Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

January 24, 2008 12:38 ET

Minister Finley Welcomes Joe Taylor as Canadian

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today welcomed Joe Taylor as a Canadian citizen. Mr. Taylor is the son of a Second World War veteran and an English war bride. Today in a private ceremony, he received his certificate of citizenship as a result of a special grant by the Cabinet.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am proud to welcome Joe Taylor as a Canadian," Minister Finley said. "Our citizenship is one of the most valuable things we can possess. Mr. Taylor's father fought for our country, and today we awarded Mr. Taylor his citizenship."

Mr. Taylor is one of a group of people who, dating back to the 1947 citizenship act, discovered they were not Canadian after believing for years they were citizens. Minister Finley recently tabled amendments to the Citizenship Act which would, for the first time, address this issue.

"I am thrilled today for Joe Taylor and his family," said Don Chapman, who has acted as a spokesman for many lost Canadians. "I want to especially thank both Minister Diane Finley and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for all they've done to help. Today is a great day for all Canadians."

"It means so much to me and my family to receive my Canadian citizenship after all these years. I want to personally thank the Minister and the Prime Minister," said Joe Taylor.

Late last year, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled Mr. Taylor was not a citizen because he was born before his parents married and because he left Canada as an infant with his mother before the 1947 citizenship act was passed. The government felt it had to pursue the court case because the issue had legal implications which went beyond Mr. Taylor. In December 2007, the Minister gave him a special grant of citizenship under a section of the current Citizenship Act which allows the minister to grant citizenship to individuals in special circumstances.

The proposed amendments to the Citizenship Act would mean:

- Anyone who was born in Canada or who became Canadian on or after January 1, 1947, when the first citizenship act took effect, and who then lost his or her citizenship, would have the status restored. The exceptions would be those who renounced their citizenship with Canadian authorities or those born in Canada to a foreign diplomat, or those whose citizenship was revoked by the government because it was obtained by fraud.

- Anyone born to a Canadian abroad on or after January 1, 1947, if not already a citizen, would be recognized as a Canadian citizen from birth, but only if they are the first generation born abroad. The exceptions would be those who renounced their citizenship.

- No one who is a citizen today would lose their citizenship as a result of these amendments.

Last year, almost 200,000 people became Canadian citizens in citizenship ceremonies across Canada.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Douglas Kellam
    Spokesperson, Media Relations
    Communications Branch