Canada to Restore Citizenship Rights for ‘Lost Canadians’ and Their Descendants

Immigration Minister Marc Miller on Thursday introduced Bill C-71, which aims to restore citizenship rights to “lost Canadians” and their descendants. The bill would reverse a 2009 change implemented by Stephen Harper’s government, which had stripped children of Canadian parents born abroad of their automatic right to citizenship.

Under the proposed legislation, Canadians born outside the country would be able to pass on their citizenship to their foreign-born children, provided they have spent at least 1,095 days in Canada before their child’s birth. The bill would also grant citizenship to adopted children born abroad if the Canadian parent has spent a minimum of three years in Canada prior to the adoption.

Don Chapman, a “lost Canadian” who has been advocating for this change, hailed the bill as a “historic” move that would rectify past injustices. He noted that the change could make several Hollywood stars, such as Gene Hackman, eligible for Canadian citizenship due to having Canadian parents.

The introduction of Bill C-71 follows a 2022 Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling that deemed it unconstitutional to deny Canadians born abroad the right to pass on their citizenship to their foreign-born children. The federal government had until June 19 to address the issue.

“There’s no doubt that Canadian citizenship is highly valued and recognized around the world. Not everyone is entitled to it. But for those who are, it needs to be fair,” MIller said, adding that the current rules could have unacceptable effects on Canadian families’ decisions regarding where to live, work, study, and raise their children.

Also read: Marc Miller Announces Plan to Reduce Temporary Residents… By Making Them Permanent

The bill has garnered support from the NDP and Green Party, with NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan criticizing the 2009 rule change for creating “second class citizens.” The proposed legislation is expected to positively impact various groups, including “border babies,” Indigenous children born in communities straddling the Canada-US border, and Canadians working abroad who have been denied the right to pass on their citizenship to their children.

Information for this story was found via the Globe and Mail, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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