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August 13, 2021

Birth tourism clearly on the rise in Canada: report

Many legitimate immigrants work very hard and wait very long to get into this country. And then there are those who try to beat the system.

Birth tourists, primarily third-world women, travel to and give birth in Canada so that their children will become citizens.

After acquiring citizenship for their newborns (Canada and the US are the last remaining developed nations that still grants citizenship to everyone born in the country, regardless of the circumstances), some families settle up and return to their home countries. Others disappear into the night, however, often without paying their hospital bills.

It's a great deal. Once the child is born, they get a birth certificate and passport, and their future link to this country's generous social system is established and irreversible.

The long-term plan plan is to send these children back here when they're old enough to go to school and take advantage of other subsidized programs. Later on, if they choose, they'll be able to stick around and sponsor other family members.

There are even companies in some Canadian cities that have set up so-called birth homes for pregnent women to stay in until their child needs to be delivered. Although the practice may seem deceptive, it's all perfectly legal.

But that doesn't make it right, say critics, who feel taxpayers are once again footing the medicare bill for interlopers who refuse to play by the rules.

This trend has got the attention of Chris Alexander, newly appointed minister of citizenship and immigration, although just what he has in mind is still unclear.

"Birth tourism undermines the integrity of our system and takes advantage of Canadian generosity so this is certainly an issue that I will be considering carefully going forward," he told the National Post recently.

Are you with him on this one?

Does birth tourism seem to be a significant economic issue? Is it worth the $$ to police and prevent a few people from beating the system? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...