During the latest Lebanese crisis, various nations evacuated their citizens from Lebanon. It turned out that there were 50, 000 Canadians in Lebanon who wanted to be evacuated. Or rather, 50, 000 Lebanese with Canadian passports, including people who hadn't been to Canada in years. They demanded to be evacuated, complained that the ships sent to evacuate them (at a cost of $100 million Canadian dollars)were crowded—and half or more of them returned Lebanon within two months. (Which may be better for Canada, of course.)
Gunter writes that
And you can bet it was the more ungrateful half who flew home to Lebanon and that they were fully convinced they were entitled to a free ticket to do so.
Canadian citizenship was nothing more to them than a dirt cheap insurance policy — $87 every five years for a new Canadian passport. Most came here in the 1980s, when their country was racked with civil war, went back the moment it was safe to do so and thought no more about their Canadian citizenship (or about what they could do for Canada) until fighting broke out again and they needed a lift to safety.
Then it was, "Where's my boat? Are we there yet? What's taking so long? What do you mean you don't have a cabin for me?"
Indeed, in 15 years as a journalist, I have never written anything that has generated more response — over 700 e-mails in all, of which only eight disagreed with my position.
Canada's dual citizenship policy is incredibly lax, permitting triple and quadruple citizenship. In fact, Canadian historian Jack Granatstein writes that "there is effectively no limit on the number of different passports a Canadian can hold."
The latest proposal is that a Canadian who lives overseas should pay $500 dollars every five years to pay for potential evacuations, which wouldn't be enough, and would penalize people who live in civilized countries.
It would not however, solve the problem of people with passports and no basic connection to Canada. But look at the paragraph about the over 700 emails, 8 of which disagreed with him. That's the kind of response the immigration issue and the National Question raise among the general public. Too bad it isn't covered more in the press—too bad politicians don't want to run on it.