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Home > Passport and Citizenship Issues of War Brides and their Children

Read about Jackie Scott's fight with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to be recognized as a Canadian Citizen.
Read about War Bride son Joe Taylor's struggle with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to obtain his Canadian citizenship.
Read about War Bride son Joe Taylor's struggle with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to obtain his Canadian citizenship.
Many children of War Brides who came with their mothers to Canada and many War Brides themselves have experienced difficulties in obtaining their citizenship status.
The children of War Brides who came with their mothers to Canada and many War Brides themselves have experienced difficulties in obtaining their citizenship status.
Click for larger view. Melynda Jarratt gives Senator Romeo Dallaire English and Dutch language copies of Voices of the Left Behind. May 7, 2005, Ottawa, Ontario.
Click for larger view. Melynda Jarratt gives Senator Romeo Dallaire English and Dutch language copies of Voices of the Left Behind. May 7, 2005, Ottawa, Ontario.

It is now late 2009 and much has happened since we first started to document the ridiculous situation facing Canadian War Brides and their children, in particular, who have been told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that they are not citizens.

In April 2009, Bill C-37, an Amendment to the Citizenship Act known as the "Lost Canadian Bill" officially came into force. The adoption of Bill C-37 took many years and persistent lobbying by Don Chapman, leader of the Lost Canadians and a core group of supporters who never gave up despite many heartbreaking disappointments.

While the Bill did welcome into the fold hundreds of thousands of "Lost Canadians", it was not perfect, and its rough edges are now becoming plainly obvious to everyone interested in citizenship and human rights legislation. Bill C-37 left behind a small group of mainly War Bride children who are being denied citizenship because of the date, circumstances and status of their birth. Those who are most affected by this are those who were born out of wedlock.

According to the 1947 Citizenship Act, foreign born children whose parents are not married inherit the nationality of their mother, not their father. Even if their parents married before coming to Canada, or after, it doesn't matter. Once an illegitimate bastard, always an illegitimate bastard.

The laws on illegitimacy were wiped off the books 32 years ago and no politicians would defend it today. But here we are at the end of 2009 having to fight Citizenship and IMmigration Canada to recognize the citizenship status of Canadian War Bride children whose only "crime" was to be born out of wedlock during the Second World War.

Read about War Bride daughter Jackie Scott's continuing struggle with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to have her Canadian citizenship recognized.

War Bride son Joe Taylor's fight with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to obtain his citizenship ended with him being granted full citizenship in January 2008. Read his testimony and that of others who appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in April and May, 2005.

Susan Bishop, one of many children of War Brides still encountering considerable bureaucratic obstacles at CIC, despite personal contact with CIC officials since May. Request sent to CIC officials to intervene in her case, which is urgent due to a medical crisis. Lost Canadians experiencing the same bureaucratic delays and intransigience from CIC and much frustration abounds in both circles despite the "official" line from Immigration that War Bride children are citizens.

June 30, 2005 - Melynda Jarratt hand delivers to CIC officials in Ottawa a list of 14 children of War Brides who are experiencing considerable difficulty obtaining their citizenship status.

June 24, 2005 - Citizenship and Immigration provides a three page document explaining how to get your passport and citizenship paperwork.

May 10, 2005 Testimony in Ottawa of Melynda Jarratt on Canadian War Brides before Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa. (This has been televised and is available on Canada's Political Channel CPAC).

May 7, 2005 - Senator Romeo Dallaire lends his support to the cause of the Canadian War Brides and their children. Senator Dallaire is the child of a Canadian serviceman and a Dutch War Bride who met and married overseas during World War Two. Dallaire came to Canada with his mother as a six month-old baby on the Empire Brent, landing in Halifax on December 13, 1946. When Senator Dallaire was in his early 20s, he applied for a passport to travel overseas with the military and was told he was not a Canadian citizen. "I was mad about it thirty five years ago, so I can imagine how people feel about it now!", Senator Dallaire told Melynda Jarratt.

May 5, 2005 Citzenship of War Brides and Children Confirmed!

