June 15, 2017
I haven’t spoken on this bill at all. I do know that the matters before us relate to the message, the amendments rejected by the House of Commons. I do want to speak before this bill is voted upon because of a most odious provision the bill still contains and the reason I will vote against it today.
I absolutely fail to understand — and I listened carefully to Senator Omidvar — the reason for repealing the provision in the Citizenship Act to take away the privilege of Canadian citizenship to dual citizens convicted of terrorism. To me, those convicted of terrorist acts are guilty of subverting our democracy. They are traitors. They should not have the privilege of citizens. Our veterans fought and died for the freedoms that they will obtain when their citizenship is continued. And our veterans will turn over in their graves if we pass that provision in this bill.
To me, giving those cowardly anarchists citizenship after convictions for terrorism devalues what it means to be Canadian. I have asked my constituents what their views are on this. I couldn’t find anyone who agreed it made sense, especially new Canadians, and I think public opinion polls bear this out.
I also never understood the reasoning of the man who’s now the Prime Minister, in political debate in the last election, in saying that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. To me, that is a tautology that replaces logic. Even when he said “because it’s 2015,” it conveyed some logic and some reason for the position taken — not very much, but something.
So I must confess that I believe the only reason for that provision in this bill is to demonstrate that the new government is for change by undoing what the previous government put in place, and that is not a reason to vote for this bill. I will not vote even for the thoughtful amendments that have been put in place because of the utterly odious provision to restore citizenship to convicted terrorists.