Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Saputo to close 3 plants in Canada

Saputo Inc. announced it will close three of its plants in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. In all, 230 workers will lose their jobs by the end of next year. The closings are designed to cut costs and improve efficiency of the company.

The shares of Saputo SAP rose one percent on the Toronto Stock exchange on the news. Saputo is based in Montreal Quebec. A plant in Sydney Nova Scotia will close this June after being purchased in 2014. In August, another plant in Princeville, Quebec, will close — it was bought in 2015 and makes goat cheese. The last plant in Ottawa, with 126 employees, will close in December of next year. The Ottawa plant was just purchased from Nielsen in 2008. Production will be diverted to other Saputo plants. The company hopes to save about $9 million annually from the move by 2019. Over the next two years, Saputo plans to invest $32 million in other locations. The company expects it will cost $23 million to close the plants, including a $19 million writedown of fixed assets.
Saputo was founded as a cheese making company in 1954 by an Italian Immigrant Giuseppe Saputo. As well as cheese the business includes other dairy products. It is the 10th largest dairy processor in the work. It expanded from its base in Quebec throughout Canada, in the U.S., Argentina, and Australia through mergers and acquisitions. Saputo is the largest cheese maker in Canada. It operates 25 dairy operations across Canada. As well as the Saputo brand the company also uses Armstrong, Dairyland, Black Creek and several other brand names. The company closed plants in Alberta and the U.S. two years ago.
Spokesperson for Saputo, Sandy Vassiadis, claimed the closures were part of the company strategy to improve efficiency by transferring production to facilities that were not fully used, have more modern equipment, or can be easily expanded. In an interview, she said:"We compare the facilities that do similar products and these ones...couldn't raise the bar to attain efficiency levels like the other plants that do similar products." Saputo is able to close the plants even though Canada has regulations that require milk to stay in the province it is produced. Saputo has other plants in each of the three provinces. Saputo operates 54 plants around the world including 24 in Canada. It employs about 12,000 workers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Polls indicate Progressive Conservatives should win Manitoba provincial election

Polls indicate that the Progressive Conservatives(PC) are far ahead of the reigning New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberals with the Manitoba provincial election a little more than a month away on April 19.

At dissolution the NDP held 35 seats, the Progressive Conservatives 19 and the Liberals just one. Two seats are vacant. The NDP went through a crisis last year when five cabinet ministers revolted and challenged the leadership of Greg Sellinger and resigned from his cabinet.. Sellinger won in a subsequent leadership review. While dissension appears to have lessened, a total of nine sitting NDP members are not running in this election,. Perhaps they see the writing on the wall.
Two recent polls show the uphill battle facing the NDP. A Forum Research Poll on March 13th showed: NDP, 22 percent of the vote; PC, 46 percent, and Liberals 23 percent The Green Party had 8 percent.. A Mainstreet Technologies poll on March12th showed: NDP, 27 percent; PC, 43 percent, with Liberals at 24 percent. The Greens had 7 percent. Both polls show the NDP is far behind the PC's. A January poll showed the PC's even higher at 52 percent. A CBC article on January 27 noted:The PCs led in Winnipeg with 46 per cent support, an increase of nine points. The NDP was down to 23 per cent, while the Liberals slipped six points to 21 per cent.The situation may have changed by now. The PCs dominate outside of Winnipeg, Brandon, and the north. The PCs win by large margins in most rural areas. The Liberals could win many more seats in Winnipeg this election. If NDP voters decide the Liberals are the best party to stop a PC victory, the NDP could lose many Winnipeg seats. However, a split between NDP and the Liberals in Winnipeg could end up with the PCs winning many more seats.
Among NDP members who have thrown in the towel is Jennifer Howard. As the CBC reports:The MLA for Fort Rouge said her priorities have changed since she had children, and she is choosing to spend more time with her family. Howard said she has taken a job in Ottawa that she declined to discuss and will be moving there with her wife, Tara Peel, and their two children, four-year-old Harry and eight-month-old Georgia.Howard was one of the five cabinet ministers who wanted Sellinger to resign. Howard was a student of mine at Brandon University, an A student. The NDP is losing her along with a number of other competent MLA's who are not running.
In the case of Howard, the NDP has been fortunate to attract a well-qualified candidate to run instead of Howard.in the Fort Rouge riding, Wab Kinew. Howard said of Kinew: "Whenever you contemplate leaving something, one of your big worries is who is going to be there, in whose hands do you leave all of the work, I know those things are going to be in good hands." Kinew is from the Onigaming First Nation in northwestern Ontario but is also associate vice-president of indigenous affairs at the University of Winnipeg. He is also a former broadcaster at the CBC. Kinew will be running against the new Liberal leader Rana Bokhari and PC candidate Audrey Gordon. Karine Levasseur, associate professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba said that the popularity of Kinew could help the NDP and challenge Liberal Leader Bokhari.
UPDATE: Here is some poll tracker data. The seat projections are dismal for the NDP with the PC's winning a huge majority.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Canada to share information about Canadians traveling overland to the US.

