Patience is wearing thin on C-6
Earlier this year, on June 17, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act passed the House of Commons in Ottawa. This eagerly-awaiting piece of legislation is known as Bill C-6.
Among the proposed amendments in C-6 is a reduction in the amount of time permanent residents have to live in Canada in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship, from four out of six years to three out of five years. In addition, applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary status — such as on a work or study permit — would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement. The amendments would also repeal the intent to reside provision and remove language proficiency requirements for certain applicants.
In addition, the new legislation would repeal the contentious provision, introduced by the previous Conservative government, that allows for the revocation of citizenship for terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously said as he was auditioning for the job during last year’s election, “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” and let’s let that be so.
This is all music to the ears of permanent residents of Canada and their families, as well as members of the communities in which they live across our country. Except there is one problem — the bill is not yet law.
Canada’s bicameral federation means that bills that are passed by the House of Commons are then read in the Senate. Under the Canadian Constitution, legislation must be approved by both chambers for it to become law. The Liberals have a majority in the House, but no majority in the Senate. Indeed, the Conservatives hold a plurality (but not a majority) of Senate seats.
As of November 28, the most recent update on the government site with respect to C-6, the Senate’s second reading of the bill is ongoing.
I wonder if these politicians have considered the welfare of current permanent residents of Canada — who are also taxpayers — and their families? It would seem not. As one reader on CICNews.com, Scott, commented just a couple of weeks ago under an article on this subject, ‘Incredible at how long this takes. There are stressed families waiting to have an answer.’ Scott is not alone.
C-6 passed the House of Commons by a vote of 218 for and 88 against. Not a single member of the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party, or the Bloc Québécois voted against the bill. The Liberals were clear that this matter would be a priority for them in government, and the Prime Minister and his team have a clear popular mandate to implement these reforms based on their manifesto and electoral success last year.
Every single vote against C-6 in the Commons was from the Conservative opposition, consequently it is pretty clear what the hold up in the Senate is. So come on Tories, get your act together. Patience for these delaying tactics is wearing thin.