FACT: Between 1942 and 1948, 43,454 War Brides and their 20,997 children were brought to Canada in an immigrant wave paid for and sponsored by the Canadian government.

FACT: By Privy Council Order in Council 7318, September 21, 1944, these 43,454 War Brides and their 20,997 children were given Canadian citizenship upon landing in Canada.

"2. Every dependent applying for admission to Canada shall be permitted to enter Canada and upon such admission be deemed to have landed within the meaning of the said Act ; and where the member of the Canadian Armed Forces is eiether a Canadian citizen or has Canadian domicile, the dependent shall, upon being landed, be demmed to have acquired the same status for the purposes of the said Act."

FACT: It has come to light in the last few years that all across Canada, War Brides and the children they brought with them on the War Bride ships are being told when they apply for passports that they are not Canadian citizens and consequently, they have to apply for their Citizenship. Some have been refused or have given up on the bureacruatic red tape associated with the search for supporting documentation of their arrival in Canada.For many War Brides, this realization occurred the first time they applied for a passport in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and even the 80s and 90s. They just "dealt with it" over the years and in little towns, villages and cities from Cape Breton to British Columbia they filled out the necessary paperwork, paid their fees and got on with their lives - after all, they had a family to raise! It would not be an exaggeration to say that thousands of War Brides have had to go through this process over the years, quietly gaining their citizenship - even though they weren't very happy to discover that they weren't citizens when they had been specifically told that they were upon arrival in 1946!

Committee Hearings
Eswyn Lyster's Testimony
Joe Taylor's Testimony
Sheila Walshe's Testimony
Bobby Brown's Testimony
Don Chapman's Testimony
Melynda Jarratt's Testimony April 21, 2005
Melynda Jarratt's Testimony
May 10, 2005
Stuart Martin's Testimony

During the month of April, 2005, a travelling Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship and Immigration heard testimony from four persons on the specific issue of War Brides and Citizenship: two in Victoria, one in Vancouver, and another in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Eswyn Lyster, a War Bride and writer from Qualicum Beach and Joe Taylor, the son of an English War Bride spoke in Victoria, British Columbia. Sheila Walshe, the daughter of an English War Bride, spoke in Vancouver, and Melynda Jarratt of spoke in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

On April 29, 2005, Stuart Martin, the son of a War Bride, will speak in Halifax, Nova Scotia, making a total of five presentations to the Committee on the specific subject of War Brides and Citizenship. (The Committee also heard testimony on April 9 in Victoria, BC, about the Lost Canadians, a very similar issue. Speaking about the Lost Canadians were Bobby Brown and Don Chapman.)

Melynda Jarratt's oral presentation in Fredericton on April 21 was picked up by the Canadian Press and since then, the story has been in the media all across the country. Since giving her testimony, Melynda has appeared on Global Television (April 21, 2005), CBC Radio's As It Happens (April 25, 2005), Calgary's The Rutherford Show on CHQR FM (April 25, 2005), and CBC's The National on April 27, 2005, in addition to numerous

Melynda has heard from dozens of children of War Brides, as well as some War Brides themselves, who can attest that what all the presenters are saying is undeniably true - no matter what Citizenship and Immigration would like us to believe, the children of War Brides and War Brides who apply for passports are being told that they are not citizens.

As a result, a number of these War Bride children are getting together to galvanize support around the issue of their citizenship. Like their War Bride mothers, these children have voted in elections, paid taxes, worked, some are even collecting Old Age Pensions! Several whom we know of have even served in the Canadian Armed Forces - but when it comes to getting a passport, they are told they are not citizens!

What can you do? Please write to me at and I will put your story up on this website as a means of publicizing the ridiculous situation these people are now facing. On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, it is high time that the Canadian government got this administrative error straighteed out, wouldn't you say?

Other things you can do RIGHT NOW!

Phone MP Andrew Telegdi, Chair of the Commons Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
Phone and Write Helena Guergis
Phone and write your MP
Phone and write the Senator who represents your area
Phone and write the Prime Minister

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