Senate Passes Bill That Repeals Many Conservative Citizenship Changes

A worker vacuums in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on May 3, 2016.
(CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

The Senate voted to pass Bill C-6 Wednesday, with 45 senators voting in support of the legislation, 29 against, and no abstentions. The wide-ranging bill would repeal many parts of the former Conservative government’s citizenship legislation, including a provision that revoked citizenship from dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.

An attempt by Conservative Senator Daniel Lang essentially proposing the government maintain that power was defeated Tuesday during a debate in the Red Chamber.

Opinion: Canadian citizenship must be a constitutional right

If passed, the proposed legislation would automatically reinstate citizenship for dual nationals like Zakaria Amara, a member of the so-called Toronto 18 who planned to bomb downtown Toronto and had his citizenship revoked last fall under the Conservatives’ Bill C-24. The Liberals have continued to stand by the proposal amidst criticism from the Conservatives, with cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeatedly saying that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

The bill now heads back to the House of Commons for review, where MPs can accept, reject or modify the Senate’s amendments. It’s not clear how the government will respond to the changes.

One amendment would give Canadians the right to a court hearing before their citizenship is stripped. Bill C-24 eliminated the right to a Federal Court hearing for individuals subject to revocation of citizenship when the revocation was based on fraud. Rather, the government sends letters informing the individual that their citizenship will be revoked and that they have 60 days to respond in writing.

The initial version of the Liberals’ bill did not address this change – something the Senate managed to change.

Independent Senator Elaine McCoy tabled an amendment ensuring that a court hearing is given to people facing citizenship revocation on the grounds of false representation or fraud.

“It is the perfect example of the Senate doing exactly what their job is supposed to be, which is to look at the work the House of Commons has done on a bill and give it second thought,” said Josh Paterson, executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has said the government will consider the amendment when the bill comes back to the House. Meanwhile, the government continues to revoke the citizenship of Canadians who misrepresented themselves in their applications, without a hearing. Last year, Ottawa refused to grant a moratorium on revocations until Bill C-6 passed.

Another amendment, tabled by Conservative Senator Victor Oh, would allow minors to apply for citizenship without the help of their parents. Under current laws, parents and children are treated like a package deal when applying for citizenship. If the parent’s citizenship application is rejected, the child can’t get citizenship either and has to wait until the age of 18 to apply again.

Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, said the law is detrimental to children of immigrants who have grown up in Canada and wish to stay here, even if their parents don’t.

“If you have grown up in Canada your entire life, why can’t you sign your own Canadian citizenship application? Where’s the magic in having mummy and daddy sign for you?” Mr. Kurland said.

A third amendment, proposed by Independent Senator Diane Griffin, changes the age limit of language testing. Under the current law, immigrants aged 14 to 64 are required to meet language requirements in English or French. The Liberals proposed to change that age range to 18 to 54, but Ms. Griffin’s amendment upped the age cap to 60.

Mr. Hussen’s office would not say how it intends to respond to the bill’s amendments or anticipated timelines for its passage in the House. After the House approves the bill, it will go back to the Senate for rubber-stamping and become law.

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JR Immigration Law - Facebook Reviews

