2018 Round-up: My articles

Seeing a number of round-up articles, thought it might be interesting, for myself at least, to do a similar recap.

By far, the articles that drew the most media and other attention were related to birth tourism, with extensive commentary in print media and a number of television and radio interviews.

First my reminder that the previous Conservative government had tried to limit birthright citizenship to those born to citizens and permanent residents, What the previous government learned about birth tourism. Secondly, my study showing that previous estimates, based upon StatsCan and provincial vital statistics agencies, seriously underestimated the extent of the practice by a factor of five or more, Hospital stats show birth tourism rising in major cities.

This  study may have encouraged the government to respond more substantively to the petition my Steveston-Richmond MP Joe Peschisolido’s petition calling for a study, with the government engaging the Canadian Institute of Health Information to conduct the study (the organization that provided me the data used in my analysis).

Expect that there will be more to write and analysis in 2019. Have submitted a number of ATIP requests to CBSA and key provinces regarding the introduction of Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDL) to see if any costing estimates, as this was a concrete example of a provincial identity card including citizenship information.

One of my ongoing frustrations in this work is the lack of public information on how Australia made the change to qualified birthright citizenship in 2007. It is surprising that I couldn’t find anything through google searches or asking Australian academics whose work I am familiar with. When I was in Australia during the 2007 Metropolis conference, the most contentious issue among Australian attendees was the introduction of a citizenship test and, if I recall correctly, more stringent language requirements. So if any of my readers can shed any light, that would be appreciated.

Another article that prompted considerable discussion was We can have open, respectful debates on immigration and follow-up in terms of discussion and  speaking events either organized by others (e.g., Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management) or the annual Metropolis conferences (this year, looking at the Atlantic Canada perspective given the Halifax location).

A major focus of my time has been going through the 2016 and other data to assess how well integration and multiculturalism are working in Canada in terms of economic, social and political outcomes, with A new perspective on immigrants’ economic outcomes in Canada and What the census tells us about citizenship being published, along with my overview deck, presented at Metropolis and Ryerson, Multiculturalism in Canada: What Census 2016 and Other Data Tells Us. Another deck that may be of interest examined Education fields of study and economic outcomes, presented at an ACS/Statistics Conference, which took a detailed look at the economic outcomes of STEM and BHASE Canadian-born visible minorities. More to come.

I continued to write regarding my concerns about expansion of expatriate voting rights, Andrew Griffith and Robert Vineberg: What should the voting rights of Canadian expatriates be?  and Why benefits of citizenship aren’t always equal, but regrettably, there was little media or political interest in these concerns, save for an informal meeting with Senators (the provisions of Bill C-76, approved, allow for any Canadian citizen to vote no matter how short their time in Canada).

With Michael Adams, What can Canada teach the US about immigration? highlighted some of the key differences in attitudes and our political system that provide greater resilience to the anti-immigration populism of the USA. Our conclusions, of course, will be tested in the October election.

On that point, to complement my ongoing work on visible minorities and elections, I took a look at the impact of Indigenous voters and the 2019 election, noting that 16 ridings had 20 percent or more Indigenous voters, relatively small but growing.

I am looking forward to the release of 2018 citizenship statistics, applications and new citizens, to assess the impact of the Liberal government’s easing of residency, language and knowledge requirements.

Best wishes for 2019,




About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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