IN GOD”S COUNTRY EVERYBODY IS A CITIZEN – About dual citizenship

IN GOD’S COUNTRY EVERYBODY IS A CITIZEN – About dual citizenship.

rn

Hon. Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, suggested that we re-examined dual citizenship. I think he needs to think a little.

rn

When I became a Canadian citizen in 1964, I had to renounce Japanese citizenship. I was happy to do that because of the Japanese Canadian experience during the second world war. Their loyalty to Canada was suspect so they were expelled from the B.C. coast and were interned. They were keen to prove that they were true Canadians. Some of them volunteered from internment camps to join the Canadian army to fight Japan. I just followed their standard, happily, when I gave up being a citizen of the country of birth.

rn

But I was also very happy when dual citizenship became permitted three decades ago. It shows that Canada has come to believe in the universality of rights of citizens and become a better place. It also shows Canada’s aspiration for a world without war. (What happens if a country from which some Canadians also have citizenship declares war against Canada? Like Germany, Italy, and Japan did during the WW II.) Dual citizenship is a good thing. For example, it facilitates the Israeli Law of Return for all children of Jewish mothers no matter where they live and have citizenship, and makes them automatically citizens of Israel. I served overseas for the church for fourteen years without worrying about my citizenship.

rn

Canada has come a long way. Dual citizenship can work without problem in a world without war. Utopian? Maybe. But we all dream of such a world. Don’t we?

rn

November 8, 2006

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.