CITIZENSHIP ISSUES AFFECTING ALL WARBRIDES AND THEIR KIN|
In August 2006, Joe Taylor won a court decision regarding his Canadian citizenship. In September 2006 the Harper government in Ottawa appealed that victory. In Nov 2007, the federal court ruled against Joe.
In Dec 2007 the Canadian Parliament acted to right this wrong. Congratulations Joe Taylor, Don Chapman, and all lost Canadians and thank you for your persistence.For more full information see Melynda Jarratt's page at:
Eswyn's testimony to the Parliamentary committee on citizenship
Nov 12, 2007
- Jan 2011
Jan 2, 2011
- CBC.CA: Jan 1, 1947, the very first Canadian citizens were sworn
- In the years to come, warbrides and their children ran into difficulties with it. Imagine coming in 1946, then living in Canada for 60 years then going for a passport and being denied because there was no record of your citizenship?
Until 1947, Canada was a nation without citizens. "Canadians" were simply British subjects living in Canada. It was an embarrassment for a country that emerged from the Second World War with a strong sense of nationhood. On Jan. 1, 1947, the Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect and Canadians finally became "Canadian citizens."
- Oct 2010
Oct 29, 2010
- Sept 2010
Sept 8, 2010
- Are you Canadian? Can you prove it? Ask Sandra Burke
- She came to Canada when she was six. Her dad was Canadian, who married a Massachusetts woman who died just before Sandra and her father relocated. Her dad then abandoned her, and after a stay in an orphanage, she went to Toronto and P.E.I. with her dad's mother. Her grandmother was given the entry documents to Canada.
Those documents have disappeared and Citizenship and Immigration Canada refuses to look in their archives.
Now sixty-six years of age, she faces deportation and loss of old age benefits.
- Vancouver Sun: Are you Canadian? Can you prove it?
- Sept 2010
Sept 8, 2010
- Priscilla Corrie, 87, cannot get a passport
- Since she was 20, Priscilla Corrie has believed that she was Canadian. The war bride had no reason not to. Up until a few years ago, she never had a problem getting a passport. She receives old age security and a veterans pension. At 87, it was a huge slap in the face when Canadian Citizenship and Immigration told her she was no longer eligible for a passport.
Mrs. Corrie's story is appalling and Kafka-esque. She is caught in a bureaucratic maze. Trapped there, Mrs. Corrie has missed out on three important events in her life -- the marriages of two of her grandchildren in Australia and the birth of her first great-grandchild.
- Vancouver Sun: Canadian warbride denied passport
- Express yourself: E-mail Citizenship minister Jason Kenny
- May 2008
- Eswyn's update on citizenship legislation
- Bill C-37 passed into law a couple of weeks ago after a very bumpy ride through Parliament and the Canadian Senate. Even though this has happened it takes a full year for the law to come into effect. All war brides are indebted to Don Chapman who has devoted his life during the past years to reinstate the citizenship rights of all Lost Canadians (war-bride issues as well as many other categories of Lost Canadians) and to Melynda Jarratt who has fought unceasingly for War Brides and their overseas-born children's rights. Both have spent weeks, in Don's case months, in Ottawa lobbying on behalf of Lost Canadians, I might add at much cost to themselves in every way including their stress levels. If you are a war bride or the overseas-born child of a war bride, please send e-mails showing appreciation for their remarkable efforts and even more remarkable results.
- Don Chapman: email@example.com
- Melynda Jarratt: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A new law came into effect April 17, 2009, which amended the Citizenship Act. The new law gives Canadian citizenship to certain individuals who lost it and to others who will be recognized as citizens for the first time. Citizenship will be automatic and retroactive to the date of loss or date of birth, depending on the situation. Also, all individuals who are Canadian citizens at the time the law comes into effect will keep their citizenship.
- Click here for info on retaining citizenship
- Click here for info on sponsoring a relative
- Click here for info on proving your citizenship
- Feb 2008 - Eswyn's report on Joe Taylor's citizenship ceremony
held in Vancouver Jan 24, 2008
Feb 4, 2008
If you have never witnessed a Citizenship Ceremony I highly recommend that you do so. Joe's of course was particularly moving, given that so many people in the audience had worked hard to persuade the government that it was richly deserved.
Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, planned to attend but had to cancel when her doctor advised against air travel. Standing in for Ms Finley was Ed Komarnicki her parliamentary secretary.
Perhaps the most affecting part, other than the main ceremony itself, was the welcome to this country by Hereditary Chief Adam Dick of the Kwaw-Kwaw-Aplitt people of Vancouver Island (unbelievably Chief Dick's father had also been denied citizenship and even more unbelievably he is not the only First Nation Canadian to find himself/herself embroiled in that lunatic manifestation of bureaucracy!)
Chief Kim Clutesi-Recalma (see * below) translated Chief Dick's words for us and explained the significance of his ceremonial dance.
Standing at the front with Joe were Chinese Canadian Veterans of World War II, one of whom had landed on D-Day as Joe's father had, and poet and author Roy Miki, advocate for Japanese Canadians who were interned during the war. In the audience were three war brides, Zoe Boone, Gwen Zdradicka and yours truly.
The Citizenship Judge was Chinese Canadian Sandra Wilking who struck just the right note of dignity interspersed with flashes of humour. As when she introduced Mr. Komarnicki, remarking that she has difficulty speaking Ukranian, "come to think of it I'm not so good with English!" even though she most certainly was.
I'm sure you can imagine the feeling that swept the room as the ceremony proceeded and then Joe held up his long-awaited certificate of Canadian citizenship. Afterwards Melynda Jarratt spoke eloquently of Joe's struggle. Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi, a great advocate of citizenship reform, spoke. He had chaired several Standing Committees on Citizenship and Immigration before which Joe, Kim Clutesi-Recalma, and I all gave evidence back in April 2005, each on different issues. He was followed by Don Chapman, who incidentally still does not have his citizenship, who reminded us of the many Lost Canadians who are still needing our support.
* I have known Kim ever since she and Bill worked to bring a branch of the Canadian Arthritis Society to the Parksville/Qualicum area of the Island.
- Click here for pics of Eswyn's trip to, and of Joe's ceremony
- click here for Vancouver Sun pic of Joe and his certificate
- Dec 2007
Dec 11, 2007
- Excerpt from the Vancouver Sun Friday, December 07, 2007
The battle is over for Joe Taylor. After a losing six-year legal struggle
against the federal government to regain his Canadian citizenship, Taylor,
the son of a Vancouver Island war veteran, has been granted citizenship
under a rare discretionary cabinet order.
His story is well known by those who have followed the plight of the
so-called Lost Canadians, people stripped of their citizenship under
obscure, archaic and discriminatory provisions of Canada's citizenship laws.
- I think this says it all! I had an excited phone call from Joe, from
England. and he is one happy man.
- Dec 2007
Dec 4, 2007
- Nov 2007
- Federal appeal rules against Joe Taylor - are war-brides next?
- The Citizenship of War Brides, and their Overseas-Born Children, an Intolerable Situation
Just yesterday we remembered those we lost in the war and those who suffered for so long afterwards from their physical and psychological wounds. Ceremonies across Canada took place in the aftermath of the devastating news that the Canadian citizenship of war brides and of their overseas-born children has been struck down.
- War brides everywhere cannot have failed to see the media coverage of the Joseph Taylor vs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada litigation . After hearing Mr. Taylor's first case, Justice Luc Martineau warned that his decision could have wide- ranging ramifications. The Justice found overwhelmingly in favour of Mr. Taylor, ordering that his Citizenship be immediately restored, and also awarded him costs. Instead of complying, Citizenship and Immigration saw fit to appeal. The verdict from the appeal was rendered early this month. The Victoria Times Colonist report, dated November 3, 2007, carried this alarming statement:
- What this ruling says is that the government's wartime Order giving the families of returning war veterans the same citizenship rights as the soldiers themselves, is meaningless.
Rory Morahan, Mr. Taylor's lawyer.
- The Order referred to is Order in Council No. 858, dated Ottawa, February 9, 1945, authorised by the wartime Governor General of Canada, Major General the Earl of Athlone, uncle of King George VI.
