Conservatives slam Liberal government for not appealing federal court ruling

Michelle Rempel

MICHELLE Rempel, Conservative Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Monday criticized the Liberal government for allowing time to run out to appeal the federal court ruling on the citizenship revocation process.

The May 10 ruling by Justice Gagné on the case Hassouna v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) fundamentally changed the process with respect to revoking fraudulent citizenship. June 9 marked the final opportunity for the federal government to appeal this decision.

“The Liberal government has been silent on this issue. Canadians deserve an explanation as to why they have not appealed this decision that will have serious consequences for Canada’s immigration system,” said Rempel.

“The federal court ruling risks incentivizing people to lie on their citizenship application, because it will create a lengthy appeals process. The process that was in place entailed a much more efficient review mechanism while still allowing court appeals in cases where there was a misapplication of immigration law.

“This government already has a dismal record when it comes to filling judicial vacancies. The ramifications of not appealing this ruling will likely cause greater strain on our courts and their already scarce resources. We must remember that those who commit fraud during the application process were never entitled to citizenship to begin with.”

Rempel also noted that the government has done little to address 2016 auditor general report findings that revealed glaring gaps in the government’s ability to detect citizenship fraud.

Rempel made clear that the decision to not appeal the ruling will have far-reaching consequences on our system. “The Liberals must quickly address how they plan to mitigate the concerns I have raised regarding increased fraud and strain on our resources. Canadians deserve answers immediately,” said Rempel.