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Don Chapman, John Reynolds Member of the Queen's
Privy Council, The
Honourable Marlene Jennings MP, Deputy House Leader of the Liberal
Party of Canada and Andrew Teledgi MP Former Chairman of the Citizenship Committe in the House of Commons Melynda
Jarret Historian - Canadian Citizenship & Nationality History "The Lost Canadians"
Streaming Broadcast: March 13, 2012
Founder - Don Chapman
Don Chapman lost his Canadian citizenship when, while he was a child, his father moved south of the border and became a U.S.
citizen. Mr. Chapman's identity was rooted in his father's citizenship, regardless of his mother's. After years of fighting
to have his Canadian citizenship restored, and for the rights of thousands of other so-called Lost Canadians who found themselves
jilted by immigration law vagaries, Mr. Chapman won his battle.
government enacted a bill that allowed the majority of Lost Canadians to reclaim citizenship, but suffers still from a reluctance
to fully enforce the law across many cases. Don Chapman has spent twenty years devoting his life to supporting the bill and
those people still unable to fulfil the dream of returning home to a country where citizenship is denied.
The Honourable Marlene Jennings MP, P.C., LL.B.
First elected in June 1997, Marlene Jennings was re-elected
as the Member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – Lachine in November 2000, in June 2004 in January 2006 and
in October 2008. Ms. Jennings is the first Black woman from Quebec to be elected to Parliament in the history of Confederation.
She became a member of Privy Council in July 2004. Ms. Jennings is Deputy House Leader for the Official Opposition as well
as the Liberal critic for Government Ethics and Democratic Reform. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Procedure
and House Affairs. Ms. Jennings is a member of the Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary (Friendship) Group, of which she was
Vice-Chair for the period May 2006 to November 2007 and Chair from February 2005 to April 2006. Ms. Jennings is a Vice-Chair
(Liberal) of the All-Party Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity. More ....
John Reynolds Member of the Queen's Privy Council
John Reynolds was
born January 19, 1942, in Toronto, Ontario, moved to Montreal, Quebec in 1947 where he lived until 1958. His career includes
substantial experience in venture capital development, consumer products marketing, resource sector development and elected
political office, both federal and provincial. Mr. Reynolds began his career in the sales and marketing field; was western
sales manager for Rust Craft Greeting Cards; joined Ethicon Sutures Ltd. (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and at that
time was the youngest manager ever appointed by that company. Mr. Reynolds’ political career began in 1972, when he
was elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for the British Columbia riding of
Burnaby-Richmond-Delta. He was re-elected in the 1974 general election. During his time as an MP (1972-1977), he served on
numerous standing committees, health and welfare, sport and fitness, transportation, and justice and legal affairs. He chaired
the Progressive Conservative Caucus Committee responsible for the Department of Supply and Services. Following his tenure
as an elected official, Mr. Reynolds pursued work in the private sector, which included directorships on the boards of numerous
public companies, including International Corona Resources; one of the largest gold discoveries in North America; and hosted
one of British Columbia’s leading radio talk shows.
Andrew Teledgi MP Former Chairman of the Citizenship Committe in the House of Commons
Andrew Telegdi is the Member
of Parliament for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. He was first elected in 1993, then re-elected in 1997, 2000,
2004, and 2006. Telegdi is known for his honesty, outspokenness, and courage on all political issues, but especially civil
liberties, citizenship, and immigration, the priorities of his parliamentary career. “Civil rights and civil liberties
are like your health,” he often says, “you take them for granted until they’re lost.” He has stated
in the House of Commons “that in times of political and social stress such as the threat of terrorism, civil liberties
and human rights must not be discarded. It is during times of crisis that they are most needed.”
Jarret Historian - Canadian Citizenship & Nationality History
Melynda Jarratt is the leading authority
on the history of the Canadian war brides of the Second World War. Originally from Bathurst, Melynda has a Bachelor of Arts
(Honours) and a Master of Arts in History from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She wrote her Master's Thesis
on the New Brunswick war brides of the Second World War and has continued to document their story for more than twenty years.
Melynda also has a diploma in Digital Media and Design and runs her own information technology company in Fredericton specializing
in heritage, arts, and culture. She runs the authoritative website on the history of the Canadian war brides at www.CanadianWarBrides.com.
Melynda has written extensively on the history
of war brides for print, television, radio, and internet media. She has worked as consultant for the Queen Mary II History
of Cunard Exhibition, Statistics Canada Portraits of Canada, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Canada Post. She has appeared
in television and radio documentaries as subject-matter expert for History Television, Radio-Canada, TFO, CBC, and BBC-Radio
4. She is the co-author of Voices of the Left Behind (Dundurn 2006) and War Brides: The stories of the women who left everything
behind to follow the men they loved (Tempus 2007). Melynda was the driving force behind the Year of the War Bride in 2006
and organized its 60th anniversary launch at Pier 21 on February 9, 2006. She also curated an exhibition on New Brunswick
war brides at the York Sunbury Museum in Fredericton. She has appeared six times before the Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship
and Immigration and the Senate Committee on Science and Social Affairs as an expert witness on war bride citizenship. She
played a leading role in the passage of the "Lost Canadians" Bill C-37 in April, 2008. She lives in Fredericton
with her husband, Dan Weston.
