Maryam Monsef still working to resolve passport issues tied to her place of birth
'I am working on the matter and will keep you updated,' minister says of efforts to correct her passport
Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is still trying to resolve problems stemming from the revelation that her birthplace was Iran and not Afghanistan.
"I am working on the matter and will keep you updated," Monsef said, following a funding announcement at Trent University in Peterborough on Wednesday.
"This is a very personal matter for my family and I, and I assure you that the work that needs to be worked on, we are working on it."
- Maryam Monsef confirms she was born in Iran, not Afghanistan
- PM's top adviser compares Monsef criticism to U.S. 'birther' movement
The cabinet minister has largely avoided the Ottawa media after announcing last month she was born in Iran, not Afghanistan as she had long claimed. Monsef said she only learned the truth from her mother when a national newspaper asked about the issue.
After Monsef's true birthplace became public, Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, a spokesman for her office, confirmed Monsef's passport would need to be corrected.
"Until recent days, Maryam Monsef believed that she was born in Afghanistan. As a result, when she applied for a Canadian passport, she listed Herat, Afghanistan, as her place of birth. Now that she has learned that this is incorrect, she will be taking steps to see how she can rectify this unintentional error," Villeneuve wrote in an email to CBC News on Sept. 22.
Monsef deflected questions about whether she and her family are being investigated by immigration authorities, responding only with, "I can assure you that I have been forthright and will continue to be."
Monsef's story has sparked new questions about the Liberal government's citizenship revocation process, and cases involving misrepresentation.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association said some of the clients it assists have stories that are similar to Monsef's.
Continued community support
While the status of Monsef's paperwork remains unclear, her local supporters have nothing but praise for her work.
"She has my support. She's a hard-working young woman," said Penny Carson, a Peterborough resident.
"She's doing a good job. You know, I don't know what to say about it, other than she's doing what she's supposed to be doing," said Jay Williams, another Peterborough resident.