Recently, I had the privilege of attending citizenship ceremonies in Oakville and Burlington where I welcomed 80 new Canadians into our communities and celebrated with them as they began a new chapter in their lives. Citizenship events are always special occasions as our residents are given the opportunity to gather together and recognize the unique people and stories that make our nation great.
Canada has a long history of welcoming people to live within its borders. For example, after the War of 1812,Canada became home to many fleeing British Loyalists, some of whom settled right here in Halton. In the mid 19th century, Halton served as one of the end points for the Underground Railroad, as many enslaved Africans followed the North Star to freedom in Canada. From Southeast Asia, to the Middle East and Europe to our American neighbours,Canada has become a home for individuals from across the globe.
In 1867, when our founders first gathered and agreed to build a country based on the principles of “Peace, Order and Good Government” they laid the foundation for a country that would unite all individuals who value freedom, justice, equality and respect. These values have helped establish Canada as the fourth most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.
As Canadian citizens one of our tasks is to not only uphold our values but to help our communities to continue to thrive because as Canadians we share a respect for the responsibilities that citizenship entails. During the citizenship ceremonies, as I saw the pride and joy in the faces of new Canadians, I knew that each of them will look back on that day with fondness, as they realize their contributions play an integral role in Canada and Halton being the best places to live, work, raise a family and retire.
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