Citizenship Ceremony Kicks Off Pan Am Games Countdown
Published: Tuesday 07 April 2015
One hundred new citizens from 58 countries were sworn in as new Canadians at a special sport-themed citizenship ceremony held last week which kicked off the 100-day countdown to the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander personally welcomed the country’s newest citizens at the ceremony, which took place at the new YMCA facility at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village in Toronto. At the ceremony, Alexander emphasised the importance of sport in bringing together individuals of different cultures. “As Canadians, we are proud of the role sport plays in bringing individuals together and achieving unity in our diversity,” the Minister said. Today, as we continue to celebrate Canada’s Year of Sport, we are also excited to begin the 100-day countdown to the Pan and Parapan American Games. That is why it is so moving to welcome these new members of the Canadian family at such an important community venue, which will see individuals from across the Americas come together in sport later this year. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to this country’s 100 newest citizens.” The new citizens attended a reception hosted by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and were honoured at an official 100-day countdown reception, which featured speeches by Olympian Catriona Le May Doan and other dignitaries. The Pan and Parapan American Games will be one of the largest multisport events ever held in Canada and will gather more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials from across the Americas. In 2014, 3,121 citizenship ceremonies were held across Canada, where more than 262,000 new citizens were welcomed - this is more new Canadians than in any year in Canada's history and more than double the number from 2013.