First there was the war on drugs, then on terror: meet Elizabeth May’s new war on reality
More than a decade ago, the late-conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that the “intellectual left” would find its salvation after communism’s death through radical environmentalism.
“Green” would become the new “Red”, so to speak.
Haven’t paid much attention to the Canadian election or don’t know all the leaders running this election?
Not to worry, Vancouver-based YouTube host and Washington Post political columnist J.J. McCullough has you covered.
McCullough’s thorough video “Describing everyone running for Prime Minister of Canada” already has over 122,000 views since being published a week ago, far exceeding what CBC’s failing flagship “The National” typically gets on its YouTube videos.
Perhaps he beats the state-funded “public broadcaster” because he’s more balanced, but you be the judge.
The looming spectre of climate change overshadowed last night’s debate. Leader’s spoke
If you were to believe polls, climate change seems to be on everybody’s mind. The threat of flooding, forest fires,
With the amount of concern and hand-wringing going on over this issue around the country, you would think that we’ve lost many loved ones to the climate scourge.
Of course, it is to be said that people have indeed lost homes and livelihoods to flooding and fires. Their suffering is not to be overlooked, and in fact, some people have passed away. In 2018, over 90 people died from deaths related to a heatwave in Quebec. This statistic is tragic and we should mourn it.
Yet if 90 or more deaths and numerous home losses can sweep up the attention of an entire country, what about 13,000 dead Canadians and counting, most of whom passed away from accidental death? What about the countless broken homes, and ruined futures? What about the sons and daughters of this country forced onto the street because of the great blight of opiate addiction?
Will this monumental crisis garner the attention of the country, or incite global marches and protests for the young victims whose futures were stolen from them?
While national leaders parade their shiny new economic and green energy plans, provincial and municipal governments desperately struggle for solutions, any solution to deal with the growing number of people dropping like flies or being funnelled through addiction and mental health centres.
The fact of the matter is that opiate addiction does not care about your socioeconomic class, the colour of your skin or your education, it can happen to anybody.
Imagine over 10,000 people were dying from climate change related disasters. Imagine the outrage and frantic committees and collective action. It would be monumental. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent on the issue of the opiate crisis, only a deafening silence from both the media and our politicians.
Without a national strategy, all we have to offer are band-aids for a plague that afflicts Canadians from coast to coast.
Canada’s only English-language debate with all parties present took place tonight, and it did not disappoint.
Off the bat, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer got Trudeau with a remark about Trudeau’s infamous blackface incident.
“Justin Trudeau only pretends to stand up for Canada. He’s very good at pretending things. He can’t even remember how many times he put
Scheer’s comment alludes to the fact that, after the first photo had been released of Trudeau at an Arabian Nights themed party, he admitted to one other incident of wearing makeup, while singing Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat Song. This fell apart when the next morning, a third incident appeared, again appearing in full black face.
Sparks flew shortly after when Green Party Leader Elizabeth May butted heads with People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier, who lambasted May’s policies, comparing them to the failed socialist state of Venezuela.
“I appreciate you, but I don’t share your socialist policies. We won’t be able to create any wealth with your policies. You have the same sort of policies as socialist countries like Venezuela. You won’t create any wealth. You have to admit that.”
Much discussion was given to Quebec’s controversial religious symbols law Bill 21. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was challenged by the moderator and other federal leaders over his refusal to intervene in the province’s decision.
In response, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet stood by his province’s law citing provincial sovereignty.
As the night went on, New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh again made his position clear regarding his thoughts on Maxime Bernier. Only two weeks ago, Singh publicly announced that he believed Bernier and his party had no place on the debate stage, stating that he should not be invited to the event.
Singh did not shy away from that motion tonight. Rather, he told Bernier directly, telling him that he “incites hatred,” that he does not deserve a platform, and that his ideas were harmful to Canada.
It was at this point that Bernier counter-punched at Singh, questioning his commitment to freedom of speech.
“You’re for diversity. But what about diversity of opinion?” asked Bernier. “I have the right to have another opinion about immigration, and I don’t know why—you’re a leader, yet you must try to have everybody on your side. But are you believing in free speech only when people are saying things that you want to hear?”
Near the end of the debate, Andrew Scheer went after Justin Trudeau for his constant attacks on Conservative Premiers including Doug Ford and Jason Kenney suggesting that he should consider running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party instead of the prime minister’s job.
“There is a vacancy for the Ontario Liberal leadership, and if you’re so focused on provincial politics, go and run for the leadership of that party,” said Scheer to applause.
Overall, the discussion was fairly civilized, with each leader having their moment in the spotlight. The six will meet again in just three days time for the French language debate on October 10.
Despite a flurry of media interest in the recently-revealed U.S. citizenship of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, far less interest has been given to the ambiguous citizenship of another federal party leader—Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
May was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1954 and emigrated with her family to Nova Scotia in 1973. In 1978 she became a citizen of Canada.