A development of the recent meeting of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama is that Canada will share with the US information on Canadians traveling overland to the states. The U.S. will reciprocate.

Thomas Walkom, writing in the Toronto Star, notes that in the U.S., national security is a key issue and Canada is considered suspect. He points out that Obama's first homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, insisted that the 9/11 attackers came through Canada, even though evidence seems to contradict this. The announcement of the agreement was made not by Trudeau but by Obama.
The Canada Border Service already provides Americans with data on third-country citizens and Canadians who are permanent residents who travel overland to the U.S. However, the information consists of only basic data such as name, date of birth, and point of entry. Walkom remarks that federal privacy commissioners have pointed out that information sharing can be dangerous.
In 2011, the then privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart pointed to the Maher Arar case, "in which Canada’s sharing of faulty information with the U.S. led to the arrest, rendition and torture of an innocent Canadian citizen. She also cited the cases of three other Muslim Canadians who had been subject to torture abroad in part because of Canada’s too-casual approach to sharing information." The results of the Arar inquiry can be found here. A more readable summary can be found here. Arar received compensation of $10 million from the Canadian government, no doubt to avoid a possible court battle. While the inquiry found that Arar was not a terrorist, he is still on the no-fly list in the U.S. He was deported or rather rendered to Syria because the U.S. claimed he was part of an Al Qaeda cell. Canadian RCMP intelligence authorities had provided the U.S. with raw unvetted intelligence data on Arar to the US. The U.S. refused to cooperate with the Arar inquiry. To his credit, the right-wing Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day still said he believed Arar to be innocent even after U.S. authorities showed him classified information supposed to show his guilt.
The new system was to have been already in place last July but has run into delays. It is part of the Beyond the Border program. Walkom describes it as an attempt to build a kind of wall around North America. The current federal privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien refused to comment on the program until he knows exactly what the Trudeau government is proposing.
Canada and the U.S. have rather conflicting aims in the program. Canada's main aim is to have faster border crossings to help facilitate Canada-U.S. trade and tourism while the U.S. wants to ensure that its borders are secure.
The plan envisions joint law enforcement teams along the border. However, practical problems immediately arose. Who has jurisdiction if a U.S. agent shoots and kills a suspect but on the Canadian side of the border? As Walkom sees it the two sides have conflicting views of the border:Ottawa wants what it calls a thin border to allow easy passage of people and goods back and forth. As evidenced by last week’s announcement, it is willing to sacrifice some of the privacy of its citizenry in return for this.
Washington, however, wants a thick border that would make it harder for terrorists to enter the U.S.
So while it is happy to receive information from Ottawa and even give back some in return, it is not willing to substantially relax its guard.
Walkom worries that the result will be a still difficult border to cross while there will be an increased likelihood more Canadians will end up on a US security list. However, pre-clearance processes should make crossing quicker for many.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale claims the border security changes Trudeau and Obama agreed to are designed to make crossing the border "smoother." He said that the new rules would impact preclearance procedures, information sharing. and no-flly lists in both countries:"The most important thing is an expansion in pre-clearance, This is the ability to clear American customs and immigration procedures before you leave Canada, so that once you arrive in the United States … there's no further checking of passports and so forth."There is already preclearance at a number of Canadian airports including at Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Trudeau and Obma agreed to add more members to the list. The government is also examining pre-clearance for train routes.
Canadian Civil Liberties Directory Executive Director, Sukanya Pilly, claimed the increased sharing of information could have negative impacts:"When you collect a huge amount of information about an individual, it can result in profiling." However, Goodale claimed that the government had been careful about privacy issues and the information was non-intrusive. Goodale also said that the two countries will share information on their respective no-fly lists: "(Canadian and American no-fly lists) are not up until this point shared with each other," he said. "This arrangement will make it possible for that to happen." Under the new agreement, Canada will also work with the U.S. to develop a better way of "getting people off the list if they ought not to be there," Goodale said. "We need an effective redress system," he said.
The border tracking system was originally promised back in 2001 as part of the perimeter security pact. There is to be a working group set up within 60 days to work out errors of identity on the no-fly lists of the two countries.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Canadian citizen killed in Benghazi Libya

