Liberal leader Justin Trudeau greets supporters while campaigning Thursday, October 3, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Scheer stuck on dual citizenship while touting tough-on-crime agenda

Conservative leader: ‘It’s not a big deal in Canada for people to have dual citizenship’

Andrew Scheer was out promoting his plan to tackle gang-related violence Friday, but found himself on the defensive about his dual citizenship and other tight spots instead of the signature Conservative tough-on-crime agenda.

The Conservative leader was in Toronto to talk about his crime platform, which would see the Canada Border Services Agency do more to stop guns from being smuggled in from the United States. It also promises new mandatory minimum sentences for some gang-related offences.

Yet, Scheer was still having to spend a lot of time talking about how he is in the process of renouncing the dual American-Canadian citizenship he has through his U.S.-born father, and why he had never said anything publicly about it until now.

Scheer, who said he has never renewed his U.S. passport as an adult, said he did not begin the process of giving up his American citizenship until August, despite having decided to do so after winning the Conservative leadership race in 2017.

“It’s not a big deal in Canada for people to have dual citizenship,” Scheer said Friday morning.

The Conservatives, however, had attacked former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, as well as former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, over their dual citizenship with France. Mulcair obtained his citizenship through his wife, who was born in France, and Dion through his mother, also born there.

READ MORE: Scheer and Trudeau accuse each other of distracting from their records

When asked whether he had brought up his own situation then, Scheer said: “I wasn’t leading the party at that time.”

Scheer also faced questions about whether he had ever earned any U.S. income (no), whether he had registered for the draft with the U.S. Selective Service, as required by law (he did not know, but the party has since confirmed he did) and when his U.S. passport expired (he would have to check).

The Liberals made a thinly veiled reference to the issue when they sent out a scornful news release about the Conservatives’ approach to law and order.

“Andrew Scheer wants to bring American-style gun laws to Canada,” said the statement from Liberal candidate Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief.

The Liberals took their own hits Friday on an issue that leader Justin Trudeau has made, for better or for worse, central to his legacy as prime minister.

Ottawa is asking the Federal Court to review a September ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found the federal government had discriminated against First Nations children living on reserves by not adequately funding child and family services.

It also ordered children and their families be given the highest level of compensation it can award.

Trudeau said he agrees with many of the tribunal’s findings, including that victims should be compensated, but that more time is needed for consultation, especially with the election campaign.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh condemned the decision to challenge the ruling.

“This is a moral failure, this is unjust, this is continuing an injustice,” he said in Saskatoon.

Singh said an NDP government would accept the ruling and provide compensation. Scheer has said a Conservative government would ask for a judicial review.

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Celgar says equipment failure won’t affect production next week

The chip dumper collapse on Oct. 6 is still under investigation

Federal candidates debate environmental issues in Castlegar

Few sparks and much agreement between candidates that action is needed

Check your mail for your Voter Information Card

Your Voter Information Card identifies where you can vote in advance and on election day

WATCH: South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates answer students’ questions at Grand Forks forums

The Grand Forks Gazette filmed the all-candidates’ public forum, held Oct. 8 at Grand Forks Secondary

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Most Read