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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ROTHENBURGER: How is opposing birthright citizenship against Canadian values?

REPRINTED with permission

Birthright citizenship just might become the hot button issue of the next federal election.

It has all the necessary ingredients. A divide between the left and the right. Ethnic and racial implications. Questions about national identity. Budgetary impacts. Canadian values.

Ending birthright citizenship is now official Conservative Party policy. If the Tories get their way, the automatic granting of citizenship to anyone born here will be eliminated. Instead, they would have to have at least one parent who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Opponents of the proposal say it’s un-Canadian. “We should not pick and choose who should be Canadian (citizens) upon birth,” said one.

Well, why not? What’s sacred about birth tourism? What category of Canadian values does it come within?

Under the current system, pregnant foreign residents can travel to Canada, give birth here and thereby reserve all the social supports Canada has to offer for their babies.

Those who find the idea of eliminating the practice objectionable argue that it might be a non-problem looking for a solution. But if the problem is small in scope now, what’s the rationale for waiting until it grows?

And the problem is this: under birthright citizenship, Canadian taxpayers pay the bill.

It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect those born here to have some connection to the country other than the accidental or intentional coincidence of their parents having visited here at the time of birth.

How is it “division and hate,” as characterized by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh?
Children born to Canadian mothers in most of Europe, Asia or Africa don’t get citizenship in those countries.
Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor

Why in Canada?

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

 Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board.


  1. Mel,

    You ask, "What’s the rationale for waiting until it grows?" but my question is, where is the evidence that it is growing?

  2. Here's just one quote from a Global News story:

    There were 384 babies of non-resident parents born at Richmond Hospital between 2016 and 2017.

    Additionally the story indicated:
    Starchuk has campaigned against the practice for the past two years, after she discovered a growing number of cases in Richmond.

    She claimed that a home near hers was serving as a “birth-house,” where she would consistently see assistants walking with different pregnant women on her street, caring for them while they were in the country to give birth.

    Many “birth houses” are being advertised as travel agencies, Starchuk said. Though these women are paying for their services, neither they, nor their children, make any long-term contributions to Canada, she said ... said birth tourism is “fundamentally debasing the value of Canadian citizenship.”

    I agree with her comments --- we are simply being used as a birthing factory so that people can get around the legal immigration rules. That is fundamentally wrong. I agree with Starchuk in that it does devalue what Canadian citizenship should be.

  3. True story. Open the flood gates, it could be overused if we let it. The parents have the money to get here so have their young at home at their own cost.


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