Dual Citizen Canadians Feel The Pinch Under New Air Travel Requirements

By Gerry Weiner | August 29, 2016

g-weinerHon. Gerry Weiner – Pace Immigration: The bureaucracy in Ottawa has come up with a new way to make life harder on Canadian travelers:

Canadian citizens with dual citizenships will soon be allowed to fly into the country only if they have a Canadian passport.

The policy will come into effect Sept. 30 as a final phase of Canada’s move to an electronic screening system to step up border security and boost exit control of travellers, including Canadians on government benefits.

The upcoming requirement has caught many by surprise calling the practice “discriminatory” against dual citizens and a money grab, and is expected to create havoc as travellers with dual Canadian citizenships may find out only at the last minute when trying to board on a flight.

Dual Citizens

The requirement is a side effect of the new electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) scheme, in which every foreigner, other than an American, must receive a quasi-visa before coming to Canada. Canadians, of course, are exempt. There are a number of things wrong with this passport regulation:

  • Why aren’t the rules the same for land, sea and air? If a dual-citizen Canadian enters Canada by plane, they will now have to show a Canadian passport. But if they arrive in a car or a boat, they will not. Why not?
  • It takes between 15 and 45 days to get a passport. Naturally, the more you pay, the faster you get it. So any dual-citizen Canadian who sees this news in the next couple of weeks is not only going to be inconvenienced, but will also have to pay out more money.
  • Former Quebec residents will require a birth certificate from the Prothonotary’s office in Quebec dated post-1994. All prior birth certificates will not be valid. Replacing it will take months and, of course, these people will be charged more money to boot.
  • Trips are often scheduled on short notice due to illness, business and other factors. These new rules will discourage some non-essential travel and impose serious costs on anyone who simply needs to make a short trip.
  • Perhaps the biggest injustice is that the government’s treatment of you is not based upon your citizenship but rather your residency.

I hope the government reconsiders their application of this program and amends it appropriately to make it fair for allCanadians.