The federal government stripped (September 25) the convicted terrorist Zakaria Amara of his Canadian citizenship. Amara was a ringleader of the “Toronto – 18” terrorist group that conspired to carry out terror attacks in downtown Toronto in 2006, including detonating a bobby-trapped truck in the financial district with the intention of causing indiscriminate mass killing of civilians.
According to the changes in Bill C-24 that were initiated by the Harper government, the revocation of citizenship applies only to dual citizens convicted of terrorism, treason, or engaging in armed conflict against Canada, regardless of whether they were born in Canada or not. Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian national who immigrated to Canada, is expected to be deported to Jordan once he is released after serving a life sentence in jail.
Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism, expressed his full support of the stern measure taken against Amara. “I agree that convicted terrorists should be stripped of their Canadian citizenship. Anyone who commits terrorist acts in Canada or abroad has clearly renounced their Canadian citizenship by rejecting Canadian values and the loyalty to our country that citizenship requires,” Kenney said.
NDP and the Liberal Party voted against Bill C-24, and their leaders, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, vowed to repeal the changes made by the Conservative government if they win the upcoming elections on October 19. Both opposition leaders argued that amended law divides Canadians into two classes, in which the second-class Canadians, who hold dual citizenship, are at risk of losing their Canadian citizenship if they are convicted of serious crimes.
Kenney called on Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau “to stop defending the rights of convicted terrorists and to instead support the rights of law abiding Canadians.”