Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe says ‘No’ to removing citizenship by birth on soil
“There is not enough evidence to justify the effort and expense required for such a system-wide program change,” said Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister.
The Ontario government says it will not support Ottawa’s proposal to remove citizenship rights to children born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents.
“In our view, there is not enough evidence to justify the effort and expense required for such a system-wide program change. Citizenship and immigration Canada has not quantified the extent of fraud resulting from ‘birth tourism,’’ said Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe.
“At this time, there is insufficient data to demonstrate the demand placed on Ontario’s economy or public services from ‘birth tourists,’” he wrote in a letter to Ottawa, dated September 6, 2012, after a technical briefing on the plan. A copy of the province’s response was obtained by the Star this week.
On Friday, a spokesperson for Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the province has not changed its position.
“While citizenship is the sole responsibility of the federal government under Canada’s constitution, any proposed change to citizenship policy can have profound impact on the provinces and territories,” said the spokesperson.
“Adequate time needs to be taken to understand the full implications of any change in policy. Canada needs to get this right, in partnership with provinces and territories.”
A recent story by the Star, based on a copy of the “secret” proposal by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has revealed that Ottawa is keen on removing citizenship by “birth on soil” even though the fewer than 500 cases a year of children born here to foreign nationals would not justify its costs.
In fact, Ottawa’s own review acknowledged that any of these changes to distinguish different classes of Canadian-born babies would require provinces to alter birth certificate registration and issuance process in order to issue birth certificates indicating the holder’s citizenship status.