ontario news watch

Court-imposed deadline to pass new citizenship law approaching next week

OTTAWA — The federal government has just a week left to make key changes to the Citizenship Act in response to a court ruling last year.

The Ontario Superior Court has not yet agreed to extend the looming deadline, and NDP attempts to rush legislation through the House of Commons have failed.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller says if the Liberals’ bill doesn’t pass before next week’s deadline, Canada will enter a “no man’s land” in which the minister himself has to decide each individual citizenship case.

Last year, the court found that Canadians born abroad received a lower class of citizenship than those born in Canada, and it gave the government until June 19 to correct the problem.

Miller tabled a bill on May 23 that would allow Canadians born abroad to pass their citizenship down to their children, and asked the court for a deadline extension the following day.

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan made two attempts to push the bill through the legislative process more quickly by asking for the unanimous consent of MPs, but neither effort succeeded.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press