Strengthening Canadian citizenship: but how and for whose benefit? The rise and fall of (Bill) C24, or towards a hierarchized Canadian citizenship
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 09:39 by Antoine Marie Zacharie Habumukiza
While Statistics Canada evidences immigration to be a key driver of Canada’s population growth, unwelcoming immigration settlement policies and Canadian citizenship legislation combine to impede recent immigrants’ integration. Above all, citizenship policy plays a pivotal role in easing newcomers’ integration into the host polity by transforming them into citizens. Through naturalization, immigrants acquire legal citizenship; their substantive citizenship makes them enjoy rights and exercise responsibilities embedded in, and defined by citizenship policy. This paper argues that, by institutionalizing a conditional citizenship for new immigrants, recent changes to the Canadian citizenship regime brought by C-24 in June 2014 then repealed by C-6 in June 2017, not only weaken but jeopardize both legal and substantive citizenship of dual Canadian citizens and, consequently, hinder their successful integration into the Canadian polity. This study concludes that the lived experiences of recent immigrants mark a distinction between new Canadians’/visible minorities’ alientity and mainstream Canadian identity.