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Citizens celebrate being Canadian

New Canadians were welcomed as citizens in a moving ceremony held on Canada Day at the Fort Erie Legion.

“We are welcoming thosands of new Canadians who have hopes. dreams and aspirations for their family and future generations,” said Judge Rochelle Ivri.

“We welcome you as a member of our Canadian family.”

Two citizenship ceremonies were held in Niagara for 50 people in total, 25 in Fort Erie.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada held cermonies across the country on Canada’s national holiday and similar ceremonies are held in Niagara frequently.

Judge Ivri described how her family immigrated from the Caribbean and that she is a first generation Canadian who worked hard to make her parents proud and to give back to the country she has the privilege and honour of calling home.

Taking the Oath of Citizenship is the final step to become a Canadian citizen. They take the oath as a group in either French or English. Afterward, they are invited to sing the national anthem.

Once they take the oath, they are citizens and they receive their citizenship certificate.

They may swear or affirm the oath. Swearing is for people who want to refer to their religious beliefs, and they may bring their own holy book. Affirming is for people you don’t want to refer to religious text.

Adults and children over 14 must attend the citizneship ceremony and take the oath. Children under 14 are not required but are invited to attend.

The Oath of Citizenship

“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

Duties of a Canadian Citizen

  • Obey the law
  • Take responsibility for oneself and one’s family
  • Serve on a jury when called
  • Vote in elections
  • Help others in the community
  • Protect our heritage and environment

Photography by Ron David Butler