Lawyers argue Ottawa has no right to strip certain people of citizenship

Constitutional lawyers are in Federal Court today, challenging a law that allows the government to strip a Canadian-born person of their citizenship.

TORONTO — Constitutional lawyers are in Federal Court today, challenging a law that allows the government to strip a Canadian-born person of their citizenship.

Toronto lawyers Rocco Galati and Paul Slansky, who is representing the Constitutional Rights Centre, say the new law is unconstitutional.

Previously, someone could be stripped of Canadian citizenship for attaining it through false representations.

A new law expands the list of those vulnerable to revocation to include people born in Canada but eligible to claim citizenship in another country — for instance, through their parents — as well as on grounds such as treason and terrorism.

Galati says people born in Canada are citizens, “period,” and once a citizen has been naturalized they have the same rights as someone who is natural born.

Galati, who is himself a naturalized citizen, says unless there has been fraud in the naturalization process, the government does not have the legal authority to “yank back” that citizenship.

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