Owais Egwilla, the son of a former Ottawa cleric, was killed in Benghazi while in an area controlled by the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.
Khaled Misellati of the Canadian Libyan Community Association, who knew Egwilla, said: “Apparently a bomb fell on that building and the building collapsed on them. He wasn’t fighting.”
The Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries gave a somewhat different account on a Facebook page linked to them, saying Egwilla and another man died "after a battle they waged against a group from the disbelieving forces." These would be forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, the commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA). According to the intelligence group SITE, his uncle Abdul Rahman Egwilla said on his Facebook: “Allah loved you with martyrdom, which you had sought while you were still young.” Reports say Egwilla was a member of a militia affiliated with the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia. Ansar al-Sharia is one of several jihadist groups within the Shura Council of Revolutionaries. While the Council opposes the Islamic State, the Ansar al-Sharia militia are regarded as terrorists by some states, including the U.S. The group is thought to be responsible for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the American ambassador. However, Auwais' father, Abdu Albasset Egwilla, said he did not belong to the Islamic State or Ansar al-Sharia. He is reported to be a member of the Omar Al-Mukhtar Brigade. A report by the Canadian government's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre claims that in an August 14 video, the Auwais' father urged an audience of Islamist fighters to take part in jihad.
Nevertheless, Misellati maintained Egwilla was not an extremist: . “He was absolutely normal. He was in sports and mingling with his friends. He was part of the community here. He was a nice guy...He practically grew up here in Ottawa and he went back. About two years ago he came back here by himself and stayed for some time to study English, I believe, to try to go to school here.” Egwilla was not born in Canada but came here in 2000. He stayed until he finished high school and then went back to Libya.
In the Libya Observer, Auwais father explains his son's motivation in going to fight in Benghazi:“My son, Auwais, wanted to fight the anti-revolution “green-flag holders” in Benghazi, he wanted to fight out of his patriotism as he could not accept that such as the rogue General, Khalifa Haftar, would rule Libya after it had been liberated.” He said, stressing that Auwais represents the only legitimate government in Libya; the General National Congress and the Salvation Government. “My son has always told me that we have tasted the flavor of freedom, we have smelled the liberation aroma everywhere in Libya, and now Haftar and his conspiring followers want to deprive us of those sublime emotions.”However, the internationally recognized government is not the General National Congress (GNC) but the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk. In fighting against the HoR while supporting the GNC and being an Islamist, he will be considered a terrorist by Haftar and many others. Haftar'sOperating Dignity begun in May of 2014 is meant to rid Libya of Islamists, including any militias loyal to the GNC. Misellati also suggested his father encouraged his son to fight because he opposed Haftar. His father said his son wanted to go and had asked permission, which he gave.
Somewhat surprisingly, the father had a message of tolerance and forgiveness for those who killed his son telling the Libya Observer: “They killed my son as he was fighting for the good of his homeland, yet I ask them to come and be part of the Libyan-Libyan dialogue, I ask them to disown the UN agreement and the foreign agenda government.”The UN insists there is no alternative to its Government of National Accord (GNA) and sees the Libya-Libya dialogue, that is attempting for forge an agreement between the rival governments through negotiations only with Libyans, as an obstacle to realizing UN plans.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Even if Trump becomes president Americans should not come to Canada

When Donald Trump won big on Super Tuesday in the race to become the presidential contender for the Republicans in the next election, searches for "how to move to Canada" jumped well over 1,000 percent in one day.

