New citizens to be featured at Saturday’s game
May 17, 2019 – Toronto – Canada Soccer hosted a special citizenship ceremony at BMO Field today, where Canada’s Women’s National Team welcomed 27 new citizens from 12 countries into the Canadian family.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, delivered the oath of citizenship and presented certificates to the new citizens. Also attending was Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer’s General Secretary.
Citizenship Judge Rodney Simmons presided over the ceremony. Immediately after the swearing-in, the new Canadians took to the field to meet with Canada’s Women’s National Team.
The new citizens and their guests will be back at BMO Field on Saturday, May 18, 2019, to cheer on Canada as they play against Mexico at 1 p.m. Team Canada will then head to France to compete for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The collaboration between Canada Soccer and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada complements the department’s #ImmigrationMatters initiative. Immigration Matters aims to demonstrate the benefits of immigration to Canadian communities and promote positive engagement between newcomers and Canadians.
“Canada’s sporting culture has and continues to play a significant role in enriching the multicultural fabric of our country, where everyone can come together to watch a game and cheer Canada and their country of origin. It was such an honour to welcome our newest Canadians alongside members of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team. To our country’s 27 newest citizens, welcome to the Canadian family. Good luck to our women forming Team Canada as they gear up for the Women’s World Cup, we will be cheering you on”.
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“The parallels between the world’s game and Canada are numerous. Canada provides a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse society. Soccer celebrates cultures, encourages teamwork and collaboration, and provides a platform for everyone to come together under a common goal. We are proud to celebrate with these new Canadians as they become citizens of this welcoming nation and encourage them to participate in the beautiful game”.
– Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary
The citizenship ceremony is a significant milestone in the immigration and settlement process for newcomers to Canada. Taking the oath of citizenship is a necessary legal step to being granted Canadian citizenship.
Over the last 10 years, Canada has welcomed nearly 1.7 million new Canadians, more than 875,000 of them women and girls. In 2018 alone, more than 175,000 people – including 90,000 women and girls – became Canadian.
Gender equality has been a primary goal of the Government of Canada and is included in Budget 2019.
Canada’s Women’s National Team is participating for the 7th consecutive time in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Soccer is the largest participatory team sport in Canada and is considered the fastest growing sport in the country. There are nearly 1,000,000 registered Canada Soccer active participants in Canada within 1,200 clubs that operate in 13 provincial/territorial member associations.