Canadians caught in controversy to be granted citizenship
20 February 2007
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Some people living in Canada who thought they were Canadians until they applied for a passport will be fast-tracked for citizenship by Immigration Minister Diane Finley. A law called the Citizenship Act of 1977 that required certain people to re-apply for citizenship by their 28th birthday is the cause of the grief.
Finley will be using her discretionary powers to grant citizenship to almost 500 people caught in the net of the obscure law.
"I just signed the documents for 33 of these anomalies, cases to be granted citizenship," Finley told reporters.
While a new Citizenship Act apparently is not on the table, there is a possibility of amendments to fix the faults with the existing legislation.
The old law came to light when former Immigration Minister Monte Solberg sent a letter to the Members of Parliament highlighting the requirement during a review of dual-citizenship rules prompted by evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon during the recent Israeli-Lebanon conflict.
The controversy heated up when "Canadians" started to find themselves as non-citizens when they applied for passports because of new U.S. travel rules.
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