Ottawa — Measures came into force officially today that enable Canada to revoke citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorism, treason and high treason, and/or spying for foreign governments.
Canadian citizenship can now also be revoked from dual citizens for taking up arms against Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces, whether as a member of a foreign army or in non-state terrorist groups like ISIS.
Also officially in force as of today is a new, more streamlined citizenship revocation process. This new process will help ensure Canada and Canadians are protected, and that revocation decisions can be made quickly, decisively and fairly.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officials will be implementing these new measures immediately and will prioritize cases that have been tried and convicted here in Canada on at least one of the grave crimes listed above.
“Our Government knows that there is no higher purpose for any government than to ensure the safety and security of its citizens and we have never been afraid to call jihadi terrorism exactly what it is. That is why we are taking steps to confront the ever evolving threat of jihadi terrorism by revoking citizenship of dual nationals who have been convicted of heinous crimes against Canada such as terrorism, espionage for foreign governments or taking up arms against Canada and our brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. Our Government’s changes to the Citizenship Act will ensure that those who wish to do us harm will not be able to exploit their Canadian citizenship to endanger Canadians or our free and democratic way of life.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Other measures introduced by the Government of Canada to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians include:
In January 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 which once passed will give Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies the tools they need to better protect Canadians from terrorism;
In April 2015, Economic Action Plan 2015 announced $292.6 million over five years in intelligence and law enforcement agencies for additional investigative resources to counter terrorism;
In May 2015 the Government introduced the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and changes to the Canadian Passport Order to revoke passports and prevent the travel of those seeking to engage in terrorist activity abroad; and,
In 2013, the Combating Terrorism Act made it a criminal offence to leave or attempt to leave Canada for the purposes of participating in or facilitating terrorist activity.