Perhaps the floodgates will be open and we will need to build a wall to keep Americans out — just as Trump wants a wall along the Mexican border with the U.S. to keep out Mexicans. Maybe if Trump wins, the flow will reverse itself. The idea of building a wall along the U.S. border with Canada is not new:
Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin,.. has been ridiculed online since raising the idea of building a mammoth security wall along the Canada-U.S. border.Now, perhaps Canada should revive the idea to keep Americans out. A UK comedy show has a scheme that shows considerable entrepreneurial skill to fund the wall, as shown on the appended video.
We used to have a federal investor program in which you could effectively buy citizenship but this has been discontinued at the federal level. It will be difficult to move to Canada unless you have quite a bit of money. Claiming refugee status because Trump is president is not likely to work. He cannot be that bad a person since all the other Republican candidates vow to support him if they do not win the nomination. It could have been worse. Hillary Clinton could have won.
Just to start the process, you need to help to reduce the Canadian debt:To begin, there is a $75 non-refundable application fee, and another $475 non-refundable fee for the principal application for permanent residence. If you would like to bring a spouse, be ready to cough up an additional $550, also non-refundable. Have children or other family members? That will be another $150 each and, you guessed it, if your application is denied, you don’t get your money back.
If you are self-employed or an entrepreneur you will need to pay a $1,050 fee for a permanent resident visa application. For a family of four you can end up paying between $1,400 and $1,975 to simply ask. Then come the costs of relocation.
According to Yahoo News:“A family of four looking to relocate inside Toronto, close to transit and all the business in the city, may be looking at about $3,000 a month in rent. That's before utilities, which could cost about $200 a month extra. If you're cool with about a 2-hour commute to the city, you could find a place in Toronto's suburbs for about $1,500 a month, but because landlords are not required to pay any utilities — including heat, water or air conditioning — the costs can really rack up. And good luck if you're looking for all this without a job set up in advance."Vancouver would be just as bad. Prices might be better in Alberta now but then there are no jobs there as the province's economy is very dependent on oil production.
Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, welcomed Americans planning to come to America at a global town hall meeting hosted by HuffPost Canada:"Cape Breton is lovely, all times of the year. I'm not going to pick a fight with Donald Trump right now. But I'm not going to support him either, obviously. I prefer to trust that my American friends will exercise their democratic rights with a level of the wisdom of crowds that always ends up coming through in a democracy.The reality is that we will work alongside our neighbors and allies regardless of the political choices they make."
Trudeau refused to say which presidential candidate he supports. He noted that in the past there have been many times when despite differences of ideologies between Canadian prime ministers and U.S. presidents, relationships have been positive and constructive.
A number of American celebrities have threatened to move to Canada should Trump win including: Rev. Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell and Cher. Jon Stewart had an even more extreme reaction, saying that he planned to escape Earth altogether. He is obviously a believer in U.S. imperialism. Ron Calabrese, a Canadian radio host, noted that Cape Breton has the most affordable housing market in North America.
The idea of fleeing to Canada phenomenon is not new. When George W. Bush had a commanding lead over John Kerry in the polls, the number of Canadian immigration applications tripled. Visits to the Immigration Department website went from 20,000 a day to 115,000 the day after Bush won the election. Although a few Americans followed through, the number of Americans coming to Canada the following year was unchanged. Most Americans will stay put even if Trump wins. Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, promised he would move to Costa Rica if the Affordable Care Act passed but still lives in Palm Beach Florida. However, if you don't like long winters and plenty of cold weather in most of the country Costa Rica might be a better choice to move to than Canada.

Friday, March 11, 2016

After two months, 6 year old Canadian child still remains on no-fly list

Syed Adam Ahmed is still having troubles because he is on a no-fly list even after considerable publicity about his case. The Liberal Public Safety minister, Ralph Goodale, promised to look into the matter two months ago.

