Bill will ensure all citizenship candidates show their face as they take the Oath
June 19, 2015 — Ottawa — Today, the Government of Canada introduced the Oath of Citizenship Act, to ensure Canadian citizenship applicants show their face while taking the Oath of Citizenship during citizenship ceremonies.
The Oath of Citizenship Act will ensure that candidates are seen and heard reciting the Oath in community with others, to confirm their commitment as new citizens to Canada’s laws, values and traditions.
Swearing or affirming the Oath is a legal requirement, a public declaration that a citizenship applicant is committed to adopting and upholding Canadian values. The Oath of Citizenship Act will require that the Oath be sworn or affirmed publicly and openly, and in a way that others can verify: aloud and with face uncovered.
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. Canada has one of the highest naturalization rates in the world: more than 85 percent of eligible permanent residents in Canada go on to become citizens.
The Citizenship Oath is a solemn declaration in which citizenship candidates promise to obey Canadian laws, while fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. The Oath recognizes that Canadian citizenship confers both rights and responsibilities, and one cannot gain citizenship or any of the privileges that go along with citizenship without taking the Oath of Citizenship.
A majority of Canadians believe new citizens should be seen and heard taking the Oath of Citizenship.
“Canadians expect that new citizens should show their face when swearing or affirming the Oath in community with others, at the very moment they become part of the Canadian family. This means they are committing publicly to embracing Canada’s values and traditions, including the equality of men and women.” Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism