Halifax, Nova Scotia-Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:
“On this 155th anniversary of Confederation, I wish all Canadians a very happy Canada Day. I also wish to extend a warm welcome to all those celebrating their first Canada Day as new Canadians, as well as to the thousands of Afghans and Ukrainians who have arrived over the last couple of months.
“This year, I am thrilled to mark Canada Day with the first hybrid citizenship ceremony. Today, new Canadians will take the Oath of Citizenship at an in-person ceremony for the first time in 2 years, and they will be joined virtually by candidates from across the country. A livestream of the event from the Queen’s Marque in Halifax will be available, as we welcome 49 newcomers to the Canadian family.
“Becoming Canadian is a pivotal moment in a newcomer’s journey, and it marks the beginning of a new chapter in their Canadian story. Many have come in pursuit of new economic opportunities, some have come to be reunited with their family members, and others have fled war, violence and persecution in search of a safe haven. I am proud that as a country, we share a deep collective commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable, and continue to welcome and embrace newcomers with open arms in communities across Canada.
“One of our greatest strengths as a country is our diversity. Throughout Canadian history, newcomers have been integral to the fabric of our communities. Newcomers fuel our economy by bringing essential skills in key sectors, help advance our recovery from the pandemic by starting new businesses and support those in need by volunteering in their own communities. More than ever, they are helping build a more diverse, inclusive and prosperous Canada.
“As Indigenous communities continue to uncover unmarked graves, we also recognize our collective responsibility as Canadians to continue to work towards reconciliation and to honour the invaluable contributions that Indigenous Peoples have brought to our Canadian history, culture and traditions.
“For many, the journey to Canada is filled with obstacles and uncertainty, and the path to citizenship is a challenging one. Every time a newcomer takes the Oath of Citizenship, it is a reflection of their hard work, perseverance and dedication to Canada. That is why I invite Canadians from coast to coast to coast to connect with newcomers, reflect on the significance of citizenship, the rights and freedoms it affords, and celebrate the richness that Canada’s cultural mosaic brings to our lives, today and every day.”