Tom Walkom writes that the Harper government's new citizenship bill is a Trojan Horse:
It is presented as an attempt to reduce fraud and rationalize the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, both of which are sensible aims.
But it would also give Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government unprecedented authority to strip Canadians — including thousands born in this country — of their citizenship.
In the past, the only way a person born in Canada could be stripped of his or her citizenship was to be convicted of treason:
No more. Bill C-24 would let the government unilaterally strip citizenship from any Canadian — naturalized or native-born — who has been convicted in any country of a terrorist offence and sentenced to at least five years in jail.
Other crimes that could cost Canadians their citizenship would include treason and espionage.
In all cases, the only caveat is that the person could not be left stateless.
Decisions in these matters would be made by cabinet alone rather than a court.
The Harperites know that their only real opposition comes from the courts. They have focused intently -- whether a decision involves pipelines or citizenship -- on removing the courts from the equation.
Every piece of legislation they bring forward marks them as tyrants.