Jennifer Roggemann Law Office
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Michelle Serrano
Michelle Serrano
2016-06-07T19:27:11+0000
Very good Lawyer.... I had a very complicated issue in Immigration she made it fast and easy.. highly recommend.Thanks Jennifer and to your team. Good job!!!!!
Libby Avalos
Libby Avalos
2014-02-24T18:30:47+0000
I would definitely recommend JR Law to anyone seeking immigration assistance. We first met Jennifer in November 2011, and she and her team proceeded over the last 2 years to help my husband achieve permanent residency status thru in-land spousal sponsorship. I know that many people attempt to do this process on their own, but after being thru it, I would never recommend that. Laws are always changing, and it was such piece of mind to know that we were getting the most current information, and that everything was being done correctly. We definitely hit some bumps in the road... immigration lost part of our file, which needed to be redone, and then they were on strike, slowing everything down. JR Law supported us during the entire extra, unexpected time. Again, these things happen and we were happy to have legal support throughout. The team at JR law was always friendly, organized, supportive, and very fair and honest. We will definitely be seeing them again moving forward with any immigration issues in the future!
Claudio Leanza
Claudio Leanza
2014-02-20T15:19:38+0000
Waste of money!!!!lot of money!!
Collen Mae Lowe Padua
Collen Mae Lowe Padua
2017-04-08T15:15:58+0000
Kiet Tuan Duong
Kiet Tuan Duong
2016-06-16T15:58:56+0000
Anthony Lauron
Anthony Lauron
2015-11-08T00:49:47+0000
Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams
2013-12-24T00:42:22+0000
Tim Underwood
Tim Underwood
2013-11-09T01:16:26+0000
Gordie Hanna
Gordie Hanna
2013-08-04T23:27:46+0000

