Minister Fraser Warmly Welcomes New Citizens
Every year, Citizenship Week is celebrated in Canada as a way for the government to welcome new citizens and for the new citizens to ponder on what it means to be a Canadian. This year Citizenship Week was celebrated between May 22 and May 29 with great enthusiasm.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, hosted 105 citizenship ceremonies and invited more than 13,500 new Canadians to all provinces and territories. This was almost double the average of new Canadians welcomed per week throughout the year.
Minister Fraser attended ceremonies in Halifax and Vancouver, where he welcomed new Canadians very warmly. These ceremonies are always an emotional and meaningful experience for the new Canadians and their friends and family who take part in these momentous occasions Above is the video from one of the ceremonies.
Quote from the video above
“We have got an extraordinary mix of people who are becoming Canadians today. Some people are here for economic opportunities for themselves or their families, others to join their family and yet some others are fleeing persecution.
“We are so happy to have you. As lucky as you may feel to become Canadian today, rest assured that it is Canada that is lucky to have you”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
In a separate press release, the Minister gave the following quote:
“It was a great honour to participate in inviting over 13,500 new members to our Canadian family. In fact, it is one of the best parts of my job. Citizenship Week 2023 has given me the chance to reflect on everything that being Canadian means: the freedom to live as our authentic selves, the connection to our natural world, and the opportunity to reach our full potential no matter where we came from. I am thankful every day to be Canadian, and I encourage everyone to reflect on what being Canadian means to them.”
Quick facts about the citizenship ceremonies
- The citizenship ceremony is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. During the ceremony, participants take the oath of citizenship and accept the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. The Oath of Citizenship is usually administered by a citizenship judge.
- Indigenous Peoples’ history in Canada is rich, diverse and goes beyond the history of European settlers. The stories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are essential to the story of Canada. The Indigenous Peoples will continue to play an important role in Canada’s future. In June 2021, the Oath of Citizenship changed to recognize Aboriginal and treaty rights.
- Canada is proud to have exceeded its citizenship goals this past year, with nearly 364,000 new Canadian citizens.
- The Citizenship Application Tracker was launched in May 2021 to help clients stay up to date on the status of their citizenship application and be aware of any required next steps to complete it.
- IRCC has launched online application processes for some clients looking to apply for a grant of citizenship, get proof of citizenship or search citizenship records.
- Between November 26, 2020—when the new online testing platform was launched—and March 31, 2023, nearly 546,000 people have taken citizenship tests online. Every week, IRCC is able to invite over 5,000 applicants to complete the test.
- Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, on average, nearly 30,000 people took the Oath of Citizenship each month, exceeding pre-COVID-19 volumes.