The BC Civil Liberties Association is taking on an initiative to let you know about a Charter challenge which they have just filed against Bill C-24, the so-called Strengthening Citizenship Act. This challenge might be of interest to anyone who maintains dual citizenship.
Bill C-24 became law last year, but it was just this summer that some of the provisions went into effect, officially creating a two-tier citizenship system. As a result of this new law, dual citizens and people who have immigrated to Canada can have their citizenship taken away under certain circumstances, while other Canadians cannot.
Under this law, the only Canadians who can never lose their citizenship are those born in Canada who do not have and are not eligible for another citizenship. No matter what crimes they may be accused of, these first-class citizens can never have their citizenship taken away. On the other hand, Canadians who have or are eligible for another citizenship now have ‘second-class’ status, even if they were born in Canada: under Bill C-24, their citizenship can be stripped.
That’s why the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers are taking the federal government to court to challenge these unfair and un-Canadian provisions. They are a small team, unaffiliated with any other organization in the country. They exist, and are able to do their work, only because of the generous donations of our supporters. They’re currently raising funds to cover the costs of the court case. Their court challenges are carried out by pro bono counsel working for free because they believe in our work, but moving forward a case like this still costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The BC Civil Liberties Association invites you to read about their challenge to the ‘second-class citizenship’ bill at www.equalcitizens.ca