(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
The Trudeau government is one step closer to granting citizenship to a convicted terrorist. Earlier this week, Liberals in the Senate voted to support the Trudeau government’s controversial Bill C-6.
The bill substantially waters down the value of Canadian citizenship.
It eliminates the language requirements for newcomers over the age of 54 and reduces the amount of time immigrants must spend in Canada to become eligible for citizenship – down to just three years of part-time residency.
The most controversial aspect of Bill C-6, though, is a provision to protect the citizenship of convicted terrorists.
Conservative Senator Daniel Lang proposed an amendment to Bill C-6 – to uphold an existing law that allows judges the ability to strip citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorism.
Canada already allows for citizenship revocation for a number of reasons, including cases of fraud or when a war crime has been committed. The previous Conservative government expanded this law, adding terrorism and treason to the list of crimes that can lead to the stripping of Canadian citizenship.
On the 2015 campaign trail, Trudeau defended the overall practice of citizenship revocation.
He said he believed that “revocation of citizenship can and should happen in situations of becoming a Canadian citizen on false pretences.”
Trudeau also insisted, however, that “terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship.”
The rationale for Trudeau’s platitude that a “Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian”—even if that “Canadian” is a foreign-born agent convicted of terrorism—was never clear.
His half-baked logic asserted that stripping citizenship from foreign-born terrorists amounted to “two-tiered citizenship,” and yet, somehow revocation for lying or covering up war crimes was justifiable.
Senator Lang’s amendment would have allowed revocation to apply in cases of terrorism, too.
But Trudeau’s Senators voted to reject Lang’s amendment. And now one convicted terrorist who had his citizenship stripped will soon be granted a second chance at being Canadian.
Zakaria Amara was slapped with a life sentence back in 2006 for his role in a plot to murder scores of Canadians.
Amara led an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell known as the Toronto 18. He groomed fellow jihadists and devised a plot to wage a major terrorist attack in Toronto and Ottawa.
He planned to detonate bombs and launch coordinated shooting sprees at the Toronto Stock Exchange and the CBC in downtown Toronto, as well as a siege on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
As a grand finale, Amara wanted to behead then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Amara was born in Jordan, and raised in Saudi Arabia. His parents brought him to Canada as a teenager, and he became a Canadian citizen as a young man. And yet, by the age of 20, Amara was in prison for terrorism.
This man never had an allegiance to Canada. He may have sworn the oath of citizenship, but he remained loyal to the murderous ideology of Islamist terrorism.
He betrayed the country that took him in, and immediately rejected Canadian ideals and values.
Amara was ungrateful to Canada that he sought to indiscriminately murder Canadians and shatter our sense of safety and security.
Thankfully, his plot was foiled and...(READ MORE)