Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maybe he is listening?

How it works Jason Kenney. Calgary Herald. Calgary, Alta.: Jan 23, 2009. pg. A.21

Re: "Critics attack new citizenship rules," Jan. 16.

The law will simplify citizenship rules. It will also ensure future generations of Canadians have a real connection to this country and that citizenship is not passed down endlessly through generations living outside Canada.With few exceptions, the ability to acquire citizenship by descent will be limited to people born in the first generation outside Canada.

This limitation applies equally to Canadian children born outside Canada to a Canadian parent, and to children who are adopted abroad and become Canadian before they enter Canada. Children who are adopted abroad and who acquire citizenship after entering Canada will be treated the same as a child born here --any of their children born abroad would also be Canadian. But subsequent generations would not.

The article suggests the new rules could, in some rare cases, create stateless children if they don't obtain citizenship from either oftheir parents or from their country of birth. In such a case, the parent could sponsor the child for permanent residence and then immediately apply for the child's citizenship.The new law includes a statelessness provision that provides another option to gain Canadian citizenship. This provision fulfils Canada'sobligations under the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Jason Kenney,Ottawa

Jason Kenney is Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Credit: Jason Kenney; Calgary Herald

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Citizenship Rules Coming

There has been an interesting development in Canadian citizenship law. After April 17th, children who are born abroad and obtain Canadian citizenship, either through a citizenship application process, or by virtue of being born abroad to Canadian citizens, will no longer have the right of Canadian citizenship for any of their born-abroad children. Make sense?

Glen McGregor has put in more clearly in an Ottawa Citizen article you can find blogged here.

On the surface, this seems to be a reasonable law. Its intent, of course, is to prevent generations of people living outside the county, who have no ties to Canada other than a Canadian great-grandma, from having automatic Canadian citizenship. Fair enough.

But for those of us with internationally-adopted children, it is troubling. To be clear, this regulation won't affect my son, or any child who already has citizenship. But here's what the future scenario could be:

A family has one child by birth and one child by adoption. The adopted child was born in China (or Russia, or Taiwan, or Ethiopia, etc...). The family decides, when the children are teenagers, to leave Canada- maybe Mom lands a big job with a Fortune 500 company in the US (we'll imagine improved economic times, ok!?!). The kids go to high school and college in the States, they both fall in love and have their own children. The children of the non-adopted child have dual citizenship- Canadian and US. The children of the adopted sibling have NO claim to Canadian citizenship. SO, half the grandkids get to call themselves Canadian, half don't.

Is this fair?

Obviously, foreign-born-internationally-adopted Canadian kids are a special subset of born-abroad Canadians, who were not meant to be targeted by this new law. They require an exemption that is unambiguous and automatic.

Jason Kenney, are you listening?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snow Day... sort of...

Well, the weather here is not so nice today. We're getting snow, with high winds and blizzard-like conditions expected before it all turns to rain. The schools were closed, so the kids are home. Campus wasn't closed, though. SO, I had a predicament: drag the kids out to my mother, go to class, try to get back home in the height of the bad weather OR make an executive decision and cancel class?

Since I'm blogging, you've probably figured out that I cancelled class.

First-time EVER. Unless the entire campus has been shut down, I have NEVER cancelled a class in 11 years. I have gone to class with mastitis and a fussy newborn being rocked in my office. I have taught class in the middle of a migraine (wow, that must have been fun for the students!). I've taught with laryngitis and stomach flu. I have driven to class and home again in the middle of more than one snowstorm.

But not today. And, amazingly, I feel no guilt at all.

A friend of mine said she started thinking differently about things the year she turned 40. Maybe that's what is going on here.

I LOVE 40!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Talking a little shop...

In my (a-hem) "professional" life, one of my growing research interests has been dog behaviour and cognition. I've been a dog and, for that matter, all other manner of living creature, fanatic since childhood (fact: I could identify most AKC and CKC-recognized breeds by age 11). Seeing as I get paid to study animal behaviour, it occurred to me a few years ago that maybe I should start thinking about working with domestic dogs (my research has been mostly bird-focused). Anyways, one fantastic collaborator and two graduate students later, the scienctific study of dog behaviour is starting to become a larger part of my world.

A few years ago, I ran into a book written by Jean Donaldson called "Culture Clash". I haven't met Jean irl but she is an ex-pat Canadian, she is irreverent, hilarious, and I agree with an awful lot of what she writes about dogs. Her latest book is linked below. I've not finished it yet, but it is a great read for anyone who lives with (or works with) dogs. While you are on her website, check out her Chow Buffy's blog (just too funny...)

Oh Behave! - Friday, 09 January 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcoming 2009!

Wishing everyone the best that the new year has to bring!