Fewer permanent residents are becoming citizens and the NDP say that Conservatives have put up more roadblocks instead of working to improve the numbers of those acquiring citizenship.
“Citizenship processing fees have increased from $100 to $530 since February 2014 under the Conservatives. And this is on top of the additional $100 Right of Citizenship fee,” said NDP Deputy Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Critic Don Davies (Vancouver—Kingsway). “For a family of four, they will have to pay $1460—that’s more than a month’s rent for many.”
The percentage of permanent residents who acquired Canadian citizenship dropped 67% between 2000 and 2008. Wait times for processing citizenship applications range from two to three years.
“Instead of working to improve the percentage of permanent residents acquiring citizenship, the Conservatives are setting up all types of roadblocks,” added Davies. “Essentially, these applicants are paying more and getting less under the Conservatives.”
MEANWHILE, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association noted: “We all have different views on what it means to be Canadian. But since part of Bill C-24 went into effect at the beginning of June, Canadians have been divided into first and second-class citizens.
“When the bill passed last year, we committed to launching a legal challenge to these citizenship amendments. In partnership with our friends at the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, we are making that happen.”
It added: “The government thinks it’s ok to have a two-tier citizenship system, where dual citizens and people who have immigrated to Canada can have their citizenship taken away while other Canadians cannot.”