I heard the Big Guy twice repeat in person last week comments he made in the media earlier, that Canada’s policy of dual citizenship needs to be reviewed. That, needless to say, was just what I wanted to hear, along with countless other Canadians, in the wake of the Lebanon evacuation.
The article I posted last night from the current issue of The Economist tries hard to paint my views as those of a xenophobic provincial (don’t you love the Brits?). But they are not. Not racist. Not anti-immigrant. Certainly not anti-Arab or in criticism of Lebanese-Canadians.
Instead this is an issue about who contributes to Canada, and who gets to take from it. Everybody I know works hard and needs a sense that fairness is the supreme law of the land. Spending an average of $75,000 to remove each of 13,400 of our resident citizens from the conflict zone is no issue for Canadians, who would love to think they’d be equally treated if in trouble. But that’s a hell of a lot of money to donate to people who do not live here, don’t pay taxes here, and may never come here again in their lives.
So, do we dole out passports too easily?
I received this letter Monday morning from a guy in Egypt. I guess he reads The Economist. — Garth
I could not agree with you more on the issue of ‘Canadians of convenience’. It seems today that anyone with $80,000 usd can buy a Canadian passport through these so called ‘investment programs’ that are run by provinces such as Quebec and Nova Scotia.
All they have to do is put up the money, and they get their landing papers, they go to Canada ONCE to land, rent an apartment in Halifax or wherever, establish phony residency, and in three years apply for citizenship on their SECOND visit. Once they have their passports, they never see Canada again. It is simply a passport of convenience for those who can afford it.
So you have thousands of Canadians living in the Middle East, and in Egypt where I live, that are “Canadian” even though they have not the faintest idea of anything Canadian. They have never paid taxes in Canada, but they and their children will become Canadian forever. The Canadian passport is known here as the passport of convenience. I
think that citizenship should involve a lot more than 80K. It should only be granted to those who truly immigrate to Canada, live in Canada, pay taxes and demonstrate an attachment to Canada. They should at least know basics about Canadian history and culture and be proud to Canadian, not brag about their passport of convenience. 3 years is the lowest that any country asks from new comes for citizenship. in the US its 7, the UK 5 and other European countries about about the same.