- War brides had been universally informed by Canadian authorities overseas that upon marriage they would remain British Subjects and gain the same status in Canada as their husbands. We had all heard of British women marrying citizens of other countries and becoming stateless, so we were glad to be assured that there was no danger of this happening to us! Life changing decisions were made on the basis of this information.
- We were welcomed to Canada as citizens. Prime Minister McKenzie King addressed us as such, as did Lester B. Pearson, and Canada's official war historian, Colonel C.P. Stacey. Many others, including Immigration officers at Pier 21, Halifax, did the same.
- This is a wakeup call for all of us, for war brides, their children, and their grand-children. Those born in Canada have no problem, but surely they will stand up for the righs of their mother or grandmother, their uncles or aunts.
- It is time that Prime Minister, Stephen Harper email@example.com; the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley firstname.lastname@example.org and your local Member of Parliament are all bombarded with the strongest possible protests. Joe Taylor's stated intention is to take his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, but he has already spent a great deal of his life savings. It is time as well to lend our support to him through his legal fund $2 from everyone would be wonderful, but better make it $5 - not everyone will respond. Eswyn.
(Please consult Melynda Jarratt's comprehensive website for extracts from media across the country. Googling "Melynda Jarratt Canadian war brides" connects you every time.)
- JOE TAYLOR'S TRUST FUND -
Donations, large and small, may be made to:
"Joe Taylor in Trust - Legal fees"
The Royal Bank of Canada
1079 Douglas Street. Victoria, B C V8W 2C5
Bank transit no: 08000
Bank number: 003
Account number: 525-448-7
- until advised, please do not donate the Joe's defense fund (see above).
Sept 19, 2007
- Joe won, but the Government appeals
Canada's Immigration Dept. appeals Joe Taylor's 2006 BC Federal Court ruling granting citizenship to War Brides and children in spite of warning by Justice Martineau that the case has ramifications "beyond Joe Taylor."
July 7, 2007
Joe Taylor awaits the Appeal of his court case. Because of several postponements of court dates Joe has been obliged to return to Britain. Our hearts go with you, Joe.
Nov 20, 2006
Will any WAR BRIDE or OVERSEAS-BORN CHILD OF A WAR
BRIDE who is experiencing problems
with Citizenship and Immigration Canada re
Citizenship or Canadian Passport Office (or has in the past) please
supply Eswyn with the story as she is preparing a
report on this problem.
- JOE TAYLOR'S TRUST FUND - Donations, large and small, may be made to:
Oct 27, 2006
Oct 5, 2006
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR of Warbride page
Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in support for Joe
Taylor and the war brides' Citizenship issues. Reprinted here by
I am both amazed and outraged that the government has decided to
take an appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of Joseph
Taylor v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. I am also
shocked by what I consider the slipshod and politically inept handling
of the entire War Brides file by your Department in recent years.
I have been following the case of Mr Taylor since it became public
last year. But much more is at stake here than the disputed
citizenship of one person whose claim may or may not be legally sound.
When the war brides landed at Pier 21 in Halifax in 1946, they were
told - one group, I believe, by Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King
himself - that they and their children were now Canadians, under Order
in Council P.C. 858 (February 9, 1945). So what are you defending by
denying Mr Taylor his citizenship - and possibly calling into question
the citizenship of tens of thousands more who for sixty years have
always considered themselves Canadians? Just how does this fit into
your government's vision of Canada? There was a time, sir, when your
Party would have been the first to stand up for this group of
I have also read Mr Justice Martineau's Reasons for Order in his
judgement dated September 1. As a layman I cannot comment on the
technical points of his ruling, but his analysis of Canadian
citizenship law before and since 1947 is the most thorough I have seen
anywhere. Can your lawyers better it? If not, you may well lose this
case, at needless cost to the taxpayer.
Six provinces have proclaimed 2006 as the Year of the War Bride.
The Government of Canada, which is responsible for citizenship and
brought the war brides here in the first place, has not. Shame, shame!
