NCCM testifies at parliamentary hearing on repealing citizenship revocation measures

On April 14, 2016, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship & Immigration (CIMM) on Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act. Bill C-6 was tabled by the new Liberal government on February 25, 2016 in order to remove contentious citizenship revocation provisions passed by the previous government (Bill C-24) which enabled the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration to unilaterally revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual nationals convicted of a national security-related criminal offence.

NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee testified before the committee in favour of the government’s repealing of these provisions. NCCM submitted, in part, that « the law as it exists today has created, in essence, two classes of citizenship. The idea that dual citizens are more vulnerable to losing their citizenship means that some individuals and groups are less Canadian than others, and therefore, are less deserving of equal protection of the law. This is completely antithetical to the equality rights guaranteed by Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, namely equality before and under the law, and equal benefit of the law. »

NCCM argued that citizenship revocation has major implications that go beyond dual citizens and pointed out that « Canadian Muslim individuals, families and the broader community have been disproportionately impacted by ostensible anti-terrorism measures enacted in the name of national security. »

Read the NCCM’s submissions on Bill C-6.