Poilievre Backs Tough New Rules to Protect Citizenship
Feds to Crackdown on Immigration Fraud
and Force People to Show their Faces during Citizenship Oath
Ottawa — Nepean-Carleton Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre, today came out in support of tough new measures to protect Canadian citizenship. As of December 12, 2011, permanent residents planning to become Canadian citizens will be required to show their faces when taking the Oath of Citizenship to demonstrate that they are speaking aloud the words of the Oath. The Oath is a solemn declaration that citizenship candidates take, promising to obey Canadian laws and duties as Canadians. Veils or Burkas covering the face will no longer be permitted during the Oath. This move comes just days after Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney announced an investigation into 6,500 people from more than 100 countries for allegedly seeking citizenship or permanent resident status fraudulently.
“The message is clear: you want to be a citizen? Then show your face, take the oath and follow the rules,” said Poilievre. “Citizenship is what defines us as Canadians and these moves ensure that everyone who becomes a Canadian citizen does so openly and on equal terms.”
In the past, it has been difficult to ensure that individuals whose faces are covered are actually reciting the Oath. Requiring that all candidates show their faces while reciting the Oath, allows judges, presiding officials and officers to ensure that all citizenship candidates are, in fact, taking the Oath.
Meanwhile, the Tories are also launching a crackdown on immigration fraud. Since these additional security measures have been put in place, of the 4,400 permanent residents who have been flagged, nearly 1,400 people have withdrawn or abandoned their citizenship application.
“The overwhelming majority of newcomers follow the rules and adapt seamlessly to our society. It is an insult to all of them when a small minority defraud the system,” said Poilievre.
“I encourage anyone who has information regarding citizenship fraud to call our tip line to report it,” urged Minister Kenney. Cases involving false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances in the citizenship process – for example, pretending to be present in Canada to meet the residence requirements for obtaining citizenship – should be referred to the citizenship fraud tip line at CIC’s Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday). Tips may also be reported by e-mail at Citizenshipfirstname.lastname@example.org.