Canadian-born Greens senator, Larissa Waters, is resigning from the Australian parliament over dual citizenship issues, just days after her fellow party co-leader, Scott Ludlam, announced his resignation because of the same problem, in breach of the Constitution.
Waters is the party’s spokesperson for gambling, women, environment, tourism, and mining and resources. She was the first Greens senator elected in Queensland, entering parliament in 2011, having been an environmental lawyer.
The 40-year-old was born in Winnipeg, Canada, left as an 11-month-old baby and never went back. Her parents are Australian.
She made headline earlier two months ago when she became the first politician to breastfeed a baby in the federal parliament and last month she breastfeed her then 14-week-old daughter, her second child, while on her feet moving a motion.
In the wake of Ludlam discovering he was a dual Australian-New Zealand citizen, in breech of the Constitution, Waters investigated her own status and “shocked” to realise she too was a dual citizen.
The Canadian High Commission confirmed she was still Canadian yesterday.
“I discovered something I thought wasn’t possible and I’m taking responsibility,” she said announcing her resignation today.
Waters said her parents were under the impression that the Canadian law that applied when she was born, that she had to chose Canadian citizenship when she turned 21, was still in place.
Waters said the law in was changed a week after she was born and that she should have renounced her Canadian citzenship.
“I just want to apologise to my party and all the wonderful Queenslanders I represented for the last six years,” she said.
“I’m not to sure what the future holds for me.”
With a number of politicians in the Australian parliament also born overseas, Waters said others may have to resign.
“It may that others may have to make this embarrassing revelation as well,” she said
Her resignation may see the return of former Democrats senator Andrew Bartlett, who was second on the Greens ticket for Queensland.
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