Posted in people, prison | 44 Comments »
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous wrote to me saying that she is considering renouncing her Canadian citizenship, for reasons similar to my own.
Sorry to inform you, friend, but it’s gonna be a tough road. I refer you to Canada’s Citizenship Act, section II(9)1(a):
Renunciation of citizenship
9. (1) A citizen may, on application, renounce his citizenship if he
(a) is a citizen of a country other than Canada or, if his application is accepted, will become a citizen of a country other than Canada;
(b) is not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20;
(c) is not a minor;
(d) is not prevented from understanding the significance of renouncing citizenship by reason of the person having a mental disability; and
(e) does not reside in Canada.
Part of this section, which was enacted in 1975, is intended to conform with the provisions of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (available at my Renunciant Resources page above), which came into force in 1975 and to which Canada is a State party, specifically Article 7 §1(a):
If the law of a Contracting State permits renunciation of nationality, such renunciation shall not result in loss of nationality unless the person concerned possesses or acquires another nationality.
Or, translated into my own terms:
A slaveowner may transfer ownership of a slave to another slaveowner; manumission is not permitted.
I believe that my correspondent intends to leave Canada at some point, but unless she obtains citizenship someplace else first, Canada will not allow her to sever the bond and become stateless. As far as I know she’s not a citizen elsewhere, so Canada will continue to treat her as its subject no matter how many times she renounces, unless she can show a different passport.
Fortunately, she has some European ancestry in the family tree, and there might even be a living grandparent to provide justification for any of the (disappearing) “reclaiming ancestral citizenship” programs available around the continent.
If that doesn’t work, the only paths available to bailing on Canada are taking up residence someplace else and going through the waiting period for naturalization there, or finding one of the (disappearing) “economic citizenship” programs available around the world. Gonna cost you either way, though.