Bill C-37, the Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act

Bill C-37, the Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act

11th Jun 2010 Comments Off on Bill C-37, the Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act

On June 10, the Conservative government introduced Bill C-37, also known as the Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act (“Bill C-37“).

The legislation will result in five changes if passed. These are:

  1. Regulate Citizenship Consultants
  2. Increases Penalties for Citizenship Fraud
  3. Strengthen Rules For Residence Requirement
  4. Expand Ban on Criminals Becoming Citizens
  5. Crown Exception to First Generation Limit
  6. Streamlining the Revocation Process

1) Regulate Citizenship Consultants

Citizenship consultants are not currently regulated or licensed.  Bill C-37 will change this.  The amendments will introduce a new s. 21.1 of the Citizenship Act, which will state:

21.1 (1) Every person commits an offense who knowingly represents or advises a person for consideration — or offers to do so — in connection with a proceeding or application under this Act.

The offense will be a hybrid offense. If the Crown elects to proceed by way of indictment, the maximum penalty would be a fine of $50,000 and/or two years imprisonment.

There will be exceptions for lawyers, members of a designated body, and other exceptions similar to those for immigration consultants. In fact, the language in Bill C-37 regarding the regulation of citizenship consultants largely mirrors that in Bill C-35, the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act.

2) Increases Penalties for Citizenship Fraud

The Citizenship Act makes it an offense to make a false representation, commit fraud, knowingly conceal or misrepresent information, obtain or use a certificate of naturalization/renunciation of another person, knowingly permit another to use that person’s certificate, or traffic certificates. The penalty for doing so is currently a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment to a term of one year. 

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