Watch: Trudeau would let convicted terrorists keep Canadian citizenship

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau tells Tom Clark why he would rescind part of Bill C-24, which he sees as creating two classes of citizenship.

If elected prime minister, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau would rescind parts of Bill C-24, which allows the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from individuals convicted of terrorism and other serious crimes, he told The West Block’s Tom Clark in an interview Friday.

The bill, passed in May, lets the government remove dual citizens’ Canadian citizenship if they’re convicted of terrorism, espionage or treason, or who “goes over to the enemy.’

The federal government used it just last week, revoking the Canadian citizenship of one of the so-called Toronto 18, almost a decade after his arrest.

Trudeau said this bill creates two classes of citizenship.

“For two individuals who commit the same crime, there might be a different penalty for one than the other depending on where their parents were born,” he said.

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“I think it’s a very slippery slope to have to have a state be able to say, ‘You know what? You’re no longer a Canadian citizen,’ because what that does, however heinous the crime one person might commit, it makes citizenship conditional on good behaviour for everyone else.”

READ MORE: Full transcript of The West Block, Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Current criminal penalties are sufficient to deal with these crimes without involving questions of citizenship, he said.

“If a Canadian commits a terrible crime against this country, well we have penalties for that. We have life imprisonment, we have severe consequences that I don’t know, probably shouldn’t include a plane ticket to some faraway country.”

Watch the full feature interview with Justin Trudeau on The West Block below.