At a party convention on August 26th in Halifax, Conservative leaders voted to withdraw their support of the policy that grants Canadian citizenship to children born in Canada to foreign parents.
The tallies were extremely tight on this decision. People in favor of this policy shift won by a slim percentage after an electronic tally was counted. In total, there were about 3,000 Conservative party members in attendance.
MPs in favor of this decision said this action proves the Conservative party puts the rights of native-born Canadians first. Supporters of this vote also claimed this tougher stance on citizenship requirements will discourage people from traveling illegally into Canada and unfairly taking advantage of the country’s resources.
Political analysts claim Conservatives are most concerned with the growing number of children born to Chinese parents in Canada. Recent data out of Richmond Hospital found that over 22 percent of all infants are born to two parents who are not Canadian citizens. In many cases, both parents are from Mainland China.
Those against this policy change argued that Canadian law should protect the vulnerable born on its soil. These MPs also contended that granting citizenship to Canadian children should be viewed as supporting the Canadian ideal of “equality.”
After news of this decision broke, New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh criticized the Conservatives’ policy change. On Twitter, Singh accused Conservative leader Andrew Scheer with pedaling “division & hate.”
This isn’t the first time the contentious issue of citizenship for children born to non-Canadian parents has taken center stage. Just a few months ago, a petition in Vancouver supporter the abolition of “birth tourism” received 10,000 signatures.