The Lost Canadians by Criteria
Canadian born citizens whose
fathers and mothers took out citizenship in another country, especially the United States;
War Brides of World
War Two and their children who were born in wedlock and brought to Canada on the War Bride ships before and after January
War Bride children who were born out of wedlock during the Second World War and who came to Canada with
their mothers on the War Bride ships before and after January 1, 1947;
Border Babies who were born in hospitals
across the border in the United States because there wasn't a hospital nearby in Canada;
Military Brats who were
born in Europe while their fathers were serving in the Army of Occupation and NATO in post war Europe; and
whose religious marriages in Mexico and Paraguay are not recognized by the Canadian government.
There are hundreds
of thousands of Lost Canadians in Canada, in the United States and around the world, citizens whose right to citizenship was
taken away from them without their knowledge.
On April 19, 2009, the Canadian Citizenship Act was amended by Bill
C-37, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act. Also known as the "Lost Canadian Bill", Bill C-37 solved most of the
problems facing Lost Canadians. However, there are still hundreds of Lost Canadians, including War Bride children, children
born out of wedlock during the Second World War, and Mennonites who have been refused citizenship by the Canadian government
as recently as Christmas Eve 2009.
Lost Canadians on CBC's The National, October 22, 2009
The Lost Canadians - A Timeline
The Lost Canadians
1867 - Canada became a country under the
British North America Act.
1868 - Canada adopts
its first form of unique Canadian identity, called the Canadian Nationals Act. People are British Subjects, but Canadian
Nationals. Here is the exact wording, "married women, minors, lunatics, and idiots" will be classified
"under the same disability" for their national status. In essence, women were chattel of their husbands,
children chattel of their fathers if born in-wedlock and chattel of their mothers if born out-of-wedlock. The language
is common among the British colonies.
through 1947 - Canadian women who married non-Canadian men (non-British subjects), lost their Canadian status on
marriage. In the 1990's, for those women affected who were still alive, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
decided to recognize these women as citizens. Not so for their children, even if they were born and raised in Canada.
1929- The Famous Five person's case- decided by
the Privy Council of England, Canadian women were finally considered to be "people," giving women certain rights
such as being a judge or Senator. It wasn't for another 89 years that most Canadian women had equal rights with
regards to their own children in citizenship law.
- Canada becomes the first country in the British Empire to officially create its own identity, separate from mother
England. It's a result of senior cabinet minister Paul Martin, who realized just after WWII when walking through
the Canadian Cimetière in Dieppe, France, that the 707 Canadian soldiers buried there were British
subjects- not Canadian citizens. Citizenship did not exist in Canada. On his return to Parliament he authoured
our first Citizenship Act, going into force on January 1, 1947. A product of its time, it was quite discriminatory.
While married women were now able to have their own identity as citizens, they had far less rights than men- specific to do
with passing citizenship onto their children. "Minors, lunatics, and idiots" remained classified
under a "disability" for citizenship. If born in-wedlock, the father was deemed to be the "responsible
parent," if born out-of-wedlock it was the mother. Often out-of-wedlock children had the word, "BASTARD"
stamped on their birth certificate.
- Canada adopts it's second Citizenship Act, but makes the same mistake in correcting the law as was made by the country in
1793 when slavery was abolished. At that time it was written that there could be no new slaves, but for those already
indentured, they would remain as slaves till they died. Thus a slave could give birth and the baby was free, but not
the parent. The abolition of slavery was not made retroactive. Same thing with the citizenship act of 1977, so
for those people already disenfranchised, they remained outcasts, but for anyone born or already Canadian on or after February
15, 1977, they had a different set of rights than those people who fell under the 1947 Act.
1982 - The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was adopted, along with
section 15, specifically 15(1), which stated, "Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right
to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based
on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability." While
women cherished their new found equal rights, most were completely unaware that "equal rights"
were not extended nor applicable in citizenship law to Canadian women and their children born pre-1977 outside of Canada.
1997 - In the Supreme Court case Benner vs.
Canada, the justices ruled unanimously that the Citizenship Act was unconstitutional in that it blatantly discriminated
against women. Under the 1947 Act Canadian women who married non-Canadian men and had a child outside of Canada did
not have the right to pass citizenship onto their children. Men, however, who married non-Canadian women and fathered
a child outside of Canada did have that right. In Benner, Canadian women who had children outside of Canada
were given the same right to pass citizenship onto their children.
2004 - Because of my testimony before the Senate committee of Social Affairs, Science, and Technology, a
top CIC bureaucrat appeared before this same committee a week later and announced the government would
no longer abide by the Benner decision. Canada went back to discriminating against women, violating
their own Supreme Court, their Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as their obligation to honour the UN
Convention on The Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.
2007 - On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, Canada's Minister
of Citizenship announced that by fall 2008, she would introduce a Bill to correct past citizenship injustices.
2008 - Bill C-37 is introduced
into the House of Commons. It passes unanimously in both the House and Senate, receiving Royal Assent on April 17, 2008,
ironically the 26th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was not to be effective
for one year.
