Sunday, June 7, 2009

Citizenship of Convenience

Letter to The Globe and Mail, June 6, 2009. Unpublished.

Canada, it seems, has yet to learn the a difference between being a generous nation and a foolish one. Of the 2.7 million people with Canadian citizenship living abroad, more than half are believed to have dual citizenship, and be permanent residents of their country of origin (Canada's relationship with Lebanon, June 5).

These Canadians hold passports of convenience which they wave with patriotic fervour when they need a bolt hole. The evacuation of 15,000 "Canadians" during the 2006 Lebanese troubles cost us an estimated $65 million. We may be certain the owners of available ships boosted their rates when they learned Canada was involved.

More frightening is the possibility of these non-taxpaying "Canadians" swamping our health care system. Many of them maintain false Canadian addresses ( mainly in Quebec) in order to qualify for medicare or other benefit should the need arise.

Clearly there are two classes of Canadians: Those who pay taxes and those who free load.

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