TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander welcomed 35 new Canadians at a special citizenship ceremony hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Canadian Tire.
To celebrate Citizenship Week 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada partnered with National Hockey League (NHL) teams to hold special citizenship ceremonies at NHL games in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. These ceremonies give new citizens first-hand experience with Canada's favourite pastime, strengthening their attachment to Canada and provide spectators the opportunity to celebrate these special moments with the new Canadians.
Today's newest citizens were greeted personally this afternoon at the Air Canada Centre by Minister Alexander, Kyle Dubas, Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minal Kamath, Vice-President of Canadian Tire Corporation. Celebrations continued this evening as these new Canadians took to the ice to join in the singing of the National Anthem before the Maple Leafs faced-off against the Detroit Red Wings.
- Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history - an average of one quarter-million newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent.
- 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 where we formally reflect on the rights, responsibilities, privileges and benefits of being a Canadian citizen.
- We are celebrating Citizenship Week this year from October 13-19, 2014.
- As the buzzer sounds on Citizenship Week, new citizens are being welcomed at the following hockey games: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings (October 17), the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks (October 17) and the Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (October 18).
- More than 200,000 new citizens have joined the Canadian family so far in 2014.
"There's no better way to welcome new citizens to the Canadian family than involving them in Canada's favourite pastime. Hockey games unite Canadians and serve as a way to show our national pride. Connecting new citizens with our nation's favourite sport is just one way the government is helping new Canadians form a strong attachment to our country. On behalf of our government, I am proud to welcome our newest citizens to the Canadian family."
Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
"On behalf of the entire Toronto Maple Leafs organization, I would like to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to each one of our new Canadian citizens. This historic franchise and the sport of hockey are deeply rooted in our heritage as Canadian citizens, and we are honoured to open our doors to you on this special day."
Kyle Dubas, Assistant General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs
"As a company that celebrates life in Canada, we believe that there's no better way to become active in communities than through sport. We are proud to welcome our newest citizens alongside Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canadian hockey community."
Doug Nathanson, Senior Vice-President, Canadian Tire Corporation
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Photos of Minister Alexander available at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/index.asp
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: Contacts: Kevin Menard, 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