Thursday, October 19, 2006

Will Canada revoke dual citizenship?

It's only a rumour at the moment, and the article states that little more than talks are taking place within Canada about the issue of dual citizenship. What startles me though is the xenophobic knee jerk reaction of most Canadians partaking in the ensuing debate.
They ask questions as to why would anyone want to have dual citizenship when Canada is such a great country?

See G&M article here.

The majority of the responses reinforce Canadian's closed-minded racism. "Joe the nobody who's never left the country doesn't understand why dual citizenship might be a good thing, why should other people have it?"
"Once in Canada, why would anyone want to leave?"

Personally, I hate passports and nationalities and even borders. The amount of time I've wasted jumping through bureaucratic hoops to obtain visitor's visas, not to mention the money, is a nightmare.

And if it's a pain for me, imagine my wife who's Moroccan. She needs a costly and time consuming visa to go almost anywhere in the world.
Yet she is Moroccan, and she would probably choose Moroccan nationality over Canadian nationality if she was forced to make a choice.

Why is this a problem for me?

I'm a travel writer who travels through Africa. If my wife obtains dual citizenship, I can continue in my career path because a Canadian passport actually gets me into other countries.
But if she doesn't get Canadian citizenship because she refuses to renounce her Moroccan identity, we'd likely get blocked at some point on the journey. Thus a small Canadian policy could either destroy my career, or cause strife in my marriage by having me unfairly push my wife to make an uncomfortable decision.

All this frustration based on a rumour. Something they are merely discussing and reviewing their policy of. Fortunately, there have been no changes yet, so there's nothing to be worried about. But to revoke people's dual citizenship is wrong.

It's a policy idea pushing us back to when Japanese Canadians were interned in prison camps. A xenophopbic idea to please a xenophobic group of closed-minded people.

"Why would anyone want to have dual citizenship?"

Because some people like to explore the world! Because some people like to live in new countries and seek diversity and culture. Dual citizenship opens that window for them. If obtaining documentaion to live a rich and diverse lifestyle is unCanadian, sorry Joe Muppet. There are other parts of the world than your big patch of land and its stamp of approval.


Anonymous said...

For a writer/world traveller, I'm surprised at your lack of knowledge, to avoid using a stronger word. First of all Canada DOES allow dual citizenship. Since your wife is Moroccan just ask the almot 100,000 Moroccans living in Canada who are dual citizens.
2nd, Unless you married a member of the royal family (which I seriously doubt), the story about your wife not wanting to give up her "Moroccan roots" reeks of BS. If you allowed Moroccans to freely move outside Morocco and obtain a western citizenship, the only people left in Morocco would be the royals. You may even have some dead people applying to join. That's how desperate Moroccans and most 3rd world people are to go to the west. I know because I too have lived in Morocco and as a man I was wondering if I was Elvis. I've had marriage offers almost daily and from females aged 13 to 49. Obviously, it wasn't my looks. It was my passport they were after and getting out of Morocco.
How does your wife lose or harm her "Moroccan Roots" by acquiring your Canadian citizenship? I fail to see the logic. Assuming she's a moslem, no one will ask her to change her religion, name or even hair do! How's a travel document going to change a person's roots? You sound like you're open to acquiring a 2nd citizenship. Will that make you change who you are or affect your roots? I don't think so. I think you need to tell your wife to stop playing you and acting like she'll be doing you favor by requesting the canadian citizenship. She's trying to get you to begg her to do it so if and when she decides to leave you after she becomes Canadian, she'll tell you" remember, I never wanted it. You forced me to get it". That way she doesn't owe you a thing and she got what she wanted through the backdoor.

Daniel said...

Obviously you did not read this article clearly and concisely, nor even the title! I was writing in response to a Globe and Mail article (now archived) which suggested the Canadian government was debating the revocation of dual citizenship. This debate occurred at the time of the Israel invasion of Lebanon, when Canada spent millions evacuating Lebanese of dual citizenship. There was an uproar, stoked by the Lebanese issue and subsequent articles over where home should be.
Your image of Morocco is sadly xenophobic. Yes, there are many who would gladly leave the country and go to great lengths to do so, but most people who live overseas still love their roots. There is also a growing group of educated middle class Moroccans who choose to remain. Many, such as my wife, with high level university degrees, good paying jobs in Morocco, and multilingual skills, could immigrate easily without marrying. Many choose to stay.
It is mostly the very poor in Morocco who struggle to be uplifted and grasp at Western dreams and hopes.