Government to Revoke Passports of Suspected Terrorists

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi, this is Michael Niren, immigration lawyer and founder of visaplace.com. The Canadian government is threatening to revoke passports of Canadian citizens abroad who are allegedly participating in terrorist activities.

Revoking Passports of Suspected Terrorists

Now this is a very serious development. Generally speaking, I support the government’s initiative, in principle. What I mean is that individuals who are, in fact, participating in terrorist activities should be considered as enemies of the state. And therefore, passport revocation in such circumstances may indeed be appropriate. However, the government has been very vague as to how they intend to pursue this. It could raise some serious human rights issues.

Passport Revocation May Lead to ‘Slippery Slope’

Canadian citizens have a right to a passport. They have a right to be Canadian citizens, if they are Canadian citizens. The government does have the power to revoke, but the concern is will they do it arbitrarily. What are the standards? What kind of evidence do they require to pursue revocation? So, in principle, this is one situation where I do support the current administration in its efforts to combat terrorism and protect Canadian citizens. However, it could lead to some slippery slope where individuals will be threatened with losing their Canadian citizenship who may, in fact, not be active participants in terrorist organizations.

For example, if individuals have certain ideologies which perhaps may not be in line with the mainstream Canadian point of view, that is not enough, in my opinion. We live in a democracy to threaten anyone with revocation. So there has to be some standards applied and released to the Canadian public so they know what the government is going to be doing with respect to this initiative. Hopefully, we’re going to get more clarity on this.

Thank you and have a great day.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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