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MP-Report

Respecting citizenship

A few constituents have written to me concerned by misinformation that dual citizens in Canada are under attack because of legislation that was passed by Parliament to strengthen the integrity of Canadian citizenship.

I want to assure constituents it is not the case.

In an effort to underscore our government’s commitment to protecting the safety and security of Canadians and reinforce the value of Canadian citizenship, Bill C-24 enabled the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens and deny it to permanent residents (PRs) when they are members in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada, or are convicted of terrorism, high treason, and treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence.

There have been numerous attempts to amend the Citizenship Act since 1977 without success, yet our government has succeeded in making some significant changes: we enacted legislation to provide that children adopted overseas could acquire Canadian citizenship by grant rather than going through the naturalization process; and granted Canadian citizenship to groups of people known as “lost Canadians”.

Through C-24 we have also streamlined Canada’s citizenship program to reduce processing times; aligned citizenship application fees with the actual cost, relieving the burden on Canadian taxpayers who currently subsidize 80 percent of the cost; require a physical presence in Canada to qualify for citizenship, as well as language requirements and a knowledge test to ensure that new citizens are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society; and established stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation.

Canadians who embrace their citizenship and have strong ties to Canada, including those who hold dual citizenship, fully expect the government to uphold the integrity of citizenship.

I attend several citizenship ceremonies a year and get to witness that special moment when new Canadians take the citizenship oath. So many who have chosen to come to Canada from other countries or have parents and grandparents who did the same, have done so in order to live in a country that is tolerant and peaceful, to have the opportunity to provide for their families, and contribute to building what is surely one of the best countries in which to live.

Part of being Canadian is to respect the contribution that immigration has made to this great country and it is why we continue to support a very generous immigration system; more than 85 percent of eligible permanent residents in Canada go on to become citizens. 

As fellow citizens we share an expectation of each other to take part in our democratic way of life, our economic potential, and our rich cultural traditions. As our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the honourable Chris Alexander has reiterated, citizenship is a pledge of mutual responsibility and a shared commitment to the values rooted in our history.

 

Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected]



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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.
 

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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