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If you commit acts of terrorism, you should lose Canadian citizenship: Kenney

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney speaks to reporters following a caucus meeting in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Feb. 6, 2013.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the Conservative government wants to give Ottawa the power to revoke citizenship from Canadians who go abroad to commit terrorism or acts of war against this country.

His comments come a day after Ottawa confirmed that a Canadian dual national based in Lebanon has been linked to the bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year.

The idea of stripping citizenship from those who commit acts of war against Canada and its allies is already Tory Party policy. The Conservative Party's grassroots voted to endorse the notion during the party's 2011 policy convention in Ottawa.

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The Conservative grassroots had people like Omar Khadr in mind when they hammered out party policy on revoking citizenship. Mr. Kenney, however, is specifically targeting Canadians with dual citizenship.

The immigration minister said the government supports a private member's bill by Calgary MP Devinder Shory that would strip citizenship from those who "engage in acts of war" against Canadian forces.

This bill would bring Canada in line with other countries such as Australia and the United States who already have similar policies in place.

Mr. Kenney said the government wants to work with Mr. Shory to expand his bill to include those who commit acts of terrorism.

Mr. Kenney said he thinks Canadians back the move even though they support allowing people to hold citizenships from countries other than Canada.

"I think where we might want to make a distinction is among those dual citizens who have completely rejected any sense of loyalty to Canada and gone out and committed … acts of war against Canada."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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