This letter is in response to article “Changes to Citizenship Policy Mean-Spirited” (February 12, 2014).
Citizenship is a pledge of mutual responsibility and a shared commitment to values rooted in our history. And as Canadians, we can be very proud of the significant reforms to the Canadian Citizenship Act brought forward by our Government on February 6, 2014.
Canadian citizenship is uniquely valuable in the world – it is a privilege, that carries with it duties and rights, privileges and responsibilities. As our government transforms the immigration system, it is also critical to ensure that we protect and strengthen the great value of Canadian citizenship, and remind individuals that citizenship is not a right, it’s a privilege.
With the changes proposed in this legislation, we are moving towards a more fast and flexible immigration system with a promise of citizenship for those who play by the rules. The legislation will strengthen the regulations around access to citizenship to ensure that they reflect its true value, and that new citizens are prepared for full participation in Canadian society.
The comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act will support newcomers’ integration to Canadian society and ensure new citizens have a stronger attachment to Canada. Our government remains committed to ensuring the protection and safety of Canadian citizens by strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship and preventing fraud, while at the same time improving processing efficiency by cutting red tape and saving taxpayers’ dollars.
The changes to the Citizenship Act reinforce the value of Canadian citizenship while ensuring the integrity of Canada’s immigration system is protected for future generations.
Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill