Today, we’re reporting that Thomas Mulcair will not relinquish his French citizenship should he win the NDP leadership race and go on to battle Stephen Harper in the 2015 to become Canada’s prime minister.
In 2006, Stéphane Dion was asked what he would do about his dual citzenship — Canada and France — and he said that he would reluctantly give up his French citizenship. (It turns out he did not do so in the end.)
Under French law, spouses of French citizens can, as Mulcair did, apply for French citizenship after meeting certain conditions. Dion is a French citizen becuase his mother is French and French law automatically allows for the offspring of French citizens to become citizens.
We asked Dion today for his thoughts about Mulcair’s decision to keep his French citizenship. Here’s his response:
I do not see any problem whatsoever with Mr. Mulcair’s dual citizenship.
We used to have a Prime Minister with dual citizenship (Mr. [John] Turner is Canadian and British), and no one saw it as a problem.
I repeat what I said in 2006: I received my French citizenship from my mother and I am proud of it; I would be very sad to have to renounce to it. This French heritage gives me assets that I am pleased to share with my fellow Canadians. This is what multiculturalism is all about.
My loyalty goes to only one country, Canada, and I will not let anyone question it.
In saying that, I am speaking on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of proud Canadians who have dual citizenship.