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Canada Welcomes New Citizens in Anniversary Celebration
Clutching small Canadian flags, a group of people from each province and territory became the country's newest citizens on Friday in a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of citizenship.
Gov. Gen. MichaÃ«lle Jean (herself, an immigrant from Haiti) spoke of her own experiences as a new Canadian at the ceremony.
Seventeen Canadian families stood and repeated the oath of citizenship in the Grand Hall of the Supreme Court of Canada building, where the first such ceremony was held.
Gov. Gen. MichaÃ«lle Jean administered the oath, afterwards handing the new Canadians their citizenship certificates and flags.
Jean recalled her family's arrival in Canada from her native Haiti, which, she said, had become a "prison for my family".
"I rememberâ€¦our hope of seeng our memory added to the collective memory of the country that had taken us in," said Jean. "Today, you will add your own stories and each of the stories are unique. Each broadens and enriches the lives of Canadians."
Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said the cold Ottawa weather â€” with windchills dipping below -20 C â€” was appropriate.
"For so many Canadians, winter has become a defining part of our character," said McLachlin. "And we can think about this as adding a particular resonance to this citizenship ceremony."
The Citizenship Act officially came into force on Jan. 1, 1947, providing a common Canadian citizenship on all Canadians.
Canada's first swearing-in ceremony took place two days later, when 26 people, including former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, received citizenship certificates.
Info Source: www.cbc.ca/canada/stor...ml?ref=rss
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