Dear Mr Kenney

The BCLA recently sent a letter to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration expressing concern about the failure to include direct references to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedom’s express prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation, and to Canada’s legalization of same-sex marriage, from Canada’s new citizenship guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

We were particularly concerned that, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Press, Kenney’s office ordered the removal of several sections of the draft document, relating to the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Further documents show that senior staff members in Kenney’s department felt this was information that should be included in the guide and urged its re-insertion and that his office declined to follow this recommendation.

For the Globe & Mail news report, see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/immigration-minister-pulled-gay-rights-from-citizenship-guide-documents-show/article1486935/

Text of the BCLA letter is on the BCLA web page. Thanks to IFC members, to Faith Jones, and to the BCLA Board & Executive for producing the letter.

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