Letter: Put a stop to birth tourism now

Dear Editor,

The on-going problem of birth tourism needs immediate attention of the lawmakers in Ottawa. It is totally inappropriate and unacceptable that a number of unsavoury characters are exploiting Canada’s hospitality and lenient laws.

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Recent ads promoting this practice are proof that it is about time for our federal government to wake up and bring in strict measures to stop this exploitation and abuse of our compassion and leniency. Richmond seems to be the most affected community of this misuse/abuse of our hospitality so far as birth tourism is concerned. It sends a wrong message to the rest of the world.

We are telling the world that if you have money you can buy Canadian citizenship. A lot of countries in the world have already banned birth tourism. It is time for Ottawa to take action and stop this practice.

In order to get Canadian citizenship for a child born on Canadian soil at least one of his/her parents should be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. It is as simple as that.

To their credit, both of Richmond’s MPs — Alice Wong (Conservative: Richmond Centre) and Joe Peschisolido (Liberal: Steveston-Richmond East) are on board to plug this loophole. Also, Richmond East-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal has been spearheading a campaign to put a stop to birth tourism.

Balwant Sanghera

RICHMOND

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