In audio recording, Trudeau says Bill C-24 makes citizenship conditional upon 'good behaviour'
CTV News has obtained a recording leaked by the Conservative Party of Justin Trudeau’s answer in July to a question about Bill C-24, a law that allows dual citizens – those who are convicted terrorists – to be stripped of Canadian citizenship and deported.
The Liberal Leader began his answer by mocking Conservatives for their attack ads and calling attention to the portion of the answer that might be chosen for a future ad:
“The Liberal Party believes that terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship ... because I do,” Trudeau told a Winnipeg town hall in July. “And I'm willing to take on anyone who disagrees with that.
He added: “As soon as you make citizenship for some Canadians conditional on good behaviour, you devalue citizenship for everyone.”
Trudeau was conducting town halls across the country back in July. On that same day, he tweeted about the "great discussions" in Winnipeg.
Trudeau also told the group that revoking a terrorist’s citizenship is not the answer, and that Bill C-24 “exemplifies the Conservatives’ approach to politics.”
“There are penalties for anyone convicted of a terrorism or an act of war or offence against Canada -- they end up locked up in jail for the rest of their lives. “
But one member of the Toronto 18, convicted of being involved in the plot to bomb the city, has already been paroled. The so-called mastermind behind the plot is eligible for release next year, and the government announced Friday plans to revoke his citizenship and deport him to Jordan – the first such case in Canada since the new law was enacted.
The Conservatives criticize Trudeau for telling his Winnipeg audience the revocation of citizenship allowed in Bill C-24 is about "good behaviour," when it actually is intended to target dual citizens who have been convicted of terrorism here or abroad convicted of treason, spying, or armed conflict against Canada
“Mr. Trudeau’s position suggests that he really doesn't value Canadian citizenship,” Conservative candidate Jason Kenney said. “If you can take up arms against this country, join a terrorist organization that wants to commit mass violence against your fellow citizens --you’re forfeiting your own citizenship.”
Canada is not the only country to revoke citizenship. The United Kingdom, Australia and France have passed similar legislation.
At a campaign stop in Regina Saturday, Conservative candidate Jason Kenney confirmed that Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian-Canadian and member of the so-called Toronto 18, has been formally stripped of his Canadian citizenship.
Now that Amara's Canadian citizenship has been revoked, a plan has been set in motion to deport him to Jordan.
CTV News has learned that the process has begun for at least three other convicted terrorists to have their Canadian citizenships revoked.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is also opposed to C-24 and on Sunday made clear his rationale. “What if it's bank robbery,” Mulcair said, “or what if it's, they just don't like the country you're from and they want to send you back?”
Tonight in a statement, the Liberals wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the audio recording but stand by their position: that convicted terrorists belong in prison.
With a report by CTV’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Laurie Graham