Dion would sacrifice French citizenship to become PM
Liberal Leader StÃ©phane Dion said he would renounce his French citizenship, albeit reluctantly, if it impedes his quest to become prime minister.
"Ifit's a problem for a significant number of Canadians, and if it's a liability that may keep Mr. Harper in power and prevent us â¦ [from bringing] together, more than any othercountry in the world, economic prosperity, social justice, environmental sustainability, then I will do this sad thing then, to renounce my French citizenship that I received from my mother," Dion told CBC's Peter Mansbridge on Thursday.
"Aseveryone, Ilove my mother,I love everything she gave to me, including that. It's part of me. I don't see why it's a problem."
Until now, Dion haddismissed calls to give up his French citizenship, saying he is "100 percent loyal to Canada."
The newly crowned Liberal leaderwas born in Quebec City, but holds French citizenship because his mother was born in France.
Dion questioned why it's become an issue, noting "nobody has doubt about my loyalty for Canada."
'Not an issue for Turner'
He also pointed to former prime minister John Turner, who was born in England.
"It wasnot an issue forMr. Turner. JohnTurner was prime minister of Canada with dual citizenship.At that time, nobody had problems with it."
When asked whether he thought Dion should give up his French citizenship, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday it was up to each politician to "use their own political judgement."
Harper was quick point out, however, that he supported the decision of Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to renounce her French citizenshipin 2005.
Jean was born in Haiti and grew up in Montreal. She acquired French citizenship when she married filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, who was born in France.