Canada Tory leader slammed over dual US citizenship

OTTAWA He was supposed to be touting his tough

stance on crime but Canadian opposition leader Andrew Scheer found himself on

the back foot Friday as his announcement was overshadowed by questions over

his dual nationality.

The Conservative who is aiming to unseat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's

Liberals in the October 21 election has been on the defensive since

disclosing Thursday that he is part American.

As he unveiled plans for a crackdown on gangs and illegal firearms his

audience at a Toronto news conference appeared much more interested in his

heritage.

Everyone who knows me or knows my family knows that my father was born

in the United States. I've been open with that. And so that's that Scheer

told reporters.

But that apparently is far from that.

In cosmopolitan Canada it is no impediment to high office to have roots

in other countries but Scheer has sparked anger by leaving it so late in

the campaign to front up with the public.

It's not a big deal in Canada for people to have dual citizenship

Scheer said. There's millions of Canadians who had one or more parent born

in another country.

Scheer said he decided after becoming Conservative leader in 2017 to

renounce his US citizenship. He only submitted the paperwork in August

however just before the election campaign kicked off.

Critics have also highlighted what they see as double standard: in past

elections Conservatives have attacked leaders of the New Democratic Party

and Liberal Party because of dual citizenship.

Scheer himself in 2005 criticized the dual French Canadian nationality of

Canada's former governor general Michaelle Jean.

It should not disqualify you but you must be honest when you're looking

to become prime minister of a country of 37 million said Trudeau who was

on his own campaign stop in Quebec City.

Andrew Scheer should tell the whole truth.

The Liberal campaign meanwhile played up the controversy to attack

Scheer's plan to address rising gun violence accusing him of wanting to

bring in American style gun laws for Canada.

Scheer is proposing minimum five year jail terms for possession of a

smuggled firearm and said he would list gangs as criminal entities in much

the same way terrorist groups are proscribed.

In the early evening Scheer's party also announced it had expelled

election candidate Heather Leung for homophobic remarks.

Recent media reports have brought to light offensive comments made by Ms

Leung saying 'homosexuals recruit' children and describing the sexual

orientation of the LGBTQ community as 'perverted' said a party statement.

There is no tolerance in the Conservative Party for those types of

offensive comments.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)