Bill C-24 lawsuit claims no legislation can strip Canadians of citizenship

A Toronto lawyer has launched a court challenge against controversial changes to the Canada’s Citizenship Act.

On June 25, Rocco Galati filed documents in a federal court that argue Parliament and the Governor General surpassed their constitutional authorities in approving certain aspects of Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

The lawsuit primarily targets provisions in the bill that allow for the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to revoke the citizenship of a Canadian-born citizen and deport them from the country.

“The Federal Parliament has absolutely no legislative competence to legislate the revocation, removal, annulment, or any extinguishing whatsoever of the citizenship status, per say, of any Canadian-born citizen,” reads the notice of application.

It states that citizenship is “inalienable, and cannot be ‘revoked’ under any circumstance by Federal Parliament”, and that citizenship is a “fundamental constitutional protection, outside of the legislative competence of the Federal Parliament”.

Galati’s lawsuit, which he filed on behalf of lawyers with the Constitutional Rights Centre, might only be the first of multiple court proceedings challenging the constitutionality of the Conservative government’s new citizenship laws, which have already passed through the House of Commons and the Senate and received royal assent.

On June 19, the Straight reported that the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL), working with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International, is preparing a court challenge against Bill C-24.

Those organizations plan to argue that the changes violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“This proposed law would allow certain Canadians to be stripped of citizenship that was validly obtained by birth or by naturalization,” says CARL president Lorne Waldman, quoted in a release. “We think that is unconstitutional, and we intend to challenge this law if it is passed.”

Vancouver immigration lawyer Zool Suleman has argued that Bill C-24 could be especially concerning to immigrants new to the country.

Citizenship could be rescinded if it’s decided an individual fails to show “intent” to reside in Canada, he explained in a May 18 interview with the Straight. Immigrants could also lose their citizenship if they are found guilty of a crime, which creates a form of “double punishment” for one group of Canadians that does not apply to another, Suleman continued.

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has also found certain provisions of Bill C-24 are “likely unconstitutional”. A brief prepared by the CBA’s national immigration law section states that the citizenship-revocation process outlined in Bill C-24 will “primarily be a paper one”, wherein a hearing before a Federal Court judge will only be granted “in limited circumstances”.

According to Statistics Canada, immigration accounted for 67 percent of Canada’s population growth in 2013. That number is expected to rise to 80 percent by 2031. In 2011, British Columbia had the lowest birth rate of any province in Canada.

Galati’s lawsuit means the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act joins a number of other Conservative rules taken to court in recent years. Lawyers with Pivot Legal Society are fighting a Health Canada regulation that bans B.C. doctors from providing select patients with prescription heroin. Pivot is also challenging mandatory minimum sentences for small-time drug dealers. And it’s expected that proposed prostitution laws targeting the clients of sex workers could soon become the subject of a constitutional challenge.

Comments (29) Add New Comment
Utter Tripe
Canadian Citizenship was created by parliament and therefore can be annulled by Parliament. In fact, we could all be stripped of our Canadian Citizenship, and we would revert to being British subjects in right of the one imperial crown. God save _the queen_, not _every queen_.
Rating: -76
Michele Baillie
One thing I would like to see is ending Recognition of Dual Citizenship; that is to say Canada recognizing that the Canadian Citizen also has formal, recognized citizenship of another country. A citizen of questionable loyalties? End that. Do it now.

Citizen of one country- and my country is Canada- there is no mistrusting, nor misunderstanding my loyalties.

Rating: -74
MarkFornataro
Here we go again.It seems the Supreme Court is having to working overtime, admirably ruling that yet another piece of Con legislation is unconstitutional. Unlike Harper, the Supreme Court seems to have a better grasp of democracy.
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Stunned
Let's think logically instead of legally. What do you do with a person that has been stripped of their citizenship if they were born here? We can't send them anywhere, why would any other country take them or be obligated to? They can no longer work, vote or receive social services and health care. What becomes of such a person? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. What monstrosity would care to create such people?
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Stunned
Michele Baillie writes;"Citizen of one country- and my country is Canada- there is no mistrusting, nor misunderstanding my loyalties."

