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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IN PHOTOS: 2020 Wilgress Lake Fishing Derby

Fishermen dotted Wilgress Lake for the Boundary Métis Association’s annual event

Grand Forks marches against gender violence

The Grand Forks march was part of 1 Billion Rising, a global movement against gender violence

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Students test out future careers with WorkBC visit

By far, WorkBC tour manager said, the airplane pilot station was a favourite

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

MLA Larson deals with abuse and threats

Oliver office has a buzz-in system, and panic buttons

Most Read