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Many 'Lost Canadians' gain citizenship

Many unsuspecting people gained Canadian citizenship after an amendment on Canada's Citizenship Act took effect on Friday.

The act was introduced in 1947 as the first citizenship law in Canada. The new amendment will help thousands of people who were either stripped of their citizenship or were told they were not eligible for citizenship, including children of Canadians born abroad who lost citizenship after not registering with the government and those who gained citizenship in another country, according to Yahoo! News, since an old law did not allow dual citizenship.

Danielle Norris, an immigration spokeswoman, told Yahoo! News that the law was amended partly because of the mass evacuation of Canadians living in Lebanon, after Israel attacked in 2006.

Yahoo! News also reported that the immigration department estimates hundreds of thousands of Canadians living abroad could be affected by the amendment.

Though this law helps some, some do not benefit. Sharryn Aiken, a law professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., told Canadian Broadcasting Centre that the law prevents the grandchildren of Canadians who are living abroad from receiving citizenship if they were not born in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told CBC the new rule is in place to prevent those who do not pay taxes from passing citizenship to their children.