The Director of Communications for Andrew Scheer’s campaign has confirmed media reports that the Conservative Leader is a dual citizen, but says he’s in the process of having his U.S. citizenship renounced.
Brock Harrison told 680 NEWS one of Scheer’s parents was born “in another country and immigrated to Canada to start a family.”
The Globe and Mail first reported Thursday that the Tory leader’s father was born in the U.S. and therefore Scheer and his sisters received American citizenship as a result.
“He and his sisters received United States passports as children and Mr. Scheer has not renewed his as an adult,” Harrison said.
Harrison added that Scheer has not voted in a United States election.
The party says once Scheer became Conservative leader back in 2017 he decided to renounce his American citizenship before the election. In August, he submitted his paperwork and is currently waiting for confirmation from the embassy that he is no longer a dual-citizen.
Members of Parliament are allowed to hold dual citizenship and the United States has no rules preventing one of its citizens from leading a foreign nation.
“I made the decision after I became leader of the party to do this,” Scheer told reporters after addressing a rally of a few hundred people in Bedford, N.S.
“I was focused on other things. I was rebuilding the party, getting ready for the election, working on the platform. It was always my intention to do it before the election.”
But when Conservatives attacked former NDP leader Tom Mulcair and former Liberal leader Stephane Dion over their dual citizenship with France, Scheer said nothing. Mulcair acquired citizenship through his French-born wife and Dion through his French-born mother.
In 2015, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated he is a Canadian and only a Canadian.
“No one has ever asked me before about it,” Scheer responded to questions about whether he thought his actions were hypocritical. “Like millions of Canadians, one of my parents was born in another country.”
As an MP in 2005, Scheer published a blog post about Michaelle Jean, a few weeks before she was sworn in as Governor General, asking his constituents how they felt about her dual citizenship.
“Does it bother you that she is a dual citizen (France and Canada)? Would it bother you if instead of French citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?” he wrote, without mentioning his own double citizenship status.
Liberal party spokeswoman Zita Astravas said in a statement, “Andrew Scheer has been fundamentally dishonest with Canadians about who he is.”
“Scheer’s hidden his core personal positions, he hid facts about his career and education,” she said, referring to the fact Scheer’s biography on his party’s website states he was once an insurance broker in Saskatchewan when he was never fully licensed.
“And now he’s been caught hiding his American citizenship even while ridiculing others for holding dual citizenship.”
Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 21.
With files from The Canadian Press