Feds to try to axe citizenship of overseas Canadian terrorists: Kenney

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism



OTTAWA — Canada should consider revoking the citizenship of dual nationals who commit acts of terror abroad, says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

On Wednesday, Kenney said the Conservative government would look at expanding a private member's bill introduced last summer by Tory backbench MP Devinder Shory.

Bill C-425 would give government the power to revoke the Canadian citizenship of a dual national if they commit an act of war against a Canadian Forces member abroad.

Canadian citizens are currently suspected to have been involved in two terror attacks overseas — in Bulgaria and in Algeria.

Kenney said the government should consider working with Shory to expand the legislation to include provisions that would consider acts of terrorism committed overseas as reason to revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual nationals.

"Canadian citizenship is predicated on loyalty to this country and I cannot think of a more obvious act of renouncing one's sense of loyalty than going and committing acts of terror," he said.

The federal government currently only has the power to revoke citizenship in those instances if their passport was acquired through fraud.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae slammed the suggestion as a "knee-jerk response."

"What are the consequences? Is it constitutional?" Rae asked. "These are the kinds of things a minister should think about before (speaking to reporters)."

On Tuesday, Canadian officials confirmed a dual Canadian-Lebanese citizen is a suspect in the 2012 bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian.

Bulgaria's interior minister claims two foreign suspects — a Canadian and an Australian — were involved in a deadly bombing in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas last July.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov says one suspect had a Canadian passport while the other had an Australian one, and both had been living in Lebanon.

Kenney also revealed a few more details about the Canadian allegedly involved in planning the Bulgaria bus bombing.

He apparently came to Canada when he was 8 and received his citizenship a few years later before returning to Lebanon when he was 12. He has visited Canada but not lived in this country since his youth.

Canadian officials are also still in Algeria trying to confirm Algerian government claims a Canadian mastermind was behind a hostage-taking there.

On Monday, Baird hinted that Canadian personnel in Algeria aren't getting much help from local authorities.

Canadian authorities have been in Algeria working on the case at least since Jan. 24.

--with files from Reuters

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