Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dual citizenship, multiculturalism policy backfiring?

Last night, CBC’s news anchor Peter Mansbridge revealed on The National that, in an interview earlier this week, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director Richard Fadden revealed that Canada’s spy agency is aware of municipal and provincial politicians in Canada who are being swayed by their connection to foreign governments.

“There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two provinces there are ministers of the Crown who we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government.”

– Richard Fadden
CSIS Director

Cabinet ministers in two provinces and several members of British Columbia’s municipal governments are among the suspects, according to the report.

Mr. Fadden said his agency is in discussions with the Privy Council Office regarding how best to inform those provinces of the problem.

He added, “We’ll do the same with the public servants. I’m making this comment because I think it’s a real danger that people be totally oblivious to this kind of issue.”

Apparently, at least five countries are secretly recruiting political prospects in Canadian universities. Some countries of the Middle East are involved.

Mr. Fadden explained, “You invite somebody back to the homeland. You pay their trips and all of a sudden you discover that when an event is occurring that is of particular interest to country ‘X’, you call up and you ask the person to take a particular view.”

Any surprise here? Thousands—probably tens of thousands—of Canadians hold dual citizenship. And many Canadians, including those who govern us, are not troubled by the practice.

Citizens are supposed to be 100 per cent loyal to their countries. How can one be 100 per cent loyal to two separate countries, I wonder? I suppose it is okay in cases in which both countries move in lock-step on all issues involving national interests. I can, however, think of only two countries where that is mostly the case: United States and United Kingdom. These are Canada’s closest allies, yet, apparently, even those countries’ spy agencies are active on our soil.

Moreover, I can think of few things as contradictory as dual citizenship. Some of the people holding such status will inevitable side with their non-Canadian homeland if they see it in a confrontation with Canada. Listen to the rhetoric from those who demonstrate in our streets over things happening in foreign lands.

Some even return to live full-time in their homeland once they have secured Canadian citizenship. For those, Canadian citizenship is held only as a sort of insurance policy to be cashed-in should an emergency arise. We saw that in the case of several thousand Lebanese-Canadians during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. In all but legal status, many of them were Lebanese and not at all Canadian. Canada was a convenience to be quickly discarded once peace returned to their region.

Now we have a wake-up call from our top security man, do we answer it or just roll over and go back to sleep?


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1 comment:

  1. Who said the concerned ministers might be from a foreign background? Many white, Canadian-born NDP politicians for example, are close with a number of Islamic and leftist governments around the world. Then there are the Conservative politicians who have close relations with the Canada-Israel Committee, funded by the Israeli government.

    I still think the issue of dual citizenship should be examined. Dual citizens are already restricted from holding government jobs that require security clearance. Dual citizens living abroad should also be required to pay Canadian income tax.