Back in early January. Digital Journal had an article about Ahmed's problem. However, on Friday the six-year-old with his parents was unable to check in online for an Air Canada flight to Edmonton from Toronto. The family was traveling to a wedding on the weekend. Ahmed's mother, Khadija Cajee tweeted: “Our 6 year old is still on #NoFlyListKids. Still flagged at online checkin. When does it stop?” She also told the CBC:
 'He still is not afforded the same right to check in online as any other six-year-old child. When I go to try to check in, it gives me a security warning stating that the status cannot be completed and to see an agent at the airport. And that, we know, is because he's been flagged because he's on the list,"
The situation is somewhat improved in the boy and his family no longer have to go through several layers of security checks. However, he can still not check in online and he still has to be visually identified by airline staff. Cajee told 680 news: “He still needs to be visually identified, He’s just a child, he’s done nothing wrong.” When Cajee told the agent at the check-in counter on Saturday morning that Syed was on the no-fly list, she was told the family was cleared to fly: "They did need to see his face, but they didn't need to make an additional security call to have him cleared for check-in, so one of those steps has been eliminated...He still is not afforded the same right to check in online as any other six-year-old child in this country is afforded, so he`s still being marginalized in that respect."
Ahmed's problems have been ongoing since he was a toddler. Neither airlines nor government officials have given the family an explanation as to why Ahmed is on the list. The family assumes that their son has a name similar to that of someone rightfully on the watch list. Ahmed's case is far from unique. When his case received publicity around two dozen other families came forward with similar stories. Cajee would like to see her son's name removed completely from the no-fly list.
Goodale had sent a letter to the family in February telling them he informed airlines that additional security validation is not required for passengers younger than 18. While this has meant there is now less hassle there are still problems as noted. Goodale also said the government was exploring changes to the Secure Air Travel regulations that would help differentiate regular travels from individuals on the no-fly list with the same or similar names. Adding birth dates, addresses or social security numbers to security data could achieve this. Cajee worries that the government appears not to be able to quickly establish a way of distinguishing children from people with similar names who may be a genuine threat to the Canadian public.
Another factor makes it difficult for the Canadian government on its own to solve some of the issues. Ahmed and others may be appearing on a foreign list such as the US no-fly list, or even lists that the airlines themselves keep.
Another family with a son whose last name is Ahmed has the same problems as Syed Adam Ahmed. He has been constantly flagged since a youth but is now turning 18 in March.. Karen Ahmed the mother of Adam Ahmed is worried that once he is an adult the situation will be worse. While at first the family laughed off the extra security, they no longer do as they almost missed a flight home from India because their son had been flagged.
Goodale's spokesperson, Scott Bardsley, said the minister were aware of concerns such as those of the two Ahmed families but he gave no timeline for implementation of promised reforms.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/travel/after-2-months-canadian-6-year-old-still-on-no-fly-list/article/459401#ixzz42e7shVkp

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Canadian study will develop tools for mining social media for signs of mental illness

Every minute of every day there are about 347,000 tweets on Twitter. On Facebook there are 293,000 statuses. Four hundred hours of YouTube videos are uploaded.

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Facebook users Liked more than 4.1 million posts per minute in the most recent year. Twitter users tweeted more than 347,000 times, a considerable increase from 277,000 last year. Apple uses downloaded 51,000 apps, a slight increase from 48,000 a year before.
This data is being mined by marketers in order to produce target ads, but it is also being used by governments, scientists, and law enforcement agencies to help with their needs.The data has been used for purposes as diverse as predicting epidemics and foiling cyber-terrorists. Soon the data will be mined as a means to identify and monitor people who show signs of mental illness on line.
Minister of Science in the Liberal government, Kirsty Duncan announced that as part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada's (NSERC) Strategic Partnership Grants that $464,100 had been granted to Diana Inkpen of the University of Ottawa. The grant was for a three-year-long project callled "Social web mining and sentiment analysis for mental illness detection".
The researchers are not just at the University of Ottawa but at the University of Alberta and also at Montpellier University in France. The team will used social media data to screen for individuals who are at risk of mental health issues. Inkpen said to CBC news: "We want to look at what kind of emotions people express, and then we will focus in particular on negative emotions that might show some early signs of possible mental disorders, It could be depression, it could be anorexia, it could be other kinds of early mental illness signs."
The researchers intend to develop tools that could be used by doctors, psychologists, school counselors and other researchers that would enable them to flag certain patterns found in posts by those using social media.
Inkpen said that data would be collected from public sites such as Twitter, public medical forums, and different interest groups on Facebook.
Ottawa-based company Advanced Symbolics is partnering with scientists to collect data from social media in both French and English. The Inkpen team will use algorithms in order to discover patterns within the data and to predict what these patterns mean. The algorithms can pick up such patterns as strong very negative emotions that appear frequently or over a long period. Changes in online activities can be picked up as well. If a doctor's patient agreed to be monitored in this way, the doctor could receive automatic alerts should the patterns indicate a risk for the patient.
Tools for detecting possible cyber-bullying could be used to notify parents or school counselors if a child begins to post very angry or strange messages on line. Inkpen admitted that the tools developed could be harmful if in the wrong hands. However, she was nevertheless confident that there would be many positive potential uses for the tools the group hopes to unveil in 2018.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Liberals to repeal Conservative immigration bill

Immigration Minister John MacCallum has introduced legislation in the federal parliament that repeals the law passed by the former Harper government that stripped dual Canadian citizens of their citizenship if convicted of terrorism-related offenses.

