NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims
Credits: ROB KRUYT PHOTO
OTTAWA - The effort to strip Canadian terrorists of their citizenship will have to wait while the NDP ties up a parliamentary committee in procedural wrangling.
"We are not supportive of the minister gutting the entire content of a private member's bill and replacing it with his own legislation," NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims said Thursday.
The government is trying to amend Conservative MP Devinder Shory's private member's bill so Canadians would automatically renounce their citizenship after being convicted of a terrorist act, instead of an act of war as the bill originally stated.
So the Tories have asked for more time in committee in order to get Commons approval to introduce the amendments, but NDP members of the immigration committee have filibustered for days to block the government's effort.
The NDP's tactics upset Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
"This is bad faith parliamentary gimmickry to stop a debate and a vote at the committee on a bill to revoke citizenship from convicted terrorists," he said.
Shory also rejected the NDP's charge that his bill would be "gutted" by the government's amendment.
"These are not amendments which are in any way, shape and form imposed on me," he said. "(New Democrats have) got to clear their position whether they support the terrorists or they support the idea of terrorists to keep their Canadian citizenship."
Sims says nobody in the House of Commons "supports acts of violence or terrorism of any sort."
Conservatives say if the NDP filibuster succeeds, the government may lose the opportunity to amend Shory's bill.