Dion dismisses call to give up French citizenship
Liberal Leader StÃ©phane Dion dismissed suggestions Tuesday that he should renounce his French citizenship, saying he is "100 per cent loyal to Canada."
Dion, who was born in Quebec City, also holds French citizenship because his mother was born in France.
"I'm proud of who I am, and I am fully loyal to my country, and nobody will question that," Dion told reporters Tuesday.
"I'm 100 per cent loyal to Canada, and I believe I've more than demonstrated that in my life."
In a column in the Calgary Sun, Ezra Levant, a long-time conservative pundit and publisher of the Western Standard, criticized Dion for holding dual citizenship.
"When it comes to making decisions about the war on terror, and Canada's role in Afghanistan, will Dion be unduly influenced by France, a country that has taken up the role of lawyer and arms dealer for every terrorist state in the world, even defending Saddam Hussein until the eve of his overthrow?" Levant wrote.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said it would probably be a better idea to maintain one citizenship.
"I would prefer that a leader of a party hold only Canadian citizenship, because one represents many Canadians, and for me that means that it's better to remain the citizen of one country," Layton said.
"But for a person that isn't in a position of representing others, holding dual citizenship is fine with us."
But Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois Leader Gilles Duceppe said it was "no problem" at all for Dion to hold dual citizenship, "because he's a modern man, he's not living in a previous century."
Gov. Gen. MichaÃ«lle Jean renounced her French citizenshipbefore takingup her vice-regal duties when it became an issue.
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.
With files from the Canadian Press