I am no longer a Newfoundlander. I officially renounced my citizenship yesterday.
When my father moved to Canada in the early ‘70s he came without paperwork as an illegal immigrant. He assumed the last name Christopher and stated on all official paperwork that he was born in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.
When he married my mother in ’74 his place of birth was listed as Cornerbrook and when I was born in ’81 it was included on my birth certificate under “father’s place of birth”.
Having Newfoundland on there has never been an issue either way, so there was no reason to change it, but now there is.
I’m getting my US passport next month. I’m a US citizen through my father and I want to vote in the 2008 elections. But it doesn’t look good when I go to the consulate and they see “Newfoundland” stamped in all the documentation. He was, in fact, born in Alabama.
So… over the last few weeks I’ve had all my documents harmonised. My mother went ahead and had her marriage certificate corrected. The Vital Statistics people told her that they wouldn’t just change one bit of information (ie. Place of birth) but they’d revert the certificate to reflect the information on my father’s birth certificate. Which meant that both his name and place of birth would be changed on her marriage certificate. Consequently, she may have lost the right to use the last name Christopher.
Fortunately she updates all of her identification and paperwork with her driver’s license – not her marriage certificate so she’ll be able to keep her married name for years to come.
Once we got the marriage certificate out of the way there was only my birth certificate to change. I filled out all the paperwork and just had to get this affidavit notarised to make it official.
Notaries can be ridiculously expensive. They range in price from $25 to $50 here in Vancouver. I tend to file a lot of affidavits and it can really add up.
But recently, I found this rather fetching young lawyer by the name of Jeremy Bohbot who will notarise documents for only $10!!!! No weird catch, no creepiness. Just two minutes, a stamp and you’re done! He told me that when he was in law school he paid through the teeth for notary fees and didn’t want to put others through the same ordeal.
I don’t normally “plug” people, things or places but affordable legal and notary services fuckin’ rock! So… his website is www.myvancouverlawyer.com
I’d like to mention that I have no ill-will towards Newfoundland. I love Newfoundland. I had the privilege of spending two incredible weeks there in 2004 and hope to return someday soon. If I ever do get Newfoundlander citizenship again I’d like to obtain it through honest channels.