Justin Trudeau addresses Lost Canadians' plight, says 'immigration system a total mess'

Trudeau acknowledges Lost Canadians' plight in Vancouver stopover.

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Justin Trudeau in Vancouver. Video by Jordan Yerman

Justin Trudeau addresses citizenship and immigration in West End visit

During a whirlwind visit to Vancouver's West End, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau explicitly addressed the plight faced by Lost Canadians, a group of legitimate Canadians who have been denied citizenship due to outdated provisions in the law.

When asked if policy should be reformed, Trudeau replied:
"Absolutely. There are issues around Lost Canadians, people are still slipping through the cracks. [...] We have an immigration system that's a total mess because of what the Conservatives have done over the past years."

The theme of citizenship ran through many of Trudeau's remarks. He said that "citizenship is  more than just paying your taxes, obeying the law, and voting from time to time. Being a good citizen is about being connected to your community."

At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in June, Trudeau specifically criticized former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, saying that Kenney's ministry was too slow in resolving the cases of those who have been waiting years to have their citizenship cases resolved.

During the media scrum that followed the beachside meet-and-greet, Trudeau once again mentioned Lost Canadians, saying that the issue of citizenship for those born abroad may seem "arcane or irrelevant" since it affects relatively few people, it is "extremely relevant" to the families affected.

Legalize it

Trudeau expressed support for legalizing marijuana (though he acknowledged that "it's not a health food supplement"), saying, "it's more difficult for young people to get their hands on cigarettes than it is to get their hands on weed - once we regulate it and need ID to be shown before anyone can buy it, we are in fact putting a better control on it."

Trudeau also criticized the Harper Government's hostility toward the media.

Tar sands pipelines: Yes or no?

Justin Trudeau also said that he was "absolutely opposed" to the Northern gateway pipeline, due to the lack of independent information regarding safety and oil-spill preparedness. However, he said reiterated his support of the Keystone pipeline, and said that he was open to the idea of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project going ahead, provided that environmental and community-support requirements were met.

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