One in four births taking place at Richmond Hospital involve an international mother, according to new statistics.
So-called “birth tourism” is a controversial phenomenon in which expectant mothers from other countries come to Canada for the purpose of accessing a Canadian passport for their newborn babies and skipping the standard immigration processes.
“It’s perceived as an abuse of birthright citizenship,” said Andrew Griffith, a former director of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada who is currently a fellow at the Environics Institute. …
Politicians from all three levels of government in Richmond have been pushing Ottawa to do more to stop the practice.
“We just feel that that is not fair, it really degrades the citizenship that we all enjoy,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
He said the municipal government has been advocating that birth tourism be addressed, but those requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
“We can insist that those practices that are operating a business to house the birth tourists have a business licence. There’s not all that much more that we can do, other than keep highlighting the problem,” Brodie said. …