Blind patriotism is a disease that gave rise to Hitler's Nazis. Harper's Canada is not my Canada. Whatever definition of Canada that you have pledge your loyalties to may very well be the opposite to many other Canadian's definition, as the Harper government is displaying. My loyalties apply to human rights principles and the rule of law, not abstract political concepts that divide and destroy instead of unite.

In the end we are all citizens of the world, and it is getting smaller every day.
Rating: +73
Mike
I agree with the essence of the bill. But it does need to be more carefully considered in terms of who can be stripped of their citizenship and why. There has to be some protection and process in place so dual citizens can give their side of the story so a fair decision can be made. But those who simply use our citizenship to get welfare, launder money)through family, etc) from their homeland, and use us as a place of refuge when their corrupt political boss is purged should be cracked down on(as should the their tax records and perhaps family members who immigrated here).
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Arash
It seems Canada starts to go to hell with these rules that divide its citizens. It is, start of ending Canada.
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Ethen
This is a badly thought out plan. This legislation gives the Canadian government a tool to blackmail dual citizens. If you don't do "_____________________" (spy for government, vote for us, anything you want). We will declare you persona non grata, and deport you based on an immigration official's whim or some technicality as "intent" and NO, you cannot go through the courts.
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Rating: +36
Anoosheh Kalantari
I am a Canadian and I am proud of it. I am a dual citizen. I studied electrical engineering in University of Toronto and graduated with honors but then I heard Steve Jobs that you should never settle. I always loved fashion and so I have moved to New York to study at Parsons and I am one of the best in my school and my school recognizes me as a bright Canadian! Now does Harper wants to take away my identity as a bright Canadian engineer and fashion designer because I live in New York and actually have to stay here for another 5-6 years in order to start my own line? When I came to Canada I said to everyone that Canadians are the most honest and least racist people on earth and I was shocked on how I was welcomed to Canada a way that I was not welcomed in my own country. Now this Bill C-24 is just pure racism! I am a christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew, I am a Buddhist, I am a creator, I am a human, I am from this universe. This bill says otherwise. Yes it is indeed a privilege to be Canadian and I always believed it, because I always believed it is where pure freedom is and it is where pure anti-racism is. Now this bill and Harper says otherwise. Isn't that a shame? So because I am not "BORN" in Canada, Canada is going to treat me like NORTH KOREA?????? I love fashion and I want to travel the world from far east to all Europe to Africa and Middle East to be inspired to create and I would love to do it as a CAnadian but does HArper allow me?
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Rating: +70
spy
Canadian are dumbest people on earth, especially their government and their people, no wonder the world thinks of them as a joke, seriously coming up with these shameful laws only shows how retarded they are , country of 30 million dummies and stooges ,

you leave canada for few months come back, they dont let you in, you own a house a car a business they dont let you in and cant even fight it in court because some idiot made this law and every Canadian cheers for it, thats how pathetic they are

lets say if the canadian government makes up a rule that every morning canadians must line up and bend over for a government representative to stick it to them , not only canadians WILL line up but they will also complain to get an increase in the number of rapist representatives , so this way they wait too long in the line up, thats how retarded these people are,

ive lived and travelled in many countries of the world and by far i have to say the dumbest of all are canadians

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Rating: +8
Brittney
why don't they just start making a color palette for the passports they issue? The blue ones can reside outside and are superior but the grey ones can only have theirs if they reside inside and are not allowed to explore the universe. Bill C-24 = there are blacks and there are whites and they are not the same. One is better than the other.
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Rating: +33
Antony Dawson
Anoosheh,
The bill is not about stripping you from your second nationality. It says if you, for any reason, has left your motherland and cannot live there anymore, if you feel insecure there and have moved to Canada, then be a Canadian and live, work, and pay tax. Don't be a Canadian, who has left the motherland but ironically lives and work in a motherland where was not supposed to be secure enough.
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Rating: -40
RUK
Many countries have rules that prevent dual citizenship. The Constitution is still paramount so if stripping the Canadian citizenship would reasonably apprehend a threat to the security of the person (e.g. creating statelessness), I can't see it happening.

