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Local Mayor Says Babies Born In Canada Shouldn’t Automatically Become Citizens

Richmond Hospital birth tourism

Photo: Vancouver Coastal Health

Just because a baby is born in Canada doesn’t mean they deserve citizenship, said Richmond’s mayor.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie is calling on Ottawa to change immigration laws as a way to discourage birth tourism.

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That means if a person gives birth in Canada, their child would no longer be automatically granted citizenship.

Overcrowded Hospital Partially Due to Birth Tourism, Said Mayor

As of right now, the law states anyone born in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen. That includes 5,000 babies born to non-residents from 2018-2019, which is one-fifth of all births at the Richmond Hospital.

“People are abusing the system and we will pay a price right now with our medical system, but we’ll pay a bigger price in the long term with a number of people coming here who haven’t gone through any qualifications or procedures and they just come to our shores and will live in Canada,” Brodie said to CBC.

Brodie suggests changing the law so at least one parent must be a Canadian citizen in order for their child to gain citizenship.

The City of Richmond can’t do much about the hospital’s overcrowding for this situation, said Brodie.

He explained the medical system is in the province’s jurisdiction, while immigration is within the federal government’s responsibility.

“This is a law and this law can be changed and I don’t have any idea why they haven’t done it,” said Brodie to CBC. “The optimist in me says they simply haven’t gotten around to it.”

While the Richmond Hospital may be consistently busy, Surrey, on the other hand, is getting a new hospital soon, and Burnaby’s is getting several upgrades.

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