Without waiting for the outcome of the appeal, you can make amends
right now by directing your officials to remove the obstacles to this
group of Canadians claiming what is rightfully theirs.
You might start by making the information and instructions for war
brides and war bride children more readily accessible on your
Department's Web site - perhaps even on a special page.
Minister, this file has over the years become a disgraceful morass
of obfuscation and double-talk, as Senator Dallaire - himself a war
bride child born in The Netherlands in 1945, can attest from personal
experience. I see this as primarily a political and administrative
problem, not a legal one. To tell a group of people who were welcomed
to Canada as Canadians and have lived and worked here as Canadians all
their adult lives, that for reasons that cannot be explained they are
not Canadians, is both incompetent and unconscionable. Surely the time
has come to clean up this mess once and for all by giving the
surviving war brides and their children what they were promised at
Pier 21 - now a national historic site - sixty years ago. They deserve
no less. Have you the political will to do it? You have little or
nothing to lose and much to gain.
Leaving aside the case of Mr Taylor which is still before the
courts, I now have three questions for your officials. I shall expect
the answers to be as clear and concise as I have tried to make the
Q1. What was the legal status of the war brides and their
accompanying children when they arrived in Canada during and
immediately after the Second World War?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Q2. Did the war brides and their children who were
domiciled or ordinarily resident in Canada on January 1, 1947 become
Canadian citizens by operation of law on that date? If not, why not,
and what is their present status in Canada?
Q3. If the answer to Q2 is Yes, are the surviving war
brides and their children who did not acquire another citizenship
before February 15, 1977 still Canadian citizens? If not, how and
when did they lose their citizenship and how can they regain it?
R. H. Addington
Oct 4, 2006
|PRESS CONFERENCE MEDIA ADVISORY
HON. ANDREW TELEGDI P.C., M.P.,
PRESS CONFERENCE MEDIA
HON. ANDREW TELEGDI P.C., M.P.,
LIBERAL ASSOCIATE CRITIC FOR
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
BILL SIKSAY, M.P.
NDP CRITIC FOR
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
SENATOR ROMÉO DALLAIRE
WILL HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE
TODAY AT 3:45 PM (OCTOBER 4,
IN THE CHARLES LYNCH PRESS CONFERENCE ROOM
SUBJECT: THE CASE OF JOE TAYLOR AND THE CITIZENSHIP
ACTON SEPTEMBER 1, 2006, MR. JUSTICE LUC MARTINEAU OF THE
FEDERAL COURT ALLOWED THE APPLICATION OF JOE TAYLOR FOR CANADIAN
CITIZENSHIP AND DIRECTED THE MINISTER TO ISSUE MR. TAYLOR A
CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP.
MR. TAYLOR IS THE SON OF A CANADIAN WWII SOLDIER (BORN OUT OF
WEDLOCK). MARTINEAU BASED HIS ORDER ON HIS FINDING THAT THE
SECTIONS OF THE CITIZENSHIP ACT UPON WHICH MR. TAYLOR’S ORIGINAL
APPLICATION WAS DENIED ARE IN CONTRAVENE SECTION 1 OF THE CANADIAN
BILL OF RIGHTS AND SECTIONS 7 AND 15 OF THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. THE MINISTER IS APPEALING THE DECISION. THIS
IS AN OUTRAGE. THE CITIZENSHIP COMMITTEE OF THE 38TH PARLIAMENT OF
WHICH MR. TELEGDI AND MR. SIKSAY WERE MEMBERS, HELD HEARINGS IN
ALL PROVINCIAL CAPITALS, AND IN VANCOUVER, WATERLOO AND MONTREAL.
