Canada’s minister of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), Jason Kenney, is well known for his intolerance of diversity – or dissent. Over the last several years, Kenney has made many changes to citizenship and immigration rules, making it harder for immigrants and refugees to gain citizenship, forcing people (particularly women) to conform to his preferred social norms whether or not it causes religious or moral problems or hardship, and insisting that the citizenship oath be spoken in a certain way in order for a candidate to be “eligible” to receive citizenship..
However, it appears that in their zeal to apply Kenney’s moralistic rules, CIC staff have wrongly denied a man his rightfully gained Canadian citizenship – and now they can’t find him. In a citizenship ceremony last week, the man was pulled aside as he waited to receive his certificate of citizenship, and told that because he hadn’t said the oath correctly he was not eligible to gain citizenship that day. The man left the ceremony with his family and vanished. The only problem? He wasn’t saying the oath incorrectly, as CIC later determined, and was perfectly eligible to receive citizenship that day. (No word on how they determined he was saying it correctly in the aftermath, although this raises its own questions.) So instead of this being the proudest day of his life, the unidentified man was instead disrupted, shamed, and ejected for nothing. Way to go, CIC.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been cracking down on articulation of the oath, which is one of the ostensible reasons behind their ban on veils (to ensure the vow is spoken “corrrectly”.) Since 2011, all citizenship candidates are watched during their oaths to ensure they are articulating the words of the Canadian vow of citizenship. However, it appears that the criteria for “correctly” could use some clarification of their own.
MaRS Discovery District on Flickr