A Proud Hyphenated Canadian


Recently CBC ran an article on the impending transfer of Omar Khadr to Canada. I am not going to get into the merits of whether he should be transferred here. In my opinion the answer is simple he was born here he is a Canadian even if some don’t like the fact. That said many of those that commented debated his citizenship based on merit and other dubious claims. Basically they believe that unless you behave like ,us act like us, swear allegiance to us alone you aren’t Canadian. Nonsense. The fact that you might share allegiances seems to be a crime and some even objected to the idea of dual citizenship.  There came in the problem most people have no idea what dual citizenship is.

In response to a rather arrogant comment where the author noted “Canadians (no hyphen) do not want this” (Khadr’s return) I unfortunately decided to respond. Personally I don’t care if people like it or not, but the laws of many countries allow for dual citizenship. It is not a crime and not really that unpatriotic. It is not a crime to love your heritage, and dual citizenship allows you to visit your relatives in your country of origin without a whole lot of bureaucracy.  So although I am not entirely sure that I qualify for dual citizenship via my German father but I do qualify for UK citizenship via my English mother I shot back a notice to the effect that Khadr was Canadian and I am a proud Anglo/German – Canadian.

To this, someone named Lynn@Alberta responded with the following:

 “I am german also, born here! You can’t say that your a german-canadian. No such thing, your either german or canadian. Not both. When you became a citzen, you renounced your german citizenship, I know because my husband had too!” (Spelling is as it appeared in the comment – not as a criticism as my spelling sucks as well)

Before I could respond CBC closed the comments (frustrating because I was annoyed). So on the infinitesimal possibility that Ms Lynn@Albert will Google my name and find this Blog here is my come back.

German citizenship is based on jus sanguinis. Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood) is a social policy by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parent who are citizens of the nation. In other words, one usually acquires German citizenship if a parent has “German Blood” irrespective of place of birth. Ms Lynn@Alberta contrary to your belief, you are a German-Canadian like it or not.. Your claim that “You can’t say that your a german-canadian. No such thing, your either german or canadian. Not both.” is WRONG.

You’re free to go renounce your German Citizenship if you like but I’m not sure Germany would care and you would lose a lot of really cool benifits of dual nationality. But if your German heritage means little to you and you like standing in lines at airports, applying for work visas (and paying for them) and never need embassy support in a nation where there is no Canadian Embassy fine go ahead. The only reason one might want to renounce your dual citizenship is if you become a member of Parliament which I totally agree with but somehow I suspect you aren’t about to do that.

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6 thoughts on “A Proud Hyphenated Canadian

  1. I forgot one other possibility If you joined the Canadian Military you most likely want to drop your dual citizenship. It might likely be required and that would make sense.

  2. ” Basically they believe that unless you behave like ,us act like us, swear allegiance to us alone you aren’t Canadian. Nonsense”

    I will give you two out of three in this statement, but the country who grants you the right of citizenship, allowing you to create a better life for you and your family than what you came from, does have the right to demand complete allegiance. The Khadr family in its entirety is a problem. They came to Canada, became citizens, but in the same breath condemn Canada, to the point when Omar Khadr’s father referred to Canada as being a “swamp”. (That was amusing, considering the third world outhouse they came from) They used this country to fraudulently collect donations and funds, funnelling money to the support the violence that was responsible for the deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. To most, this would be considered treason. Now, Omar Khadr is paying a price for his actions, and assumed the role of a “poor child soldier” when he knows that he willingly and knowingly became involved in an armed conflict with the intent to “kill as many Americans as he could”. Even at 15, there is a fundamental knowledge and understanding of right and wrong.
    The Khadr family is only one example of our immigrant problem. There are old world prejudices, and violence being brought into Canada with these so called “honour killings”. How many times have there been marches and protests from people who demand that Canada interfere in the politics of their former countries. When you come to this country, accept its citizenship and make this country a permanent home, you’d better remember to whom you give your first loyalty. Heritage is important, but has to take second chair where citizenship is concerned. It cannot influence one’s loyalty.

  3. Well John I wasn’t actually debating the nastiness of the Khadr Family which may or may not be the case. I was debating the idea that you should dump your past and conform to some preconceived Canadian reality. But given that you did address one part of my argument I will consider your point. You stated the country who grants you the right of citizenship, allowing you to create a better life for you and your family than what you came from, does have the right to demand complete allegiance. I disagree but not on the basis of nationalism and certainly not on the basis that the Khadr family might. Everyman woman or child has the right to act in accordance with their conscience regardless where they live. Fascism is the only ideology that preaches total allegiance to the state. Sorry I believe that a successful state allows freedom of conscience.

    I take objection to your ignorant labeling of another nation as a “third world outhouse'” While I disagree with Mr Khadr’s father I don’t usually allow stuff that borders on bigotry to end up in the comments here. That said you made a valid argument but any more trash talk like that and I will have to moderate your comments.

  4. Dual-citizenship holders are potential turncoat weasels who always have it in the back of their mind the advantage of being able to split elsewhere if they screw up.

  5. Feldwebel Wolfenstool Usually I ignore Obvious troll postings but just to address your comment I know hundreds of dual citizens and most are just like you and I but want to take advantage of their heritage and the ability to travel to their country of origins more efficiently. I for one have dual citizenship so I guess by your definition I am a weasel and you are a patriot. If so I am glad to take on the label.

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