| Current Toronto Time: 
The making of a new Canadian


Canada’s identity has been largely shaped by the significant cultural and economic contributions of immigrants. Citizenship ceremonies are the end of a long process of immigration, settlement and integration for a newcomer to Canada. 

Ceremonies are a moving and emotional celebration. Taking the Oath of Citizenship is also a necessary legal step to citizenship. 

New Citizenship Judge Major Claude Villeneuve presided over his first citizenship ceremonies on July 1, officiating first at a ceremony in Fort Edmonton Park, where he welcomed 50 new citizens, and then at Heritage Park Pavilion, in Stony Plain, welcoming another 50 new Canadians.

Across Canada, 1950 people became Canadians at 46 special Canada Day citizenship ceremonies on July 1, Canada’s birthday.

Major Claude Villeneuve served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 37 years, in the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

He completed three overseas deployments in Saudi Arabia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Judge Villeneuve is an Aide-de-Camp of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and a recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

As a citizenship judge, Major Villeneuve is responsible for making decisions on some citizenship applications, presiding over citizenship ceremonies and administering the Oath of Citizenship to new citizens. He will also play an important role in promoting Canadian citizenship and civic values in communities throughout Alberta and western Canada.

“After 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and having the privilege to project Canadian values at home and abroad, I now have the pleasure of witnessing those who have decided to adopt these values as their own,” said Villeneuve. “After making many sacrifices and working hard, they finally reach this ultimate moment when, by adopting Canadian values, they become Canadian citizens. And as a Citizenship Judge, I have the humble honour of accompanying them in the Oath of Citizenship. What a great honour! I have one of the best jobs in Canada.” 

“I am honoured to participate in the Fort Edmonton Park Canada Day citizenship ceremony,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods and the Minister of Natural Resources. “I, too, was not born a Canadian. I came to Canada in 1988, and the day I became a Canadian citizen is a precious memory for me. For all of us, today is a day to see how fortunate we are. We live in a great country where equality and diversity are celebrated. Please join me in welcoming our new Canadians on Canada Day.”

New Citizenship Judge Hardish K. Dhaliwal also presided over her first citizenship ceremonies on Canada Day. She officiated at a special ceremony in the Council Chambers at the Ajax Town Hall in Ontario, where she welcomed 50 new Canadian citizens.

Together with Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, she also presided over a citizenship ceremony at Speducci Mercatto Restaurant in Toronto, welcoming another 25 new citizens into the Canadian family.

Hardish K. Dhaliwal is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with more than 25 years of senior management experience in the private, public and NGO sectors. She has worked throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America, and has had an extensive public service career with the Ontario Ministries of Citizenship and Immigration, Advanced Education and Skills Development, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

As a citizenship judge, Hardish Dhaliwal will be responsible for making decisions on some citizenship applications, presiding over citizenship ceremonies and administering the oath of citizenship to new citizens. She will also play an important role in promoting Canadian citizenship and civic values in communities across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“I am honoured to have been appointed a Citizenship Judge,” she said. “I immigrated to Canada in 2002, and have vivid memories of my citizenship ceremony: people from all over the world gathered together with their families and friends. I remember our nerves, and our smiles. I remember our joy at becoming Canadian. It is an immense privilege to be a citizen of this country that values and recognizes diversity as a strength and a pathway to the future. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to Canada – a place that has so enriched my own life.

“I know from personal experience what a special moment it is to become Canadian. The new Canadians will carry memories of this day with them always. For all of us, July 1 is a day to reflect on how fortunate we all are to live in this great country, a country where diversity is celebrated as a strength.

“I know the new Canadians will carry memories of this day with them always and it is my honour to be a part of their special day,” said Mark Holland, Member of Parliament for Ajax. “Diversity leads Canada to greatness. This is a gift we all benefit from. To the new Canadians, welcome to your new permanent home!”

Posted: Aug 2, 2018

October 2018



Centennial College



Immigration Peel Canada



© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016