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.

Just Posted

Nanaimo youth theatre group presenting ‘Hairspray Jr.’

Headliners director and actors agree musical’s message continues to resonate

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service on scene at Doumont Road fire

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Nanaimo set to celebrate its heritage

Nanaimo Heritage Days takes places Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read