End Second-Class Citizenship

$63,579 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 1,087 people in 37 months
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This summer, part of Bill C-24 went into effect, officially creating a two-tier citizenship system. As a result of this new law, dual citizens and people who have immigrated to Canada can have their citizenship taken away while other Canadians cannot.


For the first time, unaccountable bureaucrats inside the federal government are able to take away the Canadian citizenship of dual citizens, and throw people into exile if they commit certain serious crimes, even if they have already paid for their crimes through our criminal justice system.

Ottawa will also be able to strip Canadians of their citizenship if they are convicted of offences by other countries – even if those countries are undemocratic dictatorships without a fair justice system. That means that Canadians who came from undemocratic countries to build new lives in Canada are at even greater risk.

The only Canadians who can never lose their citizenship are those born in Canada who do not have (and are not eligible for) another citizenship. No matter what crimes they may be accused of, these first-class citizens can never have their citizenship taken away.

Taking rights away from Canadians because of where they were born, or where their families come from? That’s un-Canadian. It weakens Canadian citizenship for all of us. And it’s just wrong.


That’s why the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers are taking the federal government to court. We need you to stand with us against this unfair law that turns more than a million Canadians into second class citizens.

For the last 50 years we have fought to defend human rights, and we know how to win. But we can only do it with your help.

We’re a small team, unaffiliated with any other organization in the country. We exist, and are able to do our work, only because of the generous donations of our supporters.

Our court challenges are carried out by pro bono counsel working for free because they believe in our work, but moving forward a case like this still costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Your support, big or small, will help us win. Please join us by donating now, and stand up for equal citizenship for all Canadians.

Learn more here at the case website.

Read the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyer’s Backgrounder on Bill C-24 in English , French, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Chinese – traditional, Chinese – simplified, and Filipino .

*Note: donations to this campaign will be fully tax receipted. We will be doing this manually, so you can expect the receipt via email in a few weeks.
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Thank you!

Because of your generosity, we have reached our final crowdfunding goal. Thank you so much for standing with us in the fight to end second-class citizenship.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of community members like you. In just 24 hours we exploded past our initial fundraising goal, and reached our stretch goal just days later.

The crowdfunder is now closed so that we can focus our efforts on moving this first phase of our case forward. We will continue to send updates and new information about the case as it progresses.

Keep an eye on the www.equalcitizens.ca, where we'll continue to receive donations and will post new information as it becomes available.

Equal citizenship rights are a fundamental part of what it means to be Canadian, so we think it’s important for you to know where your MPs stand on this issue. Check out this breakdown of which MPs voted for and against Bill C-24 when it became law last year. https://openparliament.ca/votes/41-2/210/

Your support is the reason we’ve made it this far. We know that together we can restore equal citizenship for all Canadians. Thank you for standing with us.

Refugees Welcome

We would also like to share with you today the important work of some other organizations in this country who are calling on Canada’s government and all party leaders to increase Canada’s contribution to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Across the country from September 4-9, 2015 #RefugeesWelcome events will be taking place. You can learn about, join, or start an event near you here.
We will be there, and we hope you will be too.
https://goo.gl/jbsIsR

Amnesty International Canada has started an online action here to remind the Prime Minister and all party leaders that Canadians welcome refugees, and we must do more right now to open up places of safety for those fleeing conflict. http://goo.gl/pyKCxm

Leadnow.ca has created this Facebook share image that you can use to spread the word about these events. https://goo.gl/wG2aa9

Thank you for everything you do to make this country a place where everyone is equal, and where those seeking safety from repression can join in building our communities.

Sincerely,

Josh Paterson, Executive Director, and the BCCLA team
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What can we do together in 7 days?

It's been exactly seven days since we launched our crowdfunding initiative to end second-class citizenship. Thanks to you, we've just hit the $40,000 mark!

Now we’re writing with a very exciting update: an anonymous supporter has contacted us to offer a donation of $10,000 in the hopes of getting our supporters to match it. That means that starting today, every donation you make will go twice as far.

We’ve decided to close this fundraiser seven days from today, so that we can focus our efforts on moving the case forward. In our last update we explained what the costs are in a case like this. This $10,000 donation was made because the donor knows that what we've raised so far is an amazing start, but won't get us all the way with this case. We have a chance right now to fund this case into the future.

So we’re asking 50 supporters to donate $100 each in order for us to reach the full potential of this generous matching gift. We know that giving at this level is not possible for all members of our community, so we’d also like to ask 100 people to donate $50 to this effort.

We have just seven days to raise $10,000 to match this donation. Your amazing generosity over the past week has shown us that this is possible. Please stand with us now, and help restore citizenship equality for all Canadians.

Spread the word!

If you haven't already, share the End Second-Class Citizenship video far and wide. Learn more about the case at www.equalcitizens.ca , including resources available in multiple languages.

Your support is bringing this case to life even as you read this. We can't thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Josh Paterson, Executive Director, and the BCCLA team

P.S. Join the last 7 days of this crowdfunding campaign. Help us to double every dollar we raise this week by donating today.

Note: donations to this campaign will be fully tax receipted. We will be doing this manually, so you can expect the receipt via email in a few weeks
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That was inspiring!

Because of your generosity, we reached our initial fundraising goal in 24 hours!

Thank you so much for responding so quickly and so generously to our call for support. This important legal challenge will really be a community effort, and we would never be able to challenge this unfair and un-Canadian law without your help.

Because of the support we've received so far, we have the funds we need to begin work on this case right away. But the total costs of this case are going to be much higher. That’s why we’ve shifted this fundraising effort to support the next stage of our case.

What are the hard costs of a case like this?

We can never know in advance exactly what a case will cost, but you are making this case happen, so we want to be upfront and transparent with you.

We need to raise funds for a whole range of legal costs which include paying for court fees; document production; travel for counsel; public education; the travel of witnesses and experts; expert testimony, even transcripts and photocopying. The costs quickly add up.

Our most recent successful Charter challenge cost more than:
• $77,800 for court fees and document production
• $60,300 for expert fees
• $20,850 for witness and expert travel
Total $158,956

These costs are just the tip of the iceberg. This does not include the BCCLA's public education costs, in house staff lawyer work, or the more than $2,000,000 worth of lawyers’ time that was contributed for free.

That’s why we’re stretching our goal to $40,000.

Your willingness to commit to this fight so quickly has proven how much support there is in our community for this important legal challenge. We’re confident that with your support, we can secure the funding we will need for the next phase of our work right now.

If you can contribute a little extra, or share with others who can, we’ll quickly be able to unlock our stretch fundraising goal.

We only need another $5,000 to reach our target!

Spread the word

If you haven't already, share the End Second-Class Citizenship video far and wide; www.equalcitizens.ca/#video

We can't thank you enough for helping us take on this fight. Together, we can restore equal citizenship for all Canadians.

Sincerely,

Josh Paterson, Executive Director, and the BCCLA team

P.S. Help us restore equal citizenship for all Canadians. Stand with us by making a donation today!

Note: donations to this campaign will be fully tax receipted. We will be doing this manually, so you can expect the receipt via email in a few weeks
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$63,579 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 1,087 people in 37 months
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Created August 10, 2015
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