But did she ever give up her U.S. citizenship?
Losing U.S. citizenship is a complex process as the government of the United States generally operates on the assumption that all American-born citizens intend to retain their citizenship forever unless a desire to renounce it is explicitly made. This is because U.S. citizenship for every person born on U.S. soil has been a guaranteed constitutional right since 1868, when the 14th Amendment was passed.
Despite this, there are a lot of urban legends floating around that suggest U.S. citizenship can be lost easily or “automatically” simply by becoming a citizen of another country, serving in a foreign army, becoming a politician in another country, or similar expressions of a “new loyalty.”
Over the years, Elizabeth May has offered up a number of similarly confused and contradictory theories of why she thinks she is not a U.S. citizen anymore. All seem to rely far more on layman’s hunch than law.
In a 2012 tweet, she claimed “I am only a Canadian citizen since renouncing US citizenship,” but in 2014 she clarified that, in her opinion, “Becoming a Canadian citizen and swearing allegiance to #Queen=renouncing,” which is not legally accurate. Thousands of people born in the United States have retained their U.S. citizenship after moving to Canada and formally becoming Canadian citizens, a process which often includes taking an oath to Elizabeth II.
In a February 2014 letter to the Globe and Mail, responding to a previous letter-writer who had described her as a dual “Canadian-American” citizen May replied “ I am not a dual citizen. I am a Canadian citizen and have been since 1978. Any doubt about citizenship is resolved in swearing the oath to Her Majesty the Queen in becoming a Member of Parliament. The U.S. accepts such acts as renunciation, lest there be any doubt.” A few months later, an article in the Vancouver Sun noted that May “never formally obtained” a Certificate of Loss of Nationality—the legal document held by ex-American citizens who have successfully completed the renunciation process—and instead simply “believes” she lost her US citizenship “when she became a member of Parliament in Canada.”
According to the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs, however, while running for or obtaining a “policy-level” position in a foreign government may be a “potentially expatriating act” for U.S. citizens, the U.S. government “will seek to ascertain the individual’s intent to retain or relinquish his or her U.S. nationality upon accepting the policy level position with a foreign government.” In other words, the U.S. citizen must be proactive. “An individual assuming such a position who wishes to relinquish U.S. Nationality,” the USBCA’s website continues, “may come to Post and follow the required steps to complete the Certificate of Loss of Nationality application process.”
The Post Millennial spoke to two immigration lawyers who said an American has to go through a formal process to get rid of their U.S. citizenship, and if May didn’t do this she is almost certainly still legally considered an American citizen by the U.S. government.
A relevant example would be U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, who was born in New York in 1964 but immigrated to England with his family as a child. Despite going on to serve in British politics for decades, including as a member of parliament, mayor of London, and cabinet minister (all of which, incidentally, presumably involved taking oaths to Queen Elizabeth), Johnson remained a legal U.S. citizen until 2016, when, as part of his pursuit of the British prime ministership, he went through the formal process of renouncing his American citizenship.
Johnson’s decision to renounce his citizenship was also partially motivated by tax reasons—an increasingly common reason for U.S.-born persons living abroad to opt-out of their American citizenship. The U.S. government expects all U.S. citizens to file a tax return regardless of where they live.
When asked for comment by The Post Millennial a Green Party spokesperson claimed May’s “American citizenship was revoked when she became Canadian in 1978, as per U.S. laws at the time.”
The Green Party did not respond to request for clarification on which “laws” May is referring to and The Post Millennial was unable to find any evidence of “laws” that automatically revoked US citizenship from Americans who became citizens of another country between 1954 and 1978.
Since American citizenship for people born in the United States is a constitutional right, the U.S. government cannot “revoke” it from people through simple legislation. In 1967 Supreme Court ruled in the case of Afroyim v. Rusk that Congress cannot revoke US citizenship without the voluntary consent of the citizen.
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs states that a “U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. Citizenship.”
Though becoming a citizen of another country can be used as an act of an intent to renounce U.S. citizenship, since the U.S. government cannot revoke citizenship unilaterally, the burden of proof remains on the American to prove she consciously and purposely became a citizen of another country in order to renounce her U.S. citizenship. All acts of deliberate citizenship renunciation must be done with the awareness of a local U.S. diplomatic or consular office. The Green Party did not reply to a follow-up question regarding if May had ever applied for or received diplomatic confirmation of her alleged loss of citizenship.
Andrew Scheer’s attitude to his birthright citizenship has apparently borne more resemblance to Johnson’s legal carefulness than May’s flippant disinterest. According to recent media reports, Scheer has always filed a perfunctory tax return with the IRS over the years, registered with U.S. selective service, and initiated the formal bureaucratic process of renouncing his citizenship in August.
Last week May spoke to reporters on Scheer’s citizenship, and continued her claim that her citizenship was revoked, which was unquestioningly reported as the truth by outlets like CTV.
But is that the truth?