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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Canadian with divided loyalties as leader of the opposition?

Iagree with Prime Minister Stephen Harper who made it clear where he stands regarding political leaders holding dual citizenship. The Prime Minister reportedly said, “In my case, I’m very clear: I’m a Canadian and only a Canadian.” The PM’s words came after Quebec broadcaster TVA revealed MP and NDP leadership contender, Thomas Mulcair, holds joint Canadian-French citizenship.

According to TVA’s report, Mr. Mulcair was born in Ottawa, but became eligible for French citizenship when he married his wife Catherine who was born in that country. TVA said his two children are also dual citizens.

Like so many other Canadians, I am very uncomfortable with the idea that the leader of a major federal party, who could some day be prime minister, would hold allegiance to another country. I felt that way in 2008 when I learned former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion held dual Canadian-French citizenship, and I haven’t changed my mind.

I have retained a great deal of affection towards the two other countries of which I was once a citizen. When I became a Canadian, however, I went all-in—no divided loyalties for me.

It’s a bit like marriage, isn’t it? You say “I do,” and forsake all others.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

1 comment — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I couldn't agree with you more, Russ. When I became a Canadian citizen I renounced allegiance to my home country. It is Canada where I became who I am. I would expect that same undivided loyalty from anyone seeking to govern my country.

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