The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that children who were born in Toronto to Russian spies are Canadian citizens.
The case arose out of one of the children’s attempts to renew his Canadian passport after his parents were arrested “and were returned to Russia” in 2010. After his parents’ arrest, his “attempts to renew his Canadian passport proved unsuccessful” despite being “issued a certificate of Canadian citizenship” in 2013. In 2014 his certificate of Canadian citizenship was canceled based on an exception to the Canadian Citizenship Act, which provides that “children of ‘a diplomatic or consular officer or other representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government'” are not citizens of Canada even if they were born there.
The Supreme Court of Canada ultimately found that the children in this case are Canadian citizens. The court found that the children should not be under the exception because their parents did not have the privileges and immunities that foreign diplomats or people otherwise employed by foreign governments do. Because they did not, “the exception didn’t apply” to their children.