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Fairness of citizenship stripping to be tested in court

October 20, 2016

For Immediate Release

TOMORROW, October 21, 2016, the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) will be in Federal Court as part of our equal citizenship challenge. We will be arguing that provisions of Bill C-24 allowing citizenship stripping for misrepresentation without a fair hearing are unconstitutional and must be stayed.

WHAT: Lawyers for the BCCLA and CARL to argue in court for a moratorium on citizenship revocations pending the determination of whether the revocation process is constitutional or the implementation of a new, fair process.

WHEN: Tomorrow, Friday, October 21, 2016, 1pm ET / 10am PT.

WHO: representatives of the organizations available for comment.

WHERE: Federal Court of Canada, 180 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.


Mitch Goldberg, President of CARL: “We were gobsmacked to learn that the government has stripped the citizenship of over 200 people since taking office last November under a process they called “dictatorial” while in opposition. When something as critical as citizenship is on the line, people should have the right to a fair hearing before an independent decision-maker, just like they do to challenge a speeding ticket or a littering fine. It’s incredible to us that the government on one hand acknowledges that the process is unfair and promises to fix it, but on the other is going to fight in court for the right to keep using it.”

Laura Track, Staff Lawyer with the BCCLA: “The Court has already ruled that stays are warranted in individual cases until a court challenge determines the constitutionality of the process. All we’re asking the Court to do tomorrow is to extend that ruling to everyone who’s at risk of revocation. We know not everyone can get a lawyer and obtain a stay for themselves, and people are falling through the cracks. The government should have pressed the pause button on these unfair revocations long ago, but they’ve refused. We’re asking the Court to step in and ensure that no one else loses their citizenship under this unfair process. We hope the court will act quickly to protect people’s fundamental rights.