OTTAWA — The chief of Canada’s Conservative Celebration, Justin Trudeau’s chief rival to turn into prime minister, acknowledged on Thursday that he additionally holds American citizenship.
Andrew Scheer, 40, didn’t disclose his twin citizenship till The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, revealed it.
Twin residents should not barred from political workplace in Canada, nor does the nation impose any restrictions on holding different citizenships. However the disclosure follows different embarrassing revelations about Mr. Scheer’s private historical past, and might also undermine his marketing campaign’s efforts to painting Mr. Trudeau, who’s coping with an argument over appearing in blackface and brownface several years ago, as inauthentic.
When requested by reporters why he had not introduced up his twin citizenship earlier, Mr. Scheer stated: “Nobody’s ever requested me earlier than.”
“I’ve by no means been requested about it by Canadians,” he stated. “My father has all the time been open about the place he comes from.”
Mr. Scheer stated that he started the method of renouncing his American citizenship in August. Canada’s present election marketing campaign, wherein he’s at present tied in polls with Mr. Trudeau, began final month.
Thursday’s revelation drew criticism from political opponents.
“Over 1,000,000 Canadians maintain twin citizenship — it’s a part of what makes Canada nice,” Zita Astravas, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Celebration, stated in a press release. “However none have hidden that truth when working to be prime minister. Andrew Scheer has been basically dishonest with Canadians about who he’s.”
Talking with reporters at a marketing campaign occasion in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Thursday, Mr. Scheer stated that he was eligible for American citizenship as a result of his father, a former newspaper librarian in Ottawa, was born in the USA. He added that he has filed American tax returns, a requirement of United States citizenship. His marketing campaign individually stated that Mr. Scheer has by no means voted in an American election and that he had let his American passport lapse way back.
Members of Mr. Scheer’s Conservative Celebration have prior to now been important of Liberal and New Democratic Celebration leaders who held twin citizenships with France. In 2005, Mr. Scheer asked readers in a blog post in the event that they had been bothered that by the appointment of a twin French citizen, Michaëlle Jean, as governor normal, who fulfills Queen Elizabeth II’s duties as head of state. He added: “Wouldn’t it hassle you if as a substitute of French citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?”
Ms. Jean gave up her French citizenship earlier than taking workplace.
In 2012, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whom Mr. Scheer succeeded as head of the Conservative Celebration, criticized Tom Mulcair, the chief of the New Democrats, for also holding French citizenship.
“I’m very clear: I’m a Canadian and solely a Canadian,” Mr. Harper stated.
The revelation comes as Mr. Scheer has confronted questions on his résumé and previous. Whereas he has lengthy boasted about his time as an insurance coverage dealer in Saskatchewan, his adopted house province, he lately acknowledged that he by no means held a brokers license however had labored in a low-level insurance coverage job for “six or seven months.”
Mr. Scheer has additionally repeatedly accused Mr. Trudeau of being an out-of-touch elitist due to his household’s wealth. Against this, Mr. Scheer has emphasised his having grown up in a townhouse in a household that didn’t personal a automobile.
However information experiences have revealed that his mother and father each held unionized jobs and had a household income of at least 121,000 Canadian dollars once they retired within the 1990s.
Since being elected to Parliament on the age of 25, Mr. Scheer has earned six-figure salaries. And as speaker of the Home of Commons and chief of the opposition he has lived in rent-free government-owned homes staffed with a retinue of presidency staff.
Canada’s final census confirmed that there are 135,170 People dwelling in Canada who hold citizenship in at the very least one different nation.