“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.
Officials recommend Ottawa removing citizenship rights to babies born to non-citizens and non-residents even though costs outweigh benefits.
Immigration officials have recommended that Ottawa remove citizenship rights to babies born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents even though the small number of cases doesn’t justify the costs.
The proposal, marked “secret” and with inputs from various federal departments, found fewer than 500 cases of children being born to foreign nationals in Canada each year, amounting to just 0.14 per cent of the 360,000 total births per year in the country.
The issue of citizenship by birth on Canadian soil once again raises concerns among critics over the current government’s policy considerations being based on ideologies rather than evidence and objective cost-benefit analyses.
Canada passes new citizenship and immigration act
Controversial new rules aimed at strengthening the requirements for access to Canadian citizenship have now been passed into law.
The aim of the changes is to make certain that those applying for citizenship are fully prepared for integration and participation in Canadian society. The government is hoping that the requirements will help foster a better understanding of the country’s traditions and value systems.
BILL CURRY OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Last updated
The future of Canada’s live-in caregiver program, which allows families to bring nannies from abroad, is in limbo as the Conservative government says it is next in line for a shakeup.
The government is opting to leave the live-in caregiver program largely untouched for now, in spite of years of internal warnings from public servants that it has become a “hidden” family reunification program, particularly for Canada’s Filipino community.
Ottawa’s proposed citizenship reform will punish good immigrants by putting more hurdles for them to become full-fledged members of society, many newcomers say.
They say restricting citizenship won’t strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship — an argument Immigration Minister Chris Alexander made Thursday — but discourage newcomers from full civic participation. Some even wonder if Canada is still a welcoming country to immigrants.
Frances Barrick, Record staff
Tue Apr 02 2013 16:19:00
Health clinic for refugees to open Thursday in Kitchener
KITCHENER – A health clinic dedicated to the ongoing care of refugees will open Thursday in Kitchener.
It is the first such clinic in Waterloo Region.
“I think it is a service that needs to exist….I think here is a huge need,” said Dr. Michael Stephenson, 34, who is the director and sole physician of this new clinic called Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre.
The clinic will operate on Thursdays at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 825 King St. W. until Stephenson said he finds a more permanent location.