Last Updated on February 14, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

In 2011, I wrote about how the Conservative Party of Canada was debating whether to adopt a policy to strip Canadian citizens of their citizenship if they commit terrorism abroad.  The policy stated:

98. Canadian Citizenship and High Treason
The Conservative Party of Canada believes that any Canadian citizen, whether by birth or by naturalized grant of Canadian citizenship or by claim of landed immigrant or refugee status in Canada who commits treason by taking up arms against the Canadian Forces or the Forces of Canada’s Allies automatically invalidates his or her Canadian citizenship or claim to Canadian citizenship and, if and when returned to the jurisdiction of the Canadian Legal System, should be tried for high treason under the Canadian Criminal Code.

It now seems that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is considering something similar, namely stripping dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship if they commit terrorism abroad.

In 2011, I wrote that I had not formulated any particularly strong conclusions about the matter, and that I encouraged people to consider 9 questions before forming a position.  I still haven’t formed a strong position on the matter, and encourage people to consider the following 5 questions before forming one.

  1. Do you think that any Canadian citizen who commits terrorism abroad should lose their citizenship, or only a dual citizen?
  2. What do you consider to be terrorism?  Is throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers terrorism?  What about a drone strike which kills civilians?
  3. Should we stop at stripping the citizenship of people involved in terrorism?  Why not any serious crime?
  4. Who should decide whether something is terrorism?  Do you trust that group to get it right?
  5. What involvement in the terrorism should be required before terrorism leads to the revocation of citizenship?  Detonating the bomb?  Being the driver?  Providing funds?  Waving a flag in support of Hezbollah?