Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.
The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that Scheer’s father is an American by birth and passed along the citizenship to Scheer and his siblings.
Daniel Schow, a spokesperson for the party, confirmed Thursday Scheer decided to renounce the citizenship after he became Conservative leader.
Schow said Scheer started the processing of renouncing his citizenship in August, before the federal election campaign started, and the paperwork is now being processed by the U.S. government.
“Like millions of Canadians, one of Mr. Scheer’s parents was born in another country and immigrated to Canada to start a family. He and his sisters received United States passports as children and Mr. Scheer has not renewed his as an adult. He has not voted in any United States election,” Schow said in a statement.
The current wait time to renounce U.S. citizenship is roughly nine to 10 months for applications filed at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.
The leader has faced questions about his past in recent days after it was confirmed Scheer was never actually licensed to sell insurance, even though his party biography cited his past work experience as an “insurance broker.”
Scheer has said since he was accredited but never licensed to sell insurance at the Regina firm he worked at for six months before he was elected to Parliament at the age of 25 in 2004. Scheer’s private sector experience includes this short stint in the insurance world and waiting tables at restaurants while in university.
Scheer raised concerns about former Governor General Michaëlle Jean holding both Canadian and French passports in a 2005 blog post.
“I have a few quick questions for anyone who thinks that Michaëlle Jean is a good choice to be our next GG,” Scheer wrote. “What are her qualifications? What experience does she have that would assist her to carry out her duties as our head of state, including the potential to be a referee in a minority government situation?”
He also asked his constituents if they felt it was appropriate for Jean to maintain her French passport. “Would it bother you if instead of French citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?” Scheer asked.
Jean renounced her French citizenship before she was sworn in as Governor General and commander-in-chief of the Canadian Forces in 2005.
Under the leadership of former prime minister Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party accused former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion and former NDP leader Tom Mulcair of having divided loyalties as both men had dual Canadian and French citizenship while holding public office.
When asked about Mulcair’s citizenship, Harper said in 2015 it was up to Mulcair to decide whether to keep the French passport or give it up. “In my case, as I say, I’m very clear. I’m a Canadian and only a Canadian,” Harper said.
A past CBC News investigation found at least 56 parliamentarians from the 2015-19 Parliament, including 44 MPs and 12 senators, were born outside Canada. At least 22 of them have citizenship from other countries. Scheer’s U.S. citizenship was not then widely known.