What does it mean?
Becoming a Canadian citizen is a life-changing moment. For those of us born in Canada, we often do not give our citizenship much thought, but we should.
Citizenship comes with both rights and responsibilities. Very often, we focus on the rights that our Canadian citizenship affords, but rarely do we discuss the responsibilities it comes with.
It has been an honour to speak at citizenship ceremonies as we welcome more people into the Canadian family. My remarks to our newest Canadians may interest you as I feel every Canadian should take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a citizen.
“Today, you raised your hand and took the oath of Canadian citizenship.
Today you become part of the Canadian story – a land of many people from many lands with one shared goal – a better Canada.
Now, you will to be able to participate in our great democracy. No matter your political stripe, you all now have a treasured duty to participate and make Canada even greater.
Today, you stand beside other new Canadians. Each of you took a different path to reach your shared goal – to become part of the Canadian family. That path has not always been easy, but your presence here today tells me you know it was worth every effort.
Embrace your new citizenship, cherish what it means and enjoy what it provides.
Your new citizenship carries with it many responsibilities – to better your community, to help your fellow Canadian and to proudly represent our nation around the world.
Today, on behalf of all Canadians, I simply, and heartedly say, “Welcome to our family. Our home is your home and I proudly call you my fellow Canadian.”