Welcoming more new citizens - Montreal to host six citizenship ceremonies today alone

MONTREAL, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - More than 1,000 people from 93 countries are scheduled to become Canadian citizens at one of six citizenship ceremonies scheduled to be held in Montreal today.

Ceremonies like today's demonstrate that the backlog of citizenship applications is decreasing, helping more people realize sooner their dream of becoming Canadian. The government's proposed changes in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. It is expected that these changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016.

Montreal is hosting a series of large-scale citizenship ceremonies over the course of February and March, which will welcome approximately 11,000 new Canadians. Over the same period last year, close to 4,300 citizenships were granted across Quebec.

Quick facts

  • Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history - an average of 257,000 newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent.

  • In 2013, 128,936 people were granted citizenship at ceremonies across Canada - an average of 10,745 each month. Today alone in Montreal, 1,040 people are expected to be granted Canadian citizenship.

  • For a new Canadian the citizenship ceremony marks their formal entry into the Canadian family. A citizenship ceremony is a unique part of Canadian civic life. It is one of the few occasions when we formally reflect on the rights, responsibilities, privileges and benefits of being a Canadian citizen.

Quote

"A Canadian citizenship ceremony is a moving and emotional celebration that reaffirms one's commitment to Canadian values and traditions. Our government wants to build on our successes in reforming the immigration system and, with the launch of the Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements, we will improve the citizenship process so newcomers become Canadian citizens more quickly."

Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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Photos of Minister Alexander are available.

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.


 

SOURCE Citizenship and Immigration Canada

For further information:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister's Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1650
CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca