Canada celebrates 70 years of Canadian citizenship

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) yesterday hosted a special citizenship ceremony today at the Supreme Court of Canada with 26 individuals invited to kick off Canada 150 celebrations and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act.

The event resembled the first Canadian citizenship ceremony held 70 years ago, on 3rd January 1947, at the Supreme Court chamber. On that day, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King received the first Canadian citizenship certificate, numbered 0001.

The Canadian Citizenship Act had become law two days earlier. This act marked the beginning of Canadian citizenship as a legal status. It also made Canada the first Commonwealth country to create its own class of citizenship, separate from Great Britain.

“Throughout history, Canada’s identity has been largely shaped by the significant cultural and economic contributions of immigrants,” said John McCallum, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “The 70th anniversary of Canadian citizenship is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian – the rights we enjoy, the responsibilities we share, and the diversity that makes us strong. During Canada 150 and beyond, I encourage all Canadians to celebrate their citizenship,” he added.

In recent years, more permanent residents than ever before have taken up Canadian citizenship. In fact, during the past 10 years, Canada has welcomed more than 1,500,000 new Canadians.

In order to apply for Canadian citizenship, you must be aged over 18 years of age and have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days during the six years immediately before the date of your application. You must also be physically present for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application.

As part of the citizenship application process you will also need to sit and pass a test. During the test you will be asked numerous questions on a range of subjects including Canadian physical and political geography, the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of Canadian citizens and Canadian social and cultural history and symbols.

Article published 4th January 2017