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Home > Passport and Citizenship Issues of War Brides and their Children> Who is Jackie Scott?

Click here to see Jackie Scott on CBC's The National, October 25, 2009.
Jackie Scott in a recent photo, August, 2009.
Jackie Scott in a recent photo, August, 2009.
Jackie Scott in the backyard of the Ontario home where she grew up, 1950. Click for larger home.
Jackie Scott in the backyard of the Ontario home where she grew up, 1950. Click for larger image.
Jackie Scott perched on top of her father's car which clearly shows Ontario license plates, 1950. Click for larger image.
Jackie Scott perched on top of her father's car which clearly shows Ontario license plates, 1950. Click for larger image.

My name is Jacqueline Ellis Scott and I am a Lost Canadian.

I have been fighting for several years to be able to legally say I’m a Canadian citizen. I was born in England in 1945 to a Canadian serviceman father and a British war bride mother. Mum and I joined my father in Toronto in January 1948 prior to the suspension in March 1948 of government-sponsored travel for war brides and children of servicemen. Privy Council Order in Council 858 allowed for deferred or delayed entry if a medical condition would prove dangerous or unsafe for an individual to travel. I had such a condition that was corrected just before leaving for Canada.

My "crime" is that I was born out of wedlock.

I was never told of the circumstances of my birth and I only found out many years later. For my parents’ generation, it was a stigma to have a child or be born out of wedlock and it was never a topic of discussion. It was something that was kept secret.

My parents married in May 1948 and were together until my father’s death in 1995. Because of the circumstances of my birth, CIC is discriminating against me based on gender, labelling me "illegitimate" even in today’s society, contrary to Federal Court orders issued in cases that have been appealed and won because of this type of discrimination.

If the gender discrimination perpetuated by the marriage penalty is corrected as ordered by the Courts, then my citizenship is by right of descent through my father.

I grew up in Canada, was educated, worked, married here. My daughter was born in Toronto and is a Canadian citizen as are my grandchildren. My parents are buried here. I even voted in Canadian federal elections. In 1972, when, I was 22 years old, I joined my husband in the United States. At that time, the job market in British Columbia where we lived was depressed and, in order to support the family, my husband was approached and accepted a job with a former employer in California. He was the applicant for the visa and I was a resident alien, a status I held until 2005 when I was forced to take American citizenship.

I never intended to take out citizenship in the States: as resident alien since 1972 I retained, or so I mistakenly thought, my Canadian citizenship. Canada has always been home to me, but I was forced to take out US citizenship when, in 2004, I applied for my Canadian citizenship certificate and I received a denial of that application based on the fact that I was born out of wedlock in 1945. I was neither Canadian or American: I was stateless.

Canada has recognized dual citizenship since 1977 and if I'd known that applying for U.S. citzenship would disqualify or prejudice my being recognized as a Canadian citizen, I would not have done so. However, I never had any reason to doubt my Canadian citizenship. All my family, including my mother who naturalized in 1955, is Canadian. I was never told that I was anything but "Canadian" and I was and still am in my heart, a proud Canadian. I take pride when I hear the Canadian national anthem. Canada will always be my home and it's where I feel connected.

Yet, CIC says that I have no substantial ties to Canada. There’s no understanding of what it is like to be denied my connection to the country where my roots are and where I feel I belong.

In 2008 I applied for a special grant of citizenship (Section 5.4 of the Citizenship Act) and again in a letter received in March 2009 was denied for the same reason. Canada prides itself on not discriminating. Isn’t this discrimination and denial of my rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedom?

Augier Case

Justice Mosley stated in allowing Augier’s appeal in 2004 that it was demeaning and prejudicial to deny benefit to citizenship through his Canadian father simply because he was born out of wedlock. He declared section 5(2)(b) unconstitutional.

Why is CIC blatantly violating and dismissing a Court order?

Not until 2005 when I was first denied my citizenship certificate had I ever been told that I was not a Canadian citizen. During that application process I learned of and saw for the first time a landing document that included me.

In the Benner case, it was ruled that in applying Section 15 of the Charter, it’s the time an application is first considered and right to citizenship is denied. That being the case, since I was first denied in 2005, my Charter rights are being violated by CIC. Applying the Charter is neither retrospective nor retroactive.

My situation is similar to that of Joe Taylor. Where we differ is was "domiciled in Canada" after my 24th birthday and he and his mother returned to England when he was still an infant. Therefore, I should not be subject to the loss provision in the Act. He was given a special grant of citizenship in 2008. Why was I denied by CIC? Why is Joe Taylor now a citizen and I’m not? Why isn’t Mr. Kenney honouring the promise made by Diane Finley to handle those cases not covered by C-37 by Section 5(4) special grant of citizenship?

My father volunteered to defend this country in WWII. I believe he would be ashamed and angry that his daughter is being denied her birthright. I pray that the Canadian government will stop the discrimination and the denial of my Charter rights and grant me my citizenship.

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