June 11, 2017 _ Burlington
Samah Abuzaid waited for 12 years to become a Canadian citizen. She was happy to receive her citizenship certificate with her family. “The process was long but nice,” she said.
Samah Abuzaid who came to Canada through Jordan in 2012 expressed her appreciation to Canada for the opportunity to become a Canadian citizen.
She was one of the new Canadians who got their citizenship at a Canada 150 citizenship reaffirmation ceremony, Spencer Smith Park during the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington.
The Citizenship Judge Ted Salci administered the oath of citizenship. Ted Salci said he had been beneficiary of parents and grand parents who came to Canada in the early 1900s with little money in their pockets and dreamt of a better future for their children and grand children.
“You too will share the same experience as Canadians when your children and grand children can become whatever they wish to be as they avail themselves of the privileges we all share as Canadians.”
“Be proud of your new country, it is a great country,” said the Citizenship Judge.
He noted that many of the new citizens have travelled far and struggled to make a new home in Canada.
Ted Salci stressed on the responsibility of citizenship.
“Being Canadian means sharing your common set of values, having rights as well as responsibilities such as being a full member of the Canadian family and undertaking responsibility to obey Canada laws.”
The citizenship ceremony Judge noted the commitment to Canada of men and women in uniform.
Andy Barber, a retired navy soldier was acknowledged as one of those who put their lives on the line to fight for the freedom every Canadian is enjoying today.
“As Canadians we have the right to vote and run as candidates in municipal, provincial and federal elections.
“ It is your responsibility to determine issues in these elections and to certainly vote in the candidate of your choice.”
The new Canadians are free to live and work in any territory.
“I suggest you take responsibility for yourself and your family.”
Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Burlington emphasized Canada’s tolerance and diversity.
“By embracing multiculturalism and diversity Canadians are embodying a way of life that hold our commitments to peaceful pluralism, democracy, equality and human rights.”
Andy Barber told the new Canadians to think of service in the military if called upon to do so.
“If your country happens to call upon you to come and help out another country being suppressed we certainly do hope you will give it some thought.”
He stated that serving one’s country is one of the proudest moments one will ever have.
Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington reiterated the benefits of welcoming new Canadians.
Slobodan Milanovic was one of the new citizens. He is happy that a lot of burden is off his shoulders particularly going through the process, which took 12 years.
His mother became a Canadian in 2016 while the father has recently passed his citizenship test.
He plans to travel extensively to see and enjoy other provinces.