March 7, 2014
Mario D. Bellissimo Interviewed in Lawyers Weekly Regarding The Proposed Changes to The Canadian Citizenship Act
Lawyers pan citizenship reforms
Reporter: Cristin Schmitz
Immigration and refugee lawyers have condemned many of the government’s proposed citizenship reforms as anti-immigration, convoluted and likely to spur litigation and constitutional attacks. The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (C-24), tabled Feb.6, marks Ottawa’s first major overhaul of the Citizenship Act in 37 years. The Harper government has said its goals include speeding up citizenship determinations and reducing backlogs; “reinforcing the value of Canadian citizenship” by boosting the language, knowledge, and physical residence requirements for applicants; “cracking down on citizenship fraud”; protecting Canadians against terrorism, treason and spying; and recovering more of the costs of Canada’s citizenship application program from would-be citizens. Immigration lawyers have welcomed some of the proposed reforms, but mostly they reacted with alarm and vowed to press for changes. “Again judicial oversight seems to be eroded through this bill…continuing what is a disturbing trend,” immigration law specialist Mario Bellissimo of Toronto told The Lawyers Weekly. “To me, and this is my personal comment, it’s a few steps forward and several steps backwards.”
Click here to read the full article.