The government of Ontario has said that it would not support any effort by the federal government to end Canada's jus soli provision, whereby children born in Canada automatically attain Canadian citizenship. A 2013 report, obtained under an access to information request and marked “secret”, revealed that the federal government has been considering revising this provision for some time.
“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, in a letter to Ottawa, dated September 6, 2012, after a briefing on the plan. A copy of the province’s response was obtained by the Toronto Star last week.
On Friday, August 29, a spokesperson for Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the province has not changed its position since that letter was written. “Adequate time needs to be taken to understand the full implications of any change in policy. Canada needs to get this right, in partnership with provinces and territories,” said the spokesperson.
The federal immigration department conceded that there was a “significant operational and cost implication” to the recommendation, likely because this would force each province to modify the existing birth certificate regime to account for the country of citizenship. As Canada’s most populous province, Ontario’s failure to support a change to Canada’s birthright provision would represent a setback for the federal government.