Vancouver Observor: Jason Kenney tells war veteran daughter: soldiers were "heroes," but not Canadian citizens

Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney told Jackie Scott, the daughter of a Canadian war veteran, that her father – and others serving the country – technically weren't Canadian at the time they were fighting for their country.

Click to read original article in the Vancouver Observer

"(Soldiers) are heroes, but at the time, they're British subjects," Kenney said firmly, before explaining that there was no such thing as a Canadian citizen prior to 1947. He told Scott that her Ontario-born father was "clearly not, obviously not" a citizen during World War II.

"There was no citizenship before 1947," he reiterated, before breaking off the conversation.

Scott is one of the  "Lost Canadians" – a group of legitimate Canadians who have a Canadian parent and have spent most of their lives in Canada, only to be denied or excluded from citizenship due to legal loopholes. Scott was told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada this year that she did not qualify for Canadian citizenship because her Canadian war veteran father was a "British subject" at the time of her birth, and not a Canadian citizen. In her previous applications, she was rejected due to the fact that she was born out of wedlock in the UK, even though her parents married shortly after her birth and "legitimized" her upon coming to Canada.

"You've forced me to go to court over this issue," Scott told Kenney, referring to the lawsuit filed earlier this year against the Canadian government.

"I'm sorry," Kenney responded, explaining that her situation was caused by old laws of the time and not by any deliberate intent on the government's part.

Scott, along with others, have been urging government to correct those 'old laws' for years. Even though Kenney appeared not to have recognized her, Scott believes her name (and back story) may be familiar to him from articles written about her in media.

"I introduced myself as Jacqueline, and he called me Jackie," she observed after the exchange.
She believes that despite Kenney's claims to the contrary, Canadian citizenship did exist prior to 1947, and has many documents -- including materials handed to her father prior to battle and entries in the Encyclopedia of Canada (1940 ed.) -- clearly defining Canadian citizenship.

Lost Canadian confrontation with Kenney

Scott was emotional as she confronted the Minister at his table at a speaking event about immigration in Surrey last week. She had spent most of the past decade agonizing over her citizenship, and here was the head of the ministry that kept rejecting her appeals, sitting at the table beside hers.

The Minister came to speak to audiences about fast-tracking immigration for young people who had studied and worked in Canada for two years or more. Scott, meanwhile, had lived in Canada for over 50 years and has Canadian children. She is the only one in her family who remains a non-citizen of the country, making each Canada Day a bittersweet occasion.

"I thought that if Jason Kenney could put a face to the issue (of Lost Canadians), it would make it easier for him to understand," Scott said, explaining her reason for coming to the event.

Kenney said that he would try to "close the loophole" for Lost Canadians like Scott in the fall, but did not elaborate on whether that would mean acceptance or continued exclusion.

Click to read original article in the Vancouver Observer