'Naïve and Dangerous': Conservatives Blast Liberal Policy after U.K. Strips Jihadi Jack's Citizenship
OTTAWA — The Conservatives on Sunday renewed their condemnation of the Liberal government’s position on citizenship rights for terrorists, following news that U.K. officials had stripped alleged ISIL member Jack Letts — known as “Jihadi Jack” — of his British citizenship.
Conservative public safety critic Pierre Paul-Hus did not commit to overturning a policy introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015 that would prevent Canada from making a similar move, but said the Liberal government must fight to keep Letts out of the country.
“The idea that anyone who signed up to fight with ISIS can be reformed is naïve and dangerous to the safety of Canadians,” Paul-Hus said in a statement on Sunday. “Justin Trudeau must assure Canadians today that he isn’t trying to bring Jihadi Jack back to Canada.”
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on Sunday confirmed reports that the United Kingdom had revoked Letts’ citizenship, saying in a written statement that Canada was “disappointed” by the move, and accusing Britain of trying to “off-load their responsibilities.”
The move means that if Letts is deported, he would become the sole responsibility of Canada.
The issue might have set off a behind-the-scenes diplomatic row between the two countries, according to media reports and private emails from Canadian consular officials unearthed by the National Post. It could also refuel debate over whether Ottawa should be allowed to revoke dual citizens of their status as Canadians if convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.