64% of Canadians do not support current laws that support ‘birth tourism’: poll

Any child born in Canada is a citizen, even if their parents are here on tourist visas

Birthright tourism and the federal laws that allow it have drawn a divide among Canadians, according to a new poll.

The nationwide survey results, released Thursday from the Angus Reid Institute, suggest 60 per cent of Canadians believe birthright citizenship goes too far, and needs to be reviewed.

Any baby born on Canadian soil is automatically granted citizenship. This includes babies whose parents are in the country as tourists or do not have any ties to Canada – roughly 64 per cent of respondents don’t think that should happen.

Forty per cent of respondents said they believe birthright citizenship is a good policy, compared to 33 per cent who believe it is a bad one.

A vast majority, or 92 per cent, said citizenship should be granted if both parents are permanent residents, and 82 per cent agreed if one parent was a Canadian citizen.

READ MORE: Feds studying birth tourism as new data shows higher non-resident birth rates

As parents’ ties to Canada start to thin, fewer respondents were on board with the legislation.

If one parent is in Canada on a work visa, 55 per cent believe a baby born here should be a Canadian citizen. That drops to 40 per cent if both parents are in the country on student visas, and to 24 per cent if both parents are visiting on a tourist visa.

Advocates have sounded the alarm in recent years about parents only coming to Canada to give birth so their child gets citizenship, and then returning home a short time later.

Taxpayers do not pay for non-resident births, but a 2018 report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found more than 3,200 babies were born to non-Canadian residents in 2016.

Birth tourism has been a hot-button issue especially in Richmond in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, where roughly 20 per cent of all births are by a non-citizen mother.

The Trudeau government has defended the current law against Conservatives’ arguments that Canada should modify birthright citizenship laws similar to what’s happened in the United Kingdom, Australia, India and other countries.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo schools host Skills Canada competitions

Central Island and Sunshine Coast high school student compete for spots on provincials and nationals

Taxi driver taken to hospital after crashing cab into utility pole

Accident happened Thursday afternoon on Big Bear Ridge

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo woman leaves friend’s home, now considered missing

Ashley Sheppard, 31, has not been heard from since Feb. 10

Francophone festivities in Nanaimo this weekend

French Canadian culture and cuisine highlight Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Share Now, formerly Car2Go, leaves Canada with valuable data in changing market: expert

Vancouver was its largest market in North America, with more than 300,000 customers

Off-duty RCMP officer helps catch Cache Creek car thief

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

Most Read