Inside Politics

UPDATED - Rae questions move to fast-track changes to citizenship-stripping bill

Conservative backbencher Devinder Shory's bid to strip citizenship from dual nationals who commit 'acts of war' against the Canadian Forces may be poised to undergo a substantial rewrite before it heads back to the House of Commons for final approval. 

Earlier today, the committee charged with reviewing the bill agreed to request permission from the House to "expand the scope" of the original proposal "such that the provisions of the bill be not limited to the Canadian Armed Forces" -- a move that wold allow it to be amended to cover acts of terrorism against Canadian or other civilians, as suggested by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney earlier this year, and tweaked to ensure it wouldn't render any individual stateless.  

Without that consent, the amendments needed to make such a substantial change would almost certainly be ruled inadmissible by the chair -- and, given the early June deadline, it needs to be granted sooner rather than later in order to ensure that the committee has sufficient time to investigate what, if any, unintended consequences could ensue. 

UPDATE (04/25/13) - Well, this could get interesting. 

Earlier this afternoon, Liberal MP Bob Rae rose on a point of privilege regarding the possible procedural impropriety of the above report -- which, at press time, has yet to garner the official approval of the House -- as well, more broadly, the government's habit of hijacking the parallel legislative track devoted to private members' business to circumvent the more rigorous scrutiny accorded to public bills, which, as it turns out, was a theme on which NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen was only too willing to expand in his response.  

For his part, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan downplayed the committee request, and suggested that the proposed amendments may not fall outside the scope of the original bill at all. 

In any case, although the speaker seemed doubtful that the matter would fall under privilege, he did agree to hear further interventions as he considered the matter, which, he mused, could constitute a point of order, as it relates to the operation of the Chamber. 

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