A convicted Islamist terrorist is one step closer to being granted Canadian citizenship, thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
Trudeau successfully rammed his controversial Bill C-6 through the House of Commons on the last day before summer recess. Now all that’s left is a rubber stamp from the Senate.
The bill repeals a Stephen Harper-era law that enabled the government to strip Canadian citizenship from foreign-born citizens convicted of terrorism.
This isn’t exactly controversial. Most Western countries have similar laws. Most Canadians agree citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and not something to be handed out to convicted jihadists.
Jordanian-born Zakaria Amara was the only person to have his Canadian citizenship revoked through the law. And he deserved it.
Amara moved to Canada as a teenager, and by the age of 20, he was already in prison facing a slew of terrorism charges.
He was a ringleader of a sophisticated terrorist group known as the Toronto 18. He recruited, trained and groomed fellow Islamist extremists and actively worked on a plot to murder scores of Canadians, including the Prime Minister.
Amara’s attack would have seen bombs detonated in downtown Toronto, shooting sprees at the CBC and the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the beheading of politicians in Ottawa.
He wanted to mass murder Canadians, and shatter our sense of safety and security.
It would have forever changed our country.
Amara’s crimes are unforgivable.
And yet, the Trudeau government is in a rush to not only forgive him, but to apologize for revoking his citizenship and reward him with the honour of being Canadian.
It’s reprehensible. And it’s not the only damage done by this bill.
C-6 also reduces the amount of time newcomers must live in Canada before they qualify for citizenship, down to just three years of part-time residency.
Worse, it eliminates the language requirement for many new Canadians.
Under the current law, every newcomer between the age of 14 and 64 must pass a basic English or French test before qualifying for citizenship.
The Trudeau Liberals, for political reasons, decided to change the rules so only those aged 18 to 54 are required to pass the language test.
Special interest groups want to make it as easy as possible for foreigners to come to Canada and obtain a Canadian passport.
And the Liberals, beholden to the immigration lobby, are putting their political interests ahead of the national interest.
This was clear when Conservative MP Michelle Rempel asked Immigration Minister John McCallum if his government had done any research or consultations to explain why they were eliminating the language requirement for many newcomers.
McCallum admitted there was no research and no evidence to back the policy.
The Liberals gave no further explanation and made no additional appeal to Canadians. They simply forced their bill through Parliament.
The only opportunity left to stop this reckless bill is for the Senate to intervene.
Canadians should contact Senators Claude Carignan, Yonah Martin and Linda Frum to encourage them to amend this bill. These Conservative Senators are in a position to stop Trudeau.
The radical, politically-motivated Bill C-6 will make Canada more vulnerable and less united.
Canadians should demand that newcomers learn our language and truly join the Canadian family.
And those who seek to undermine our national security — those who plot ISIS-style massacres in Canada — should never be given the privilege of citizenship.
This column appeared in Sun papers on June 23, 2016