'Lost' Canadian trapped in obscure citizenship rules

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
CBC News


A Dartmouth woman says her mother has been left out of a federal plan to restore citizenship to the "Lost Canadians."

The federal government announced Tuesday it would bring in legislation to help people who were born in Canada or born to Canadian parents and who lost their Canadian status because of quirks in the 1947 Citizenship Act.

But it will only cover those who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1947.

That leaves out Marion Galbraith, the child of a British war bride who came to Canada as a young girl in August 1946.

"My mother's situation would not be helped," Lisa Cochrane told CBC News Wednesday.

Galbraith has lived in Nova Scotia for more than 60 years and voted in countless elections. Her father and grandfather fought for Canada during the two world wars.

She was planning a trip to England this June for a family reunion, but found out this spring that she was not a Canadian citizen and therefore not eligible for a Canadian passport.

Cochrane said her mother has been told that her citizenship was taken away in error, but it's unclear when she will receive papers stating that she is Canadian.

Earlier this year, a CBC News investigation found that the provisions of the Act could affect more than 200,000 people. However, the government says it is aware of about 450 cases of people who have lost their citizenship.