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Canada celebrates 37 years of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms


Citizenship ceremonies are a moving and emotional celebration of a significant milestone in the journey of a newcomer to Canada.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, welcomed 37 new Canadians in the West Block of Parliament Hill, welcoming people from seven countries.

The special citizenship ceremony marked the 37th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which became part of the Canadian Constitution on April 17, 1982. The Charter is highly valued among Canadians as it guarantees the broad equality of rights and fundamental freedoms that are essential in a free and democratic country, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, legal and democratic rights, and the right to live free from discrimination.

These rights and freedoms are what make Canada what it is today – one of the most socially progressive countries in the world. The 37 people who took the oath of citizenship learned about the Charter, as do most new citizens.

The Charter is an essential part of Canada’s democracy and will continue to shape Canada’s identity as a country.

“Thirty-seven years ago, nobody could have imagined how the Charter would shape Canada nearly four decades later,” said Hussen. “I believe the Charter is the most important law as it has shaped our identity as a nation and represents the values of its people. Canada is recognized around the world for its freedom and democracy and Canadians are renowned for celebrating diversity and making everyone feel welcomed and included. To the 37 new Canadians: Welcome into our Canadian family, welcome home.”

A few quick facts:

Citizenship ceremonies are a significant milestone in the process of immigration, settlement and integration for a newcomer to Canada. Ceremonies are a moving and emotional celebration as well as a necessary legal step to citizenship.

Canada is a land of immigrants, made up of people from more than 200 ethnic origins, with 13 of those ethnic groups having Canadian populations over 1 million. From the country’s very beginning and still today, Indigenous peoples have contributed to building a stronger, more inclusive Canada.

For decades, the Charter has been the source of change, progress and the affirmation of Canadian society’s values. Canadian courts have rendered hundreds of decisions in which they applied the Charter to bring Canadian laws in line with the principles and values of Canadian society.

Posted: Jun 5, 2019

November 2019

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