May 17, 2019 – Toronto – Canada Soccer hosted a special citizenship ceremony at BMO Field today, where Canada’s Women’s National Team welcomed 27 new citizens from 12 countries into the Canadian family.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, delivered the oath of citizenship and presented certificates to the new citizens.
Ahmed Hussen thanked the new citizens for making a conscious decision to join a country and society that is committed to the rule of law, democracy, human rights and the equality of gender.
He thanked them for joining a country that is committed to true reconciliation with the first peoples of Canada.
“I know that many of you have taken different journeys and made various decisions to get to this point but I have no doubt that like many who came before you, you will contribute all your experiences and talents to Canada.”
Also attending was Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer’s General Secretary.
Peter Montopoli said Canada Soccer brings everyone together when the team is playing.
“The most beautiful thing we have the honor to do when the national team plays is that we get to drape the Canadian flag on our shoulders,” he said.
Citizenship Judge Rodney Simmons presided over the ceremony. “Today’s ceremony provides all of you with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what citizenship truly means. Canadian citizenship provides you with the freedom that is not found in any other country today.”
“You are in a country where individual rights and freedoms are respected. You have the right to vote and run as a candidate, you are free to live and work in any province or territory, you have freedom of expression and men and women are equal under the law.”
Judge Simmons advised the new citizens of their responsibilities. “Canadian citizenship comes with responsibilities. The responsibility to vote, to serve on a jury when called upon and to obey the law.”
Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament Toronto-Danforth said Canada is a sports nation and has always brought everyone together through sports. She was pleased to see Canada Soccer host the citizenship ceremony at BMO Field.
Immediately after the swearing-in, the new Canadians took to the field to meet with Canada’s Women’s National Team.
Jonelle Filigno showed her bronze medal to the new citizens. She played for Canada national team that won the Olympic bronze medal in London 2012.
Team Canada is heading to France to compete for the FIFA Women’s World Cup starting in June.