(Fredericton, NB - November 1, 2010) - A leading critic of Canadian citizenship law will be in Fredericton this week for several public appearances from November 4 to 8, 2010.
Don Chapman, the leader of the Lost Canadians, will speak at UNB's Law School on Thursday November 4 and at St. Thomas University's Noel Kinsella Auditorium on Monday, November 8. He will also be a guest speaker at the Fredericton Rotary Club on November 8.
Mr. Chapman was nominated for the Globe and Mail's "Nation Builder of the Year" award in 2008 and 2009 and he was recently nominated to the paper's "Transformational Canadians" program for his work with the Lost Canadians. He is in Fredericton for the annual Silver Wave Festival, organised by the New Brunswick Filmmakers Cooperative.
The Lost Canadians are Canadian born citizens and the children of Canadians who were stripped of their citizenship by arcane provisions of the 1947 Citizenship Act. The 1947 Act allows for discrimination based on gender and marital status, contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, two Supreme Court of Canada decisions (Benner 1997 and Augier 2004), the Legitimation Act of 1921 and several United Nations Human Rights Conventions to which Canada is a signatory, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Prevention of Discrimination Against Women.
Chapman's journey from airline pilot to citizenship critic grew out of a decades long struggle to have his own citizenship restored after it was revoked when his father moved the family to the United States and took up citizenship there in the 1960s.
In the process, Chapman discovered that there were hundreds of thousands of "Lost" Canadians like himself whose status was revoked, often without their knowledge or consent. It is only when they make an application for a passport or federal benefits such as Old Age Pension or Canada Pension that they discover to their horror that they are not and never were citizens, even though they have lived here their entire lives, worked, paid taxes, raised families, voted - even served in the military.
Known collectively as "Lost Canadians" they include War Brides and their children who were born overseas during the Second World War, children born out of wedlock, military brats born on Canadian military bases overseas in the post-war years, "border babies" born in cities and towns along the United States / Canada border due to lack of medical facilities in Canada, and Mennonites whose church marriages in Mexico and Paraguay are not recognized by the Canadian government. There are a host of other "Lost Canadians" who find themselves mired in bureaucratic quagmire at Canada's Department of Citizenship and Immigraiton since the 9/11 attacks led the US government to demand Canadian passports at US border crossings. (For more information on Lost Canadians go to http://www.LostCanadian.com )
The event at UNB's Law School takes place at 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Thursday, November 4.
The event at STU's Noel Kinsella Auditorium takes place at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 8. A public screening of "The Lost Canadians: Denied citizenship in Their Own Country' will take place before Mr. Chapman's talk.
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For further information, please contact:
506-450-4567 / 440-4567