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

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

Abbotsford had B.C.’s most-crowded Grade 4-7 classrooms last year

District was only one in Fraser Health to ask for cohort expansion

New industrial growth plan should still include conversion of farmland, Abbotsford mayor says

Province denied city’s 2018 request to exclude lands from the Agriculture Land Reserve

Sunny skies ahead for Fraser Valley this week

Rain and smoke nowhere in the forecast after weeks of weather alerts

Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show

Online exhibit hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council in November

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read