EDITORIAL – How is opposing birthright citizenship against Canadian values?

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

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.

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. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – How is opposing birthright citizenship against Canadian values?

  1. I totally agree with your comments. How and why did Canada ever decide to give babies citizenship in the first place? Years ago American women used to have babies in Canadian hospital solely because Canadian hospitals were cheaper, now we have rich foreigners country shopping often for the health and social benefits..

  2. Sean McGuinness // December 18, 2018 at 8:59 AM // Reply

    What about children born to parents who are not citizens but who have lived in Canada for some time? They might end up being stateless.

    For many years, people could simply “buy” their legal status in Canada. The conservatives had no problem with that.

  3. How is it “division and hate”? Well it is not but in these days and age of “polarization” everything goes, IMHO.
    The conservatives position on this issue makes sense, again IMHO.

    • I think the children would then have the nationality of their parents. I am not sure what the legal age is for application for citizenship, but the children would have no problem getting theirs I am sure when they reach the appropriate age.

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