Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer delivers remarks at the party’s national policy convention in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer delivers remarks at the party’s national policy convention in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Scheer defends birthright policy, says ending ‘birth tourism’ is objective

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office says the “birth on soil” principle has been enshrined in Canada’s citizenship legislation since the introduction of the Canadian Citizenship Act in 1947.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says ending “birth tourism” is an objective of a controversial policy passed by Conservative delegates at the biennial convention in Halifax, which seeks to end birthright citizenship.

In a statement late Sunday, and as backlash mounted on social media, Scheer says that while the policy in question did not “clearly focus” on ending birth tourism, “ending birth tourism will be among the objectives of our policy.”

The new party policy, which is non-binding, calls for the government to enact legislation which would end birthright citizenship in Canada “unless one of the parents of the child born in Canada is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.”

Related: Scheer says he will not reopen abortion debate, as members vote to uphold policy

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office says the “birth on soil” principle has been enshrined in Canada’s citizenship legislation since the introduction of the Canadian Citizenship Act in 1947.

This means that any children born in Canada, with the exception of children of diplomats, consular officers, or employees of foreign governments, are automatically granted citizenship.

Scheer says a Conservative government would not end the “core policy” that enables Canadians who have been born in Canada by parents who have come here to stay and who have contributed “greatly to our country.”

The Canadian Press

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