2009 - Bill C-37 is implemented
on April 17, 2009, 27 years to the day after the Charter became law. For the first time in Canadian history,
women were equal in law, but only for women going forward. Once again the same mistake was made against women as was
made 216 years earlier when the anti-slavery laws became effective- Bill C-37 was not made completely retroactive with
regards to the ongoing discrimination against Canadian women. While C-37 recognized somewhere between 750-thousand
to one-million people as citizens, it still left out second-generation, born out of Canada decedents of Canadian women.
The second-generation born out of Canada decedents of men still had a right to citizenship. The Supreme Court
decision regarding equality of rights for women continued to be ignored. Also, children born pre-1947 inside
or out of Canada to Canadian mothers and non-British subject fathers, those children were still being denied citizenship.
Also in 2009 (March and October)
- questions are asked in the Senate as to why this government continues discriminating against women.
2010 - March 8th, International Women's Rights
Day, questions are asked in the House of Commons as to why this government continues it's ongoing discrimination against
women. Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney avoids any direct answer.
The very next day, on March 9th, Cabinet Minister Chuck Strahl announces in the House that in response to a BC court
decision, the government would bring forward a Bill to give Indian women the same rights as men in passing status onto their
children. Within a very short time, Bill C-3 is introduced to rectify the gender discrimination for native Canadian
women. Despite the government's support for Indian women, they continue to discriminate against all other pre-1977
women. If passed, then the only women to have retroactive equality of rights with men would be Canadian Indian
women. In essence, the country would be granting extra rights to one group only because of race. Put another way,
people could be denied equality of rights because of their ethnicity.
Pre-1947 Gender Discrimination: Guy Valliere is an example of the pre-1947 babies. In
1926 Guy was born to a Canadian mother and U.S. father in Montreal. Because he was born "in-wedlock"
he was considered be chattel of his father. Because his mother married a non-British subject, she lost her
Canadian status. Of course no one ever told the family. Guy grew up in Canada, worked here, paid taxes, voted,
he even defended the country as a soldier in WWII. Despite his mother, if she were alive, being retroactively granted
citizenship in the 1990's, Canada refused to recognize the children. Thus a few years back when Guy had a stroke,
Canada refused to pay for his medical treatment, rationalizing their decision saying that Guy wasn't Canadian.
On February 1, 2009, Guy died disenfranchised from his own country- the very country he was asked to defend, with his life
if need be. Regrettably Guy's story is not unique. People are starting to have their Old-Age pensions questioned,
or worse, denied. It's a bubble that will soon burst.
Remember, Guy was denied citizenship because he was born in-wedlock, thus Canada considered him to be property of
his American father.
The next group consists of three
people, all born out-of-wedlock to English War Brides and Canadian-soldier fathers. After the war
all three babies were brought to Canada, raised here, paid taxes, voted, one even retired from the Canadian Navy, but
because in law they were considered to be property of their English mothers, today they are being denied citizenship. Keep
in mind that Privy Council Orders after WWII gave these women and children the exact same status as their Canadian husbands
/ fathers, that in 1927 Canada passed the Legitimization Act (upheld in the Supreme Court in 1954 - Leung
Ba Chai) which stated that if your parents subsequently marry, your birth is "legitimized" and thus you
were born in-wedlock, never mind all that- the government is now saying you aren't a citizen. Consider one more
tidbit, which is Taylor vs. Canada in 2007. The Harper government took a case with the exact same circumstances as
above to judicial review for the express purpose to deny Taylor his citizenship. While Taylor lost on appeal, the
first decision had major ramifications that went far beyond Mr. Taylor. In the House of Commons, for the record,
here are the words of the then Citizenship Minister, "When there is a court decision that has implications for
hundreds of statutes, dozens of departments, and could cost tens of billions of dollars, in situations like that, we
have a duty to appeal." Fast forward to today. Mr. Taylor was given citizenship by a ministerial
grant- which was all he ever asked for from the beginning. The government gambled Canadian taxpayer dollars
- to the tune of "tens of billions" - just to deny one man his citizenship. Today the case is settled
and Taylor is a citizen. But for Jackie Scott and two others, they have been denied by Mr. Kenney. Once again,
the government is playing Russian Roulette with Canadian taxpayer money by gambling "tens of billions" to
deny three people their citizenship - that's over $600 to every Canadian man, woman, and child on the planet - just because
they were born out-of wedlock.
Do I really
have this straight? Guy Valliere would be Canadian if he had been born out-of wedlock and Jackie Scott would
be Canadian if she had been born in-wedlock? Yes, this is exactly the way it is. Common sense has left the
1947 to 1977 gender discrimination:
Kasey Neal and Lillian Miller are three-year old cousins, both born outside of Canada. Lillian can be Canadian because
her connection to the country comes through her grandfather- a man. Kasey has been denied because her connection
comes through her grandmother- a woman. In so doing, Canada is violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the
Supreme Court of Canada, and three UN Conventions (The Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women;
The Reduction of Statelessness; The Rights of the Child).
Photographs Courtesy The Lost Canadians 2010
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