AT THE INVITATION OF THE THEN MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP, THE
COMMITTEE WROTE THREE REPORTS TO PARLIAMENT THE LAST OF WHICH WAS
CALLED UPDATING CANADA’S CITIZENSHIP LAWS: ITS TIME. IT MADE
RECOMMEDATIONS TO MAKE OUR CITIZENSHIP ACT CONFORM TO PROVISIONS
OF THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS
Sept 30, 2006
TAYLOR - HARPER GOV'T APPEALS DECISION TO GRANT HIM CITIZENSHIP -
On Sept 5 (below) we reported that Joe had won a court case against
the Canadian government, in effect granting him citizenship
Image at right courtesy of http://www.canadianwarbrides.com/taylor-joe-bio.asp,
showing Joe Taylor as an infant with his father, Joseph and mother,
Today it is announced that the Harper government is
appealing that decision. This is the report from CBC radio (30
The Harper government is appealing a controversial court
decision that would have granted citizenship to thousands of war
brides and their children. Earlier this month, a federal court judge
declared that British accountant Joe Taylor is Canadian because his
father was a Canadian serviceman during the second world war. The
judge also struck down several sections of Canada's Citizenship Act
that the government used to deny Taylor his status.
In a cruel turn of events, the Harper government just this
past week canceled the federal program which might have provided Joe
some financial relief so that he could defend himself from the appeal.
But now, Taylor says he may have to abandon his claim, because he
can't afford another legal battle.
(from CBC radio at:
We can only repeat our request that you contact the federal
government to reverse this disasterous course of events, for Joe and
for all who are being denied citizenship on these grounds.
- Prime Minister Harper Harper.S@parl.gc.ca
- Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Monte Solberg Solberg.M@parl.gc.ca demanding that they not further waste taxpayer's money in
this appeal of a federal judge's decision.
- Click here for the full decision of Justice
Martineau on the Federal Court of Canada website.
Sept 6, 2006
- DON CHAPMAN - THE LOST CANADIANS - This morning Don and a
local reporter met at my home for the showing of the
documentary,"The Lost Canadians". Unfortunately because of the
short notice I was unable to invite anyone else for the viewing. The
credits name so many people who are friends or who have become known
to me over the past few years.
Don tells me it will be shown at the Calgary Film Festival later
this year. Eventually one of the Canadian television networks must
wake up to the importance of this issue and show "The Lost Canadians"
on nation-wide television.
Don is a generous guy who has been a steadily shining beacon of
hope to all those who Citizenship & Immigration Canada have seen
fit to deny their birthright. He has unfailingly helped so many with
this devastating problem that it is ironic and sad that he still has
to live for months of the year outside the country of his birth to
which his family has contributed so much, his father as a Serviceman
in World War II, his ancestor as one of Canada's Founding Fathers.
Now it is time for all of us to go to bat for Don and those who
share his dilemma. At the very least we can speak out either literally
to everyone we know, or by bombarding The Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration, the Prime Minister and the media with demands that
Canadian-born unequivocally means Canadian Citizen, and this issue
must take precedence over admitting to Canada even one aunt, uncle or
distant cousin of a landed immigrant. They have their rights
obviously, under the law, but fair is fair.
- JOE TAYLOR IS A CANADIAN CITIZEN! - The Vancouver
Sun newspaper put it this way: "The son of a Second World War
Canadian soldier broke down and wept Friday after learning a federal
judge had ruled he is a Canadian citizen -- a ruling that could affect
the citizenship status of thousands of other children and war brides
of Canadian servicemen."
When Joe learned of the decision at his home in England he wanted
Don Chapman to be the first to know. However he could not reach Don so
I was the first to hear from him. We had a slightly delirious
conversation and I was pretty close to tears myself, knowing what a
terrible struggle it has been for both Joe and his wife Wendy.
I was there when Joe read his impassioned brief to the Standing
Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Issues in Victoria a year ago
last April as was Don.
The Sun quotes Don as saying: "It's a huge victory for war brides
and their children."
Joe was denied citizenship by an immigration officer in 2005, but
in bringing down his verdict Federal Court Justice Luc Martineau set
aside the immigration officer's findings and declared Joe to be a
Canadian, directing the minister to issue him a certificate of
Canadian citizenship. He found that the provisions used by the
Department (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) contravened the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Joe is scheduled to return to
Victoria later this month, and this time will not have to watch the
days before he and Wendy are forced to return to the UK.
- Joe's only worry now is that the department will take the case to
the Supreme Court of Canada, as he has no money left to fight an
appeal. To show your support Joe asks that you e-mail: