Dear Mr. Cruz/Cher M. Cruz—
We’re very sorry to bother you, but it has been brought to our attention that you recently sought to renounce your Canadian citizenship.
As the government agency responsible for administering requests relating to citizenship, it is our duty to ensure that all petitions are filed in accordance with regulations as set forth by parliament. As you may have learned in civics class back in your native Calgary, proper adherence to regulatory requirements is the bedrock for a civilized society. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to act on your request because it was not filed in triplicate or accompanied by a French-language translation, standards that are stipulated in the Citizenship Renunciation Act of 1962, as amended in 1978, 1981 and 2006.
The act further states that, for Canadians like you to complete the process of renunciation, you must appear before a citizenship-adjustment examiner in one of our 10 provincial capitals. If you are a resident of a foreign country you may also request an appointment at the nearest Canadian consulate. Naturally, the request must be accompanied by a certification from the foreign ministry in Ottawa stating that you are indeed living in the foreign country to which you have emigrated—in your case, the United States of America.
When meeting with citizenship-adjustment examiners, aspiring emigres such as yourself must acknowledge their awareness of several consequences of any decision to sever one’s association with Canada:
Health Insurance. Your coverage by Alberta’s provincial health plan will end on the last day of the month following the termination of your citizenship. At that point, depending on the country, there may not be public health insurance available. Please note that, if your new country features a system of private health insurers, they may reject your application or charge significantly higher rates in the event that you have a preexisting condition.
Immigration Policies. Some foreign countries make it difficult for newcomers like yourself to obtain citizenship, instead encouraging them to “self-deport” while maligning them as criminals. With the renunciation of your Canadian citizenship, you lose the right to return home should your new country make you unwelcome. (You may, however, apply for refugee status should your mistreatment meet the criteria laid out in section 4 of the Humanitarian Refuge Act of 1996.)
Crime. Many former Canadians are unprepared for the rate of violent crime elsewhere in the world. In your adopted home of Texas, for instance, there were 1,126 murders in 2011. In your birth-province of Alberta, there were 109. Upon the termination of your citizenship, Royal Canadian Mounted Police liaison officers will no longer be able to assist you should you fall victim.
On behalf of the Prime Minister and the Governor General, let me add a note of personal regret that our country was unable to fulfill your expectations. Please know that as you navigate the renunciation process, staffers in our office are standing by to help. Based on current wait times, your citizenship should be formally terminated by early 2016.
Once again, sorry to bother you.
Gordon MacKenzie, Canadian Bureau of Citizenship Renunciation
PS: CORRECTION: Sorry to bother you again, but several colleagues have pointed out to me that the original draft of this memo referred to Edmonton as your birthplace. I see now that it was Calgary; Edmonton is the provincial capital where the birth certificate would have been filed. I'm sorry for the mistake: You are a native of Calgary, not Edmonton. I have also amended the signature line at the end of the memo to read "Go Flames" instead of "Go Oilers." Sorry.
Michael Schaffer is The New Republic's editorial director. Follow @michaelschaffer on Twitter.