immigration lawyer:
As long as Canada offers health care and other social benefits, there is a legitimate political question about the tax contribution of the several million Canadians living abroad to pay for those services should they return. The government may say the proposed changes help address the problem, but the changes are window dressing. The real change would come with amendments to tax laws, which would be much harder to sell politically.
Indo-Canadian Voice | Tougher citizenship laws miss mark on expatriate issues.