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2004-15

CITIZENSHIP WEEK: CELEBRATING FREEDOM, RESPECT AND BELONGING

OTTAWA, October 18, 2004 — The Honourable Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced the launch of Canada’s Citizenship Week from October 18–24, 2004.

“Citizenship Week is a time to reflect on the values that speak to the heart of being a Canadian,” said Minister Sgro. “Citizenship Week is intended to help remind all Canadians — young and old, born in Canada or abroad — that we all have a right to belong and be proud of our country.”

To launch Canada’s Citizenship Week, Citizenship Judge Suzanne Pinel presided over a reaffirmation ceremony with Grade 5 and 6 students at Elgin Public School. Minister Sgro also attended the ceremony along with Jason Dunkerley, Paralympics medalist and recent Canadian citizen.

In schools, community and cultural centres and offices, many new Canadians will take the oath of citizenship in ceremonies from coast to coast and others will reaffirm their citizenship at these events by publicly reciting the oath of citizenship.

“Immigrants bring valuable contributions to Canada’s social, cultural and economic fabric. I encourage all Canadians to help newcomers to Canada feel that they are part of the Canadian family by extending a warm hand of welcome whenever they can,” said Minister Sgro.

For further information on Canada’s Citizenship Week, including citizenship ceremonies open to the public, and how you can get involved in promoting citizenship in your community, please visit the “What’s New” section of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Web site at http://www.cic.gc.ca.

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For further information:

Sherri Haigh
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 952-0740

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CITIZENSHIP FAST FACTS

History

  • This year is the 57th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act.
  • In 1947, Canada became the first Commonwealth country to gain its own citizenship act.
  • Prior to that, Canadians were considered British subjects residing in Canada, not Canadian citizens.
  • The Prime Minister at the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King, became the first Canadian citizen.

Citizenship

  • In the past 57 years, since the first Citizenship Act was enacted, almost 5.3 million people were granted Canadian citizenship.
  • In 2003, citizenship grants were up by 10% from 2002: 155,117 individuals took the oath of citizenship in 2003, compared to 141,588 the previous year.
  • According to the 2001 Census, about 85% of immigrants become Canadian citizens.
  • In 2003, 2,012 citizenship ceremonies were held.
  • By province or territory, the number of people to take the oath of citizenship in 2003, 2002, 2001 were:
Province 2003 2002 2001
Alberta 10,353 8,515 10,394
British Columbia 29,365 26,655 34,326
Manitoba 2,505 1,999 1,821
New Brunswick 374 268 369
Newfoundland 175 146 155
Nova Scotia 910 932 969
Northwest Territories 35 62 66
Nunavut 8 5 5
Ontario 87,611 83,677 94,372
Prince Edward Island 138 77 52
Quebec 19,189 15,511 20,246
Saskatchewan 1,286 798 979
Yukon 75 25 81
Outside Canada* 3,093 2,918 3,518
Total 155,117 141,588 167,353
* Number of children born abroad to Canadian parents.
  • In 2003, the top 10 countries of previous nationality for new Canadians were:
Country Total %
1. China 20,558 13.3%
2. India 14,530 9.4%
3. Philippines 8,289 5.3%
4. Pakistan 6,622 4.3%
5. Iran 5,249 3.4%
6. Hong Kong 4,794 3.1%
7. South Korea 4,357 2.8%
8. Taiwan 4,062 2.6%
9. Russia 3,576 2.3%
10. Serbia and Montenegro 3,326 2.1%
  Other 75,363 48.6%
Top 10 Countries 79,754 51.4%
Total Canada 155,117 100.0%

Immigration

  • 221,352 immigrants came to Canada in 2003.
  • In 2003, the top five provinces of destination were Ontario (119,741), Quebec (39,551), British Columbia (35,228), Alberta (15,830), Manitoba (6,492).
  • According to the 2001 Census, almost one out of every five Canadian residents (18.4%) was born outside the country.
  • Based on available projections, it is expected that immigration will account for all net population growth sometime between 2026 and 2031, and for all labour force growth between 2011 and 2016.