No to citizenship change

Re. Poll: Should Canadian citizens born outside of Canada be able to pass on citizenship to children also born outside of the country? (Castanet, May 23)

Some may remember in 2006, there was a war raging in Lebanon and Canada rescued 15,000 Canadian “citizens” living in Lebanon and brought them back to Canada. At that time, there was a term coined, “citizens of convenience.”

According to Wikipedia:

“Then Conservative MP for Halton, on his official blog, questioned the fairness of paying CA$75,000 for each Lebanese evacuee, saying, among other things, "that's a hell of a lot of money to donate to people who do not live here, don't pay taxes here, and may never come here again in their lives."

(The actual cost for each evacuee would be approximately $6,300, or $94 million for 15,000 people.)

“A Toronto-based national newspaper asserted later in 2006 that, of the 15,000 evacuated, about 7,000 may have returned to Lebanon within a month of being evacuated.

“Other editorials supported use of the phrase "Canadians of convenience," arguing many immigrants meet their minimum residence requirement to gain Canadian citizenship (which, since 1977, can essentially never be revoked), leave the country, and only call upon their Canadian citizenship again when in need of Canada's healthcare (which is publicly funded) or emergency evacuation from a war zone.”

Any guess who was prime minister was in 1977? It was none other than Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

As a life-long Canadian taxpayer, I certainly don’t want more of my tax dollars funnelled to “citizens of convenience.” Also, upon returning to Canada to live, a foreign baby born to Canadian citizens could apply to be naturalized.

This change will allow even grandchildren who have never been to Canada, and whose parents were never in Canada, to be automatically granted Canadian citizenship and entitled to vote in our federal elections.

Some may recall our current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, changed the rules to allow people who haven’t lived in Canada for many years the automatic right to vote federally.

Another gripe I have is “birth tourism.”

From an article on Vancouver is Awesome:

“Baby girl Hana Amr Fouad was born at 2:54 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2023, in Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital, weighing in at nine pounds 1.5 ounces. But circumstances surrounding her birth are not typical of a new year's baby.

“Parents Salma Gasser and Amr Fouad flew to Vancouver from Cairo, Egypt ‘to give the baby this opportunity,’ says her father.

“They carefully considered the place of Hana's birth and secured visas for both the U.S. and Canada but ultimately, ‘we chose Canada because the Canadian passport is better,’ explains Fouad.”

Both are just wrong in so many ways. That is why I voted no in the poll.

Robert Hepting, Kelowna

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