VANCOUVER, Oct. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, welcomed 13 new Canadians at a special citizenship ceremony hosted by the Vancouver Canucks.
To celebrate Citizenship Week 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada partnered with several National Hockey League (NHL) teams to hold special citizenship ceremonies at NHL games across Canada. These ceremonies give new citizens first-hand experience with Canada's most cherished sport, 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 by Minister Uppal and Vancouver Canucks Chief Operating Officer Victor de Bonis this afternoon. Celebrations will continue this evening as these new Canadians take to the ice to join in the singing of the National Anthem before the Vancouver Canucks face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- 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.
- Citizenship Week is taking place 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).
"There is almost nothing more Canadian than hockey, so what better way to offer new citizens a true taste of Canadian life than to involve them in one of Canada's favourite pastimes. Sport transcends cultural boundaries and is a way we build connections between ourselves, our communities and our country. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to each and every new Canadian who took the Oath of Citizenship at this very special ceremony. Our government is proud to welcome these new Canadians who will make valuable contributions to our community here in Vancouver."
Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park
"It was a special day and an honour for us to help welcome our new citizens in such a uniquely Canadian way. On behalf of the Aquilini family and everyone at Canucks Sports & Entertainment, we're proud to participate and hope they had an unforgettable day that they will share with their families forever."
Vancouver Canucks Chief Operating Officer, Victor de Bonis
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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: 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