NEWS RELEASE | Oct. 14, 2004 | Andrew Telegdi, P.C., M.P. Kitchener-Waterloo

Contact: Reevin Vinetsky 613-996-7890


The Hon. Andrew Telegdi, Member of Parliament for Kichener-Waterloo, was elected today as the Chair of the Standing Committee of Citizenship & Immigration. In September, he declined the offer of the Prime Minister to become his Parliamentary Secretary so he could focus on the resolution of the issue of citizenship rights.

Under the previous Prime Minister, Telegdi was not allowed to sit on the citizenship committee as he resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration on May 16, 2000 when he opposed the flawed citizenship revocation process in Bill C-16, the proposed Citizenship Act that denied nearly six million naturalized Canadians their legal rights provided under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In the previous government Telegdi voted against major pieces of legislation regarding immigration, citizenship and terrorism because they contravened the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He also fought to eliminate the democratic deficit and for the right of committees to elect their own chairpersons.

His continued fight for the citizenship rights of naturalized Canadians was bolstered by the January 6, 2004 ruling of the Honourable Mr. Justice Robert D. Reilly of the Superior Court of Ontario where he said:

�There can be no question that the revocation of citizenship, ��.., triggers s. 7 of the Charter. A revocation of citizenship engages both liberty interests and security of the person.�

In the Throne Speech of October 5, 2004 the government said that its actions would be guided by seven commitments including: �to defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and be a steadfast advocate of inclusion�. They also said that: �It will modernize Canada�s Citizenship Act to reaffirm the responsibilities and rights of Canadian citizenship��

On the occasion of his election, Telegdi said:

�It is wrong that in the current revocation process for politicians revoke a person�s citizenship in secret meeting and is in contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Citizenship revocation should be done by the Courts, free from political interference.

It is time that the government respects the citizenship rights of naturalized Canadians and ensures that the new Citizenship Act respects the legal Rights Section 7 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms�.

Last week Mr. Telegdi was also elected chair of the Liberal Party South-West Caucus.