Canada

Kenney defends immigrants' guide

Canada's immigration minister says he takes "full responsibility" for a citizenship study guide that had all references to gay rights removed.

Canada's immigration minister says he takes "full responsibility" for a citizenship study guide that had all references to gay rights removed.

But Jason Kenney's response to questions in the House of Commons on Thursday shed no light on who ordered the material cut from the document — whether it was the minister himself or an aide in his office.

"I take full responsibility for the content of that document," Kenney said after the issue was raised by opposition MPs.

Records obtained by The Canadian Press show that an early draft of the guide, meant to prepare immigrants for citizenship tests starting March 15, contained sections citing milestones in gay rights, including decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969 and the same-sex marriage law of 2005.

But Kenney's office ordered those sections removed from the draft, and rebuffed an effort by bureaucrats to have them re-inserted last August. The new guide was released with fanfare in November.

A spokesman for Kenney said last week the minister made the edit because the booklet, which reviews Canadian culture, politics and history, could not be "encyclopedic."

On Wednesday, though, Kenney denied ordering the cut, providing no explanation of who in his office was responsible.

Kenney's acknowledgment of "full responsibility" Thursday was again without explanation, though he said the document was far more comprehensive than the previous version published in 1995.

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