Fine. My colleague Mr. Wrzesnewskyj talked about the privilege of citizenship and how to limit its extension. We already had that debate in this committee, and we know it is always very difficult to determine who should be given this privilege and who should not.
I remember very well that, at the time, when we were studying the former Bill C-37 on citizenship, the officials had told us that the place of birth was the simplest and easiest to apply criteria, and that it covered the largest number of cases. That is why it is the general criteria which is used in our legislation to extend citizenship. It is the criteria you used in your bill.
Nevertheless, we still need to define a whole list of exceptions to cover as many situations as possible.
I would like to take advantage of your presence to have a more thorough discussion about citizenship.
Is the place of birth still the most relevant criteria to determine the attachment of an individual to Canada?
In my opinion, if we started to question this premise, we could see things in a totally different light. On the one hand, you have people who were born in Canada—some cases have been reported in the media—and who come to Canada like tourists, to give birth and then they leave for 18 years. Later, their children come to Canada for postsecondary education. These people have no ties in Canada.
On the other hand, you might have people who have always lived in Canada and who happen to give birth abroad, quite accidentally—some of them live along the American border, and the ambulance may have driven them to an American hospital—, and these people cannot extend their citizenship to their child if he or she is born abroad.
In this day and age, when people are travelling everywhere around the world, shouldn't we start to think about determining citizenship according to the number of years an individual or his parents have lived in Canada, rather than apply stupidly the place of birth criteria?