Thirty new Canadians from 27 countries took the oath of citizenship at a special ceremony in celebration of Canada Day on the front lawn of the historic Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park in Toronto last month.
“A citizenship ceremony is a unique part of Canadian civic life,” said Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “It is one of the few occasions when we formally reflect on the rights, responsibilities and benefits of being a Canadian citizen and the high value our citizenship holds.”
Nearly 25 citizenship ceremonies took place across Ontario to celebrate Canada’s 144th birthday. More than 750 new Canadians marked the special day with several federal and provincial ministers including Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture.
Just before these ceremonies, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, participated in celebrations marking Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27.
“Canada is one of the most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse countries in the world,” he said. “Our dominion, the true north strong and free, is formed by citizens from many cultural backgrounds who have come together to live in harmony in this free land. We should be proud of this accomplishment and that our model of pluralism serves as an example for the rest of the world to follow.
“Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to reflect on both the contributions of Canada’s various cultural communities and the values that we all share: freedom, democracy, individual rights and the rule of law. Our multiculturalism programs continue to encourage all Canadians to embrace our shared values, history and institutions and to build a strong, integrated society. I am confident that Canadians of all origins and backgrounds will continue to work together to maintain our unity in diversity.”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada hosts citizenship ceremonies – a newcomer’s formal entry into the Canadian family – throughout the year. These ceremonies are significant events in the lives of applicants and the starting point to a promising future in their new home. In 2010, 1,723 citizenship ceremonies took place across Canada and 143,329 newcomers became Canadian citizens. Over the last two years, more than 165,000 newcomers have been granted citizenship in Ontario alone.