|Growing number of new citizens in Scarborough |
May 1, 2014—Scarborough (Toronto), ON—
More than 3,200 new citizens from approximately 135 countries were welcomed to Canada in Scarborough over the past month—more than double the number of individuals who became citizens in Scarborough in April 2013.
The continually high number of new citizens welcomed in Scarborough demonstrates how the government is working to make the citizenship program more efficient, helping more people realize their dream of becoming Canadian sooner. The government’s proposed changes in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. It is expected that those changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent by 20152016.
• Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian historyan average of a quarter million newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent.
• 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.
“Our government is proud to welcome these new citizens to the Canadian family. A Canadian citizenship ceremony is a moving and emotional celebration that reaffirms one’s commitment to Canadian values and traditions. The impressive number of individuals participating in these ceremonies and taking on the full responsibility of Canadian citizenship demonstrates that our government’s efforts to improve the citizenship program and decrease wait times are working.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Alexis Pavlich 5/1/2014