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JR Law - Google Reviews

Alison Moffatt
Alison Moffatt
20:42 04 Jul 18
We're so thankful we found Jennifer & her law office! As a small company, we were able to navigate the immigration system with their help and guidance - and got the outcome we wanted! Thank you so so much for everything, we have really appreciated working with your team.
Arielle N
Arielle N
03:25 20 Dec 17
We went to Jennifer with just under two months before my work permit expired and I wanted to apply for PR. Long story short, Jennifer and her staff was incredible, thorough, well experienced and fast! We all worked very hard to get my application in and today I'm already a permanent resident of this great country. Pricey though but what lawyer isn't..she does pre-warn about that but honestly with how fast they worked and their knowledge around the entire process, it was all worth it. Thank you Jennifer Roggemann and your wonderful staff. I truly believe they are the best in town.
L. Spalla
L. Spalla
17:13 25 Feb 18
They charged 300 just for one hour and a half consultation, so I asked roughly how much it would be to apply for sponsorship, they couldn’t tell me I was only calling them because I’m actually from Toronto and my fiancé wants to get a lawyer close to kw Long story short, her secretary were pushing me for a consultation without trying at least understand my situation and get me a price Basically what I’ve seen is, u go for consultation, spend 300$ they charge u whatever after, if u r not ok with the price, they still made 300$ on you
Louise Cowden
Louise Cowden
13:55 05 Jun 17
In August 2015 we walked into Jennifer's office looking for advice on how to get John PR status, and walked out after our appointment wishing we had come to see them sooner. Jennifer gave us all of the options available and set some realistic expectations. It's been nearly 2 years since we walked into her office, and just last week John became a permanent resident. We couldn't have done it without everyone in the office, they made things so much easier. The value, to us, of having Jennifer and her team is that we were not worried about our application. We knew that we were in great hands, and we would get the outcome that we were hoping for. Especially thankful for Heather and Erica, you both played a huge part in making sure that I kept calm; the professional and knowledgeable manner that you both have kept my mind at ease throughout the last year and a half. Without them, we wouldn't be able to move on with our lives in Canada. We can't thank you enough for everything that you have done for us. Louise and John
Georgia
Georgia
21:46 22 Nov 17
Very honest, straightforward person. She gave me all of the information I needed in order to make an informed decision.
Hannah Schell
Hannah Schell
16:01 24 Jul 18
A Canadian-American couple, we have been married for a long time and had been living in the United States. We are both college professors, and have struggled for years with balancing our two careers. When Martin got a job offer “back home” in Canada, we decided it was time to start a new chapter and made arrangements to begin immigrating. We had previously gone through the long, messy process of immigration to the U.S. for Martin’s green card and ended up having to hire a lawyer after trying to do it on our own. This time we wanted things done smoothly and so we started looking online for help. We googled immigration lawyers in the area and saw that Jennifer’s office was all women. Intrigued, we read everything on her website and made arrangements for a consultation when we were visiting. The date of that first consultation actually coincided with our 20th wedding anniversary - what’s more romantic than a visit to a lawyer’s office! The price tag was sobering but since we wanted this done right, we decided to go ahead. We sensed they knew what they were doing, were organized and efficient, and we liked that they didn’t talk down to us. Jennifer talks fast (!) and processes information quickly, and we appreciated that she was very thorough and open and gave us all the information we needed to make an informed decision. We decided to hire Jennifer and her team and we have never regretted that decision. Every interaction with the office (whether in person, phone or email) was professional and friendly. They were continually helpful and although we were sharing a lot of personal information, we trusted them. The most valuable thing they gave us was peace of mind. They are very efficient and we didn’t have to worry about the details. They had told us how long they expected the process to take, which helped give me a timeline of when I would be able to look for new job opportunities here in Canada, and we are thrilled that it turned out to be even faster than what they had told us. They were able to offer helpful suggestions for how to get all the needed materials along the way, including the medical exam, finger-printing, background checks, etc. We recommend that you at least go and have a consultation with Jennifer to find out all your options. They are friendly, fast, smart and helpful. Now I’m a permanent resident here and Martin and I are enjoying settling into our new community. Thank you Jennifer and team for helping us start this new chapter in our lives! Hannah & Martin
Ted Yoon
Ted Yoon
01:13 02 Aug 18
I came to Canada from Korea for college and ended up staying and working in my field. When I was eligible to apply for Permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class, I was looking for some help. I was introduced to Jennifer through the Korean community and I went for a consultation. She sounded confident and that she could solve the problems that I had with my situation. I’m glad that I decided to hire Jennifer. She knows much more than some consultants that I talked to in Toronto. She and her office are confident and knowledgeable about what they do. They are expensive, but I always received a response quickly whenever I had a question or had provided them with documents. The fact that Jennifer could communicate with my family in Korean was very helpful. She also has an understanding of the cultural concerns that are common to South Korean men my age regarding military service in our home country. I liked that, because I lived out of town, I was able to have skype meetings with the office rather than having to drive to Kitchener to meet. Now I’m a permanent resident and I’m able to move on with my life. I’m looking forward to being able to apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as possible and I know I’ll be back for another consultation with Jennifer. Ted
Cheyenne Cartwright
Cheyenne Cartwright
21:38 01 Aug 18
We found this law office in one of the most challenging periods of our lives. Newly married, my wife Canadian and myself American, we had drastically misunderstood the processes necessary to ensure I would be able to build a life with her in Ontario, and I was only a couple of weeks away from a potential notice of deportation. Based on the mistakes I made, I did not think I even deserved a chance to make it right and managed the (short, but painful) wait for an appointment with plans to move back to the US and restart the process. Already partially reassured by the incredibly fast and professional response of the office's staff, I went into the meeting cautiously optimistic, and to make a long story short, we immediately agreed to enter a process that just in the past couple of months culminated in securing my permanent residency. Along the way, I received expedited permissions to pursue a job in Ontario, mentoring throughout the process of acquiring required documents and testimonials, anything we could have wanted, especially and all importantly the peace of mind mentioned in other reviews here already. And I never had to be separated from my wife at any point. While expensive, the costs were well explained, and we were coached in how to keep the costs as low as possible by doing as much on our end as we could. This resulted in a sizable refund of our retainer, given to us immediately along with my notice of permanent residency. I have nothing but praise for their office and staff, and anticipate continuing to exchange Christmas greetings/gifts over many happy years here in the province.
Franky Tacia
Franky Tacia
23:45 28 Jul 18
Completely unprofessional reception and an absolute scam as far as “initial consultation” that was her scribbling and circling on a bunch of random questions that lasted 15 minutes for $1000.00. Learned absolutely nothing new other then she wanted another $9,000.00 to help. Stay away!!!
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