But it's still an interesting suit, I wonder how much of the argument will be heard on its merits if and when this comes to a hearing.
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You Don't Get It
Canada is a few jihadis away from having an Islamic Caliphate declared. Currently, a Canadian Citizen with dual citizenship in a middle eastern country can go overseas, get radicalized by ISIS (or whoever) and have a right of return to Canada. How this makes sense to loony leftists is beyond me, unless they're closet Islamic-supremacists.
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Rating: -21
@Spy
There is no need to be an insulting asshole. You are the reason as to why Canadians are beyond fed up, you act as if you hold power and can do or say what ever you please. People like you have zero respect for Canadians, the very people who graciously accepted you into their country. Shame on you for having like such an entitled twat.
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Rating: -4
48 countries
Traveled to 48 countries and lived in 8, and I am not done yet. Does that mean I should give back my Citizenship to fulfill my dream?
Well, if that's the case please give me back all the taxes that I paid and a restitution for all the time and effort in the cold freakin' Canadian weather for the last 11 years. I also will need my fees for (Residency and Citizenship) back. Otherwise, the Canadian Government is just a bunch of sneaky mafiosos who stole my money in a hideous way.
What is the difference between a Racist and a Fascist? The Racist will never admit his ideology of hate, the Fascist will do and go further creating laws to protect his Racism, and implement them. (i.e: Hitler, Mussolini, Francisco Franco...etc).
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Rating: +10
RGeneration
So Canadian citizens (those with dual citizenship but Canadian born) can no longer find jobs outside Canada, eh? You may never be allowed to return. Why did we not just apply this level of smart (read st00pid) thinking for all citizens of Canada, dual or not?
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Rating: +15
shoegazer
Is that Herman Goebbels that Harpers shaking hands with?
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Hossein

Every one knows and believe that Canada has made and build by immigrant even Harper parents are immigrant. When some body immigrant to Canada to get Canadian citizen so he/she would be proud to be Canadian. Citizenship is a right not a point that Harper or his gang can rejected it.According to Canada constitution section Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship in Mobility rights that said Canadian can live and work any where they choose in Canada, enter and leave the country freely , and apply for a passport. with this explanation nobody even ministers or parliament can approved any bill or law against constitution!It is funny in globalization age taht many skill workers are expatiate and working around the word Harper decided to be against globalization and emphasis Canada is part of globalization!This bill is symbol of racism similar Nazi thought !!I think conservatism party as also other decision those are against nation, worker class and middle class decide to fire 99% of society on behalf 1% .We are Canadian dual citizen and we are proud of it. The Canada government has known many immigrant applicant has been dual citizen and agree they come in Canada and apply for Canadian citizen but at present the conservative party and their group in Parliament that I am sure many of MP group have Dual citizen but want to be exclusive!!The people , black, Brwn,yellow ,white, all the people must unite against Bill C-24
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Rating: +13
Da realist
This is so funny. A bill been initiated by a second class citizen himself. If you are not a First Nation person in this country then you don't originally come from here. It's pretty straight forward and easy to understand that Canada is built on immigration.

We honestly need to know what these people smokes. Or it's just their blue eyes racist hatred instinct taking over of them. This country is well respected for it's tolerant towards diversity because that how we built this country. Who does the dirty job in this country? The immigrant!! Who are more educated nowadays? The immigrant? Who give birth to the next generation of Canadian? The immigrant!! Who are the crack head?? Mr chris and his First class citizen? Who are the lazy assholes? Mr Chris and co!!

This Bill will never pass and let see if Mr Chris wins his next election. He need to understand the meaning of "native" he's not so he is not from here either. Likewise his parents or predecessors. Take it or leave it. This country originally belongs to Native people. Everybody else migrated here.

We are all coexist here, work hard to contribute to this country. We all pay same tax isn't it? There is no second class citizen when it's time to pay tax but otherwise there is? Seriously!!!! This is a joke!!!!
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