Why benefits of citizenship aren’t always equal

Why_benefits_Story_Pic.JPG

COMMENTARY

by Andrew Griffith

Policy Options
May 25, 2018

The phrase “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” was first used during the 2015 election, in the context of ensuring Canadian citizens convicted of crimes of treason or terrorism, whether they are born or naturalized Canadians, are treated equally. This is a restatement of the principal that naturalized Canadian citizens cannot be returned to their country of origin and may enter and leave Canada freely.

However, consideration of its application more widely, to consular services and voting rights for long-term expatriates (five years or more), suggests the following question: if a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and all Canadians therefore deserve equal protections under law, do all also always deserve the same benefits and privileges under the law? And do the actions of individual citizens affect the government’s obligations and responsibilities?

The arguments in favour of treating all Canadians equally are compelling in the cases of people accused or convicted of terror-related crimes, given that they could be single or dual citizens. As single nationals accused of such crimes are subject only to incarceration, adding banishment only for dual nationals, as the Conservative government did in its Bill C-24 (which most likely was not Charter compliant), meant that dual nationals were being subject to harsher punishment than single nationals.

Andrew Griffith is an author, commentator and blogger. He has worked for various government departments in Canada and abroad. He is a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Environics Institute.

Image credit: CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT POLICY OPTIONS


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

CONFERENCE
Security, Commerce and FDI in Canada

October 1, 2019

Toronto, Ontario | GET TICKETS

LUNCHEON
Priorities for the Next Government

October 24, 2019

Vancouver, British Columbia


SEARCH
THE CGAI PODCAST NETWORK

"He will have much work ahead of him" — Canada's new ambassador to China & more

September 16, 2019

(feat. Colin Robertson, Hugh Stephens, and Gordon Houlden)



Extreme Embedding

September 18, 2019

(feat. Stéfanie von Hlatky, Stephen Saideman, Dur-e-Aden, and Tone Danielsen)



The Conclusion of Canada's Mali Mission

September 13, 2019

(feat. David Perry and Chris Roberts)



EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

U.S. reaction to the attack on Saudi oil fields

by Scott Thompson (feat. Ferry de Kerckhove), Global News Radio, September 17, 2019


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 421-7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 4K9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: contact@cgai.ca
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2019 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email