REGINA, Oct. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - This week, approximately 450 new Canadian citizens from more than 50 countries were welcomed at eight ceremonies at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
Ceremonies like these demonstrate how the government is working to make the citizenship program more efficient and helping more people realize their dream of becoming Canadian sooner. Recent changes to the Citizenship Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, will allow for further improvements to the efficiency of the citizenship program. The new streamlined decision-making process and other changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to bring the processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and reduce the citizenship application backlog by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016.
- 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 Canadian society. 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.
- More than 150,000 new Canadians have been welcomed across Canada so far in 2014 - more than double the number of new citizens compared to the same time period in 2013.
- On June 19, 2014, Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, became law. The new provisions strengthen the integrity of the citizenship system and reduce processing times for citizenship applications.
"Our government is proud to welcome Regina's newest citizens as Canadians. The impressive number of individuals participating in these ceremonies, and embracing the rights, responsibilities and privileges that come with Canadian citizenship, demonstrates that our Government's changes to the citizenship program are working."
Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
News Release - Welcoming the 150,000th New Citizen of 2014
News Release - Government welcomes Royal Assent of Bill C-24
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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