This month Immigration Minister Chris Alexander tabled new legislation that will transform Canada’s citizenship system.
Though experts are praising many of the changes, critics are pointing to some of the smaller, “illogical” moves that have been slipped into the reform package.
Among the changes being hailed by observers is a new language requirement for citizenship applicants, widening the required ages from 18 to 54, to 14 to 64, for those needing to demonstrate capabilities in one of Canada’s two official languages.
One of the more controversial reforms is an increase to residency requirements, which, some argue, could discourage sought-after skilled workers who travel frequently for work in today’s global marketplace.
Additionally, critics are concerned over a citizenship amendment which will allow the government to strip citizenship from those convicted of terrorism, spying or treason. Immigrant rights’ advocates are concerned over this new power, saying that the government should never be able to strip citizenship for reasons other than fraud, as it creates a two-tiered system.
Citizenship reform has been publicly touted as one of this government’s top priorities.
Source: Globe and Mail