I see, on the CBC News website, that the UK has revoked the citizenship of Jack Letts, known as Jihadi Jack, a young man whose claim to Canadian citizenship is based on the fact that his father, who has lived in the UK for years, is a Canadian national. It not clear that Jack Letts has ever set foot in Canada. But he is, legally, a Canadian.
Now, under an amendment to the Canadian Citizenship Act, passed by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2015, the “Canadian government once had the power to revoke citizenship specifically from dual nationals convicted of spying, treason, or terrorism offences … [but] … The Liberals repealed this amendment in 2017.” Even if Trudeau had not amended the law, under international law a country cannot revoke someone’s citizenship if that would render that person stateless. But the British kept that rule in their law and they have acted on it.
So, now Jihadi Jack is a Canadian … because Justin Trudeau believes that citizenship, no matter how it is obtained, is unconditional.
I said, about three weeks ago that “I, personally and entirely inconsistently (I agree, in advance, that is the case) want the 18 children [held, along with Jihadi Jack in Middle Eastern prisons] “rescued” and brought home and the 15 adults to rot, forever, in whatever filthy hell-hole their captors can devise.” I think rotting, literally, in the worst conditions the cruellest captors can imagine, is about right for someone like Jack Letts. I sympathize with his parents, but my sympathy does not extend to wishing Canada to do anything except to ignore his plight until he dies of starvation, disease, torture or worse. What he and others who fought for or supported Da’esh/ISIL/ISIS deserve no more. Bringing them back to Canada should be off the table.
But he’s ours, now. Someone will look to Canada to do something. Ralph Goodale, to his credit, has done nothing except mumble platitudes. But many people do not share my views. First-rate political and legal minds will find ways to put pressure on governments, of whatever stripe, to “bring them back to safety.” Those first-rate political and legal minds will say anyone who shares my opinion is so cruel as to be “unCanadian.” People like Justin Trudeau, fishing for votes in murky waters, may agree.