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A new survey suggests a majority of Canadians are concerned about so-called “birth tourism.”
Canada allows expectant mothers from foreign countries to obtain automatic citizenship for their children if they are born in the country.
Birth tourism is the practice of travelling to a specific country for the purpose of giving birth there and securing citizenship for the child.
According to a new survey from Research Co., 78% of Canadians asked said they agree with the federal government establishing a committee to investigate the full extent of the practice in Canada.
It comes amid reports of unregulated for-profit businesses that have facilitated the practice of birth tourism in Canada.
“Residents of British Columbia are more likely to be paying attention to this issue, partly because of the situation that has unfolded in the City of Richmond,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co.
“Almost half of British Columbians (49%) are following stories about birth tourism, compared to just 34% of Albertans.”
The survey, based on the responses of 1,000 representative Canadians, also found that:
71% of participants think birth tourism can be used to unfairly gain access to Canadian social programs
59% think it could “degrade” the value of Canadian citizenship
56% think it could displace Canadians from hospitals
67% think it might have made sense at one point, but now people are taking advantage of it
54% think Canada should “definitely” or “probably” consider new guidelines on birthright citizenship
56% of BC residents support a new approach