Special ceremonies have been held in Canada for hundreds of people who became Canadian citizens as part of the celebrations for Canada Day.
‘On this day, we celebrate the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as the history, symbols, and institutions that define us as Canadians and give us our identity. We recognise especially those who defend Canada at home and abroad, and provided us with the opportunity to live in a strong and free country,’ said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
More than 1,500 people were granted Canadian citizenship at more than 30 ceremonies across Canada. Each year, almost 160,000 people become citizens at more than 1,900 citizenship ceremonies.
Kenney marked the occasion by launching the newest audio version of the popular citizenship study guide, Discover Canada: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. A number of individuals participated in the recording of the new audio guide, including several high profile Canadians.
‘For Canadian citizenship to be meaningful, we need to share a common understanding of our rights and responsibilities, our history and our values. Thanks to the newest Discover Canada audio guide and the prominent Canadians who have helped bring the story of Canada to life, the importance of citizenship is now accessible to more people,’ said Kenney.
CIC said is grateful for the participation of all who have provided their voices and time in the recording of the new audio guide. Some of the readers include television journalist Ian Hanomansing, actor Albert Schultz, operatic tenor Richard Margison and professional narrator Jean-Benoît Rainville.
It also marked the expansion of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass (CAP) to include VIA Rail. This means that new Canadian citizens who are participants in the CAP programme will be offered a one time 50% discount off the lowest available fare on VIA Rail. The offer is also extended to up to four of their minor dependent children.
The CAP programme provides new Canadian citizens and their children with a year of free access to more than 1,000 Canadian attractions from museums and historic sites to national and provincial parks to help citizens explore the country.
‘Our collaboration with VIA Rail is a dream come true to someone like me who was once a new Canadian wishing to discover a new country,’ said Adrienne Clarkson, Institute for Canadian Citizenship co-founder and co-chair. Madame Clarkson is also one of the voices on the new Discover Canada audio guide.