May 22, 2014
Officially Canadian, Eh!
Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary have been the starting point for new beginnings throughout the month of May 2014. These cities have welcomed more than 5000 individuals from over 150 countries as Canadian citizens. Since the start of 2014 Canada has welcomed more than 80,000 new citizens. Whereas, in the year 2013, Canadian Citizenship was granted to 128,936 people.This is a tremendous increase in numbers as it shows improvements with our Citizenship program.
With the proposed changes of Bill C-24, the Strengthening of the Citizenship Act. It is expected that the average processing time will be reduced to under one year. The government is also anticipating by 2015- 2016 the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent. With the current number of individuals attaining Canadian citizenship it seems even without the passing of Bill C-24 changes are already underway.
Canada’s new citizens are welcomed at hundreds of citizenship ceremonies held across the country, from college campuses to Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices to special ceremonies at railway stations and designated heritage sites. 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.
Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history an average of a quarter million newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent. Canada will continue to see growth in new citizens throughout the year, as the government is always working on making the program more efficient.