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One of these men wants to ruin Canadian sports, the other is Gary Bettman
sportsnet

 

Earlier this month, Bill C-24—the colourfully named Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act—came into effect. Most of the criticism directed at this bill stems from its creation of an apparent lower class of Canadian citizenship for those who were born or live elsewhere. In a 2014 editorial, the Globe and Mail stated, “there is an ugly, xenophobic side to this law, which may play well with some voters, but has no place in a modern, multicultural Canada.” A modern, multicultural Canada with 863,000 dual-Canadian citizens. As of today, to maintain Canadian Citizenship one must reside in Canada for 183 days for 4 out of every 6 years.  If you have a job that requires you to spend the majority of your time in Silicon Valley, California making millions of dollars, Canada has no interest in you.

*This next paragraph is full of legal nonsense that might be dull to read. If you want to get to the Rush Limbaugh-style rant about how Stephen Harper is going to ruin Canadian sports forever, simply skip the following paragraph and read on.

In an April 2014 report, the National Immigration Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) criticized the Bill for a number of reasons. Firstly, because being convicted of terrorism in another country is now grounds to have your Canadian citizenship revoked. This is stupid, since defining terrorism is harder than organising a Federal Leaders’ debate, and numerous states around the world use terrorism charges to bring down political opponents unjustly. The Bill, in most cases, also eliminates the right to a Federal Court hearing, which makes it the government’s decision to rescind ones citizenship. A dual citizen working abroad better make damn sure not to make enemies with a foreign government or the Canadian government. Lastly, CBA also stated that Bill C-24 uses cross-referencing to previous litigation “to the point of near incoherence.” The association of lawyers says there is too much legal mumbo-jumbo in this Bill for even them to understand it properly. The Conservative Government touting transparency in government is about as ridiculous as a Leafs fan guaranteeing a Stanley Cup victory.

If you are out of Canada for an extended period and you are not a public servant, you will lose your citizenship. If there is one thing that should make every Canadian’s blood boil it is this element right here. Forget all the rhetoric people throw around and consider one simple scenario: what happens if an NHL player holds dual citizenship with any other country in the world and plays for an American franchise? Under this regulation, would he have his citizenship revoked? We may not need our innovative immigrants or our international journalists, but there is no way this country can let our sports stars leave. Will tennis star Milos Raonic, who was born in Montenegro and resides in Monaco, no longer be allowed to wear the maple leaf on his shoulder at the Olympic Games?  If this bill had been around a decade ago, would we have revoked the citizenship of South African born Steve Nash who played the majority of his career in Phoenix?

Milos Raonic: Second Class Citizen?
Wallpaper Series

 

Milos Raonic is perhaps the biggest question with regard to this bill. He has played 23 tournaments in the last calendar year, 22 of which were outside of Canada. He lives in Monte Carlo, along with the likes of world number 1 Novak Djokovic, allowing him to train on clay courts. The subtleties of a tennis professional’s training regimen aside, it would be detrimental to his career if he had to spend 183 days a year in Canada. As I understand it, Raonic has access to non-Canadian citizenship and will not spend the majority of his time in Canada. It is difficult to tell whether he would meet the criteria for having his citizenship revoked because it is hard to understand anything about this bill. Before everyone begins criticizing this 20 year old writer, I’d like to reiterate that this Bill was too complex to be understood by the best lawyers in this field in the country, so cut me some slack.

Furthermore, even if the bill isn’t applied to Raonic, the potential implications for athletes are real. As the CBA put it, the Bill’s “inflexibility risks undermining Canada’s goal of attracting the best and brightest immigrants.” That means that, if the next prodigy athlete is born in another country but needs to move somewhere with the resources and programs they need to become a star, they won’t choose Canada.

According to the CBA, the government is “creating two tiers of citizenship—natural born Canadians who could travel and live abroad without restriction and naturalized Canadians who would risk losing their status if they were ever to leave Canada.” The disrespect towards non-Canadian born Canadians and to those who may want to be a citizen here one day goes against everything this country stands for. Why?

