Globe: Liberals, NDP urge Conservatives not to stall citizenship rights for ‘lost Canadians’

Bill S-245 would change the law so if a Canadian parent could demonstrate a “substantial connection” to Canada, their child would again qualify for a passport.

It would also reinstate citizenship for a group of people born between 1977 and 1981, classified as “second generation born abroad,” who failed to reaffirm their citizenship by the age of 28.

The bill has passed through the Senate and most of its Commons stages, including in committee.

“We support the bill and encourage all parties to do so as well,” said Bahoz Dara Aziz, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

But the NDP’s immigration critic Jenny Kwan accused the Conservatives of stalling its progress and “playing petty political games,” including filibustering debate at committee, to reduce its chances of becoming law.

She accused the sponsor of the Senate bill in the Commons, Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan, of slowing the bill’s passage in the House by twice switching its scheduled third reading debate with another bill. Mr. Hallan and Tom Kmiec, the Conservative immigration critic, would not comment.

“Canada needs to fix the lost Canadians issue once and for all. The Conservatives were wrong to strip the right of parents to pass on their Canadian citizenship to their second-generation-born-abroad children 14 years ago,” she said. “In the case of William and Jack Cowling, it means they do not have the legal status to work in Canada and the family farm that has been in their family for six generations is now in jeopardy.”

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Van Sun: B.C. MPs echo mayors, solicitor general on need for port police force

East Vancouver MP Jenny Kwan told Postmedia that she thinks port police should be restored on the waterfront.

Kwan, who has a container terminal in her riding, said when the force was disbanded in 1997, she was an MLA and very critical of the decision.

“The port police should never have been disbanded. There are definitely ongoing implications,” Kwan said. “The port is the gateway for illegal activities in terms of people shipping illegal goods in and out. … that’s definitely an ongoing concern.”

“We absolutely support minister Farnworth and the municipalities’ call for the federal government to step back up and show leadership in addressing this concern and to fund the port police.”

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