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Canada debates NRI lawmaker’s proposal

world Updated: Feb 15, 2013 01:06 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times
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Legislation proposed by an India-born Canadian Member of Parliament to strip dual citizens of Canadian citizenship if they are found involved in acts of war against the country's armed forces has become the centre of a major debate in the nation.

The bill, C-425, was introduced in the Canadian Parliament's lower chamber, the House of Commons, by Devinder Shory, MP from Calgary NorthEast. Shory, born in Barnala, Punjab, who is co-chair of the Canada India Parliamentary Friendship Association.

"Someone who goes out and engages in war against the Canadian Armed Forces, they should not have privilege to call themselves as Canadian citizens and their rights as Canadian citizens should be basically stripped off because by their actions, they declared themselves as enemies of Canada," Shory said in a telephonic interview from Ottawa.

While this is a private member's bill which, like those in India, rarely make it to law, this particular idea has gained traction, gaining strong support from Canada's citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney.

Kenney, in fact, wants to expand the scope of the proposal to include those who engage in acts of terrorism.

In an OpEd in the Canadian daily National Post, Kenney commented: "If a Canadian passport-holder maintains another nationality while waging war against Canada or committing a serious act of terrorism, this should be construed for what it so obviously is: a violent severing of the bonds of loyalty implicit in citizenship."