Well, three of the top ten members of CBC’s Greatest Canadian series in 2004 were born in Scotland. Great Scott! To be fair, that list can be disregarded entirely because it places Don Cherry at #7, three spots above the Great One Wayne Gretzky. There is no denying the impact that our first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald and the father of our healthcare system Tommy Douglas had on this great nation, but this particular Bill would not have affected them. The third Canadian Scotsmen is Alexander Graham Bell. Bell moved to Canada at 23. However, when he made a name for himself by inventing the telephone, he was working in the United States.  Under C-24, the next Alexander Graham Bell will not be referred to as Canadian.

Bell the greatest Canadian inventor was apparently not Canadian enough.
Wikispaces

 

Now, in all likelihood the Canadian government will not pursue these stars. The main criticism of this bit of legislation is that it has created two classes of Canadian citizen. If we are going to make an exception for celebrities, where will the line be drawn? These are the inherent difficulties of creating a legal hierarchy of citizenship.

  • Bynx

    I dont think the line will be drawn with those who are not engaging in criminal activities. C-24 enables the government to get rid of immigrants who became citizens with an ulterior motive of dealing in crime because of the lax society in which we live. A lax society we call democracy. Instead of trying to get rid of a criminal who goes through appeal after appeal until he is forgiven or tossed out only to return on the next plane to Canada, he is tossed out and his citizenship is withdrawn. You give people a chance to live in a great country and if they choose to ignore the laws, or the society in which they live they shouldnt be here.

    • Bleezit420

      miss the whole fucking point why don’t you. Believe the rhetoric, it will keep you warm and snuggly at night while the freedom fighters get their citizenships revoked for being ‘terrorists’

      Anyone who doesn’t see the terrorism facade for what it is is part of the problem, THIS IS A FALSE FLAG TO THE NTH DEGREE AND 9/11 ISN’T EVEN THE BEGINNING!

  • Bleezit420

    Stephen harper’s war on sports? THAT’S THE FUCKING TITLE???? WHY DOES THAT MAKE ME SO INCREDIBLY ANGRY OH RIGHT IT’S BECAUSE SPORTS ARE NOT A RELEVANT FUCKING TOPIC HERE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT GIVING THE GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT TO REVOKE CITIZENSHIP! Canadian gov’t is now arguing that citizenship is a privilege, not a right. THAT’S FUCKING BULLSHIT IF YOU ARE BORN IN THIS COUNTRY CITIZENSHIP IS A FUCKING RIGHT AND IT CAN NOT BE REVOKED BY THE GOVERNMENT! The day it can, we are living in a dictatorship.

  • Bynx

    Correct me if Im wrong but its only immigrants who are born outside Canada that came here and got their citizenship that can have it revoked. If you were born here there is no way your citizenship can be revoked. As for freedom fighter or terrorist, which one depends on who wins. If you are a Canadian Citizen, not born in this country and are caught fighting elsewhere then thats ok. You go live there and you are no longer a Canadian Citizen. I dont see any problem with that.

    • Marion

      Your citizenship can be revoked if you have, or could be entitled to, a dual citizenship. I was born in Britain (can’t remember it from 70+ years ago) so have British citizenship. I no longer have Canadian, as that was stripped in 2003 for being a child of a Canadian serviceman in WWII and his War Bride(some politicians dreamed up a ridiculous list of reasons for removal). But my children, born in Canada and living here all their lives, are also dual citizens of Britain and Canada because of my birth there. People who have a grandparent in some countries (i.e. Ireland) are entitled to that citizenship. I certainly see a big problem, especially as the government can broaden the grounds for revocation according to the official’s interpretation of “terrorism”. That’s how thousands of us lost citizenship in the past. Of course I resent my family as well as many others now being “second class” in that they are, somehow, seen to be possible criminals. We have a justice system already in place to deal with criminals, and it should not be left to individual bureaucrats to decide someone’s citizenship.

  • Geoff

    “As of today, to maintain Canadian Citizenship one must reside in Canada for 183 days for 4 out of every 6 years.”

    Please read Bill C-24 more carefully before posting rants about it. The bill says that physical presence is required for 183 days a year for 4 out of the 6 years prior to applying for citizenship. Not to maintain citizenship. You need to read more carefully. It says nothing about physical presence in Canada once citizenship is obtained. Frankly, that is a gross inaccuracy for a journalist. I just applied for citizenship myself and am waiting to get it. I read the bill. It’s too bad that you did not.