The Liberals promised during their 2015 election campaign that they would repeal the law. The promise was applauded by many lawyers, civil rights activists and others. So far the law has been used to deprive only one person of his citizenship — Zakaria Amara, the ringleader of the so-called Toronto 18who were charged back in 2006 with planning "to detonate a truck bomb in downtown Toronto, storm Parliament Hill and behead the prime minister."
Amara, also a Jordanian citizen, was convicted back in 2010 and sentenced to life in prison. Although he is eligible for parole this year, he is unlikely to be released given the nature of his crimes. The group had been infiltrated by Mubin Shaikh, who worked on behalf of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Amara is not likely a popular choice to receive his citizenship back.
However, McCallum said that the power of the government to strip a person of citizenship because they happen to commit a terrorist offence while being a citizen of another country should be removed as a "matter of principle." As McCallum put it: "A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian." There are not two classes of citizens with different rights those who are not dual citizens and those who are. Justin Trudeau had used the exact same phrasing in arguing against Stephen Harper during a leader debate in the 2015 campaign. Trudeau also said:"And you devalue the citizenship of every Canadian in this place and in this country when you break down and make it conditional for anybody." McCallum also noted: "It will still be possible to revoke citizenship, as it always has been, for those who misrepresent who they are or who are guilty of citizenship fraud. I think under the previous law there was a risk of a slippery slope. If one crime made you eligible for revocation this year, what crimes could be added next year?We do have a criminal justice system. We do have courts. We do have prisons where those convicted of crimes are sent. And that is the way in which we deal with this."The Harper government had used the euphemistic title "Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act" for their legislation.
When Amara's citizenship was revoked midway through the 2015 election campaign, the Conservative Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney,tweeted: "This man hated Canada so much, he planned on murdering hundreds of Canadians. He forfeited his own citizenship."Conservative MP Michelle Rempel was critical of the Liberal decision, saying:"Make no mistake. This bill is a win for Zakaria Amara and not many Canadians. A lot of Canadians will question the government's judgment with the decision made today."McCallum admitted that the optics of the situation were not that favorable: "My life might be a little simpler if there wasn't this one person out there. But the fact is, there is. So I am comfortable adhering to the point of principle that this applies across the board."
The Conservatives used Amara for their own political purposes during the campaign. It did not seem to work then and it may not work now either. The NDP was also opposed to the Conservative legislation. Tom Mulcair accused Harper of "strutting his stuff for his right-wing base." The French socialist government is planning the same type of legislation concerning dual citizens as the Conservatives. In the last six years, the UK has stripped almost 40 citizens of their citizenship and that includes some who were born in the UK.
The new bill also reduces the time immigrants must spend in Canada before they can apply for citizenship and it also eases the language requirements for new arrivals in Canada. The credit removed from international students was also restored. McCallum said of the removal:"The dumbest actually was taking away the 50 per cent credit for international students, because if there's any group in this country who would be good Canadians — they're educated, they know about this country, they speak English or French — it's them. So why punch them in the nose when we're trying to attract them here in competition with Australia, the U.K. and others?"
Even Al Jazeera noticed that the Liberals were repealing the Conservative citizenship law. The paper notes that the move was applauded by Laura Track, a counsel for the BC Civill Liberties unions, who said: "We applaud the government for introducing these changes to restore equal citizenship in Canada. Bill C-24 was discriminatory and unconstitutional."Rona Ambrose, CPC's interim leader, has expressed concern over Amara's citizenship status via Twitter, saying that the government announcement "bestows Canadian citizenship on a convicted terrorist." Conservative MP Rempel also criticized the government: "I would like to think that the first principle that we put forward, that we're not celebrating people that commit terrorist actions against our country."
Raj Sharma, a Canadian immigration lawyer, was critical of the Conservatives, saying: "They're signaling to their base that they they're tough on [terrorism]. That was pandering to the gallery, done for political purposes." The new bill should easily pass through the parliament as the Liberals have a majority.