New ci­ti­zen­ship guide drafted

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

Re­spect­ing treaties with Indige­nous Peo­ples, pay­ing taxes and fill­ing out the cen­sus are listed as manda­tory obli­ga­tions of Cana­dian ci­ti­zen­ship in a draft ver­sion of a new study guide for the ci­ti­zen­ship exam.

The work­ing copy ob­tained by The Cana­dian Press sug­gests the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has com­pletely over­hauled the book used by prospec­tive Cana­di­ans to pre­pare for the test.

The cur­rent “Dis­cover Canada’’ guide dates back to 2011 when the pre­vi­ous Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment did its own over­haul de­signed to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion on Cana­dian val­ues and his­tory.

Some of the Con­ser­va­tives’ in­ser­tions at­tracted con­tro­versy, in­clud­ing in­creased de­tail about the War of 1812 and a warn­ing that cer­tain “bar­baric cul­tural prac­tices,’’ such as hon­our killings and fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion, are crimes in Canada.

Get­ting rid of both those el­e­ments was what for­mer Lib­eral Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter John McCal­lum had in mind when he said early in 2016 that the book was up for a re­write. But al­though work has been un­der­way for over a year, there’s no date set for pub­li­ca­tion of a fi­nal ver­sion.

In the draft ver­sion, the ref­er­ence to bar­baric cul­tural prac­tices is gone, as is the in­clu­sion of get­ting a job as one of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of ci­ti­zen­ship.

In­stead, the pro­posed new guide breaks down the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of ci­ti­zen­ship into two cat­e­gories: vol­un­tary and manda­tory.

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