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

Spring street sweeping starts

Vernon’s street sweeping and flushing will occur every day for the next four to six weeks.

PHOTOS: Spring has sprung in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The new season is bringing warm weather across the region

Vernon RCMP kick off impaired driving prevention week with drunk driving arrest

Impaired Driving Prevention Week encourages Canadians to drive sober.

Dust advisory continues for a third day

It is recommended that persons with chronic underlying medical conditions postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted.

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Detective dog, from Nelson, joins fight to combat invasive mussels

K9 Major will be on the road starting this month, hunting for quagga and zebra mussels

No cause yet for grassfire near Kamloops

Fire was about 1.8 hectares in size

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Case made for free tampon dispensers in schools

Advocate says access, anonymity key to providing less stressful experience for female students

Most Read