Earlier this month, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney introduced Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, a new study guide for permanent residents applying for Canadian citizenship. The new guide is intended to give new Canadians a more comprehensive look at Canadian history and values than its predecessor.
Permanent residents who have lived in Canada for at least three years in the past four can apply to become Canadian citizens, which then gives them the right to vote, run for public office and obtain a Canadian passport. As part of the application process, candidates between the ages of 18 and 55 must take a test, and prepare for it using this study guide.
Discover Canada replaces a guide entitled A Look at Canada that had been in place since 1997. The new booklet contains more information about the Canadian military, Canada’s political history, the Confederation and First Nations than the previous one.
“By strengthening the guide, we are increasing the value of Canadian citizenship,” Kenney said.
Also included in the guide is information on common values in Canada such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the equality of men and women.
“We want to ensure that newcomers appreciate that citizenship is not just obtaining legal status, that it confers certain privileges and rights. It’s joining the Canadian community and it’s joining Canadian history,” Kenney said.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) consulted with respected Canadian historians, authors and public figures as Discover Canada was being developed, in order to ensure that the guide was as comprehensive and informative as possible.
“People come from all over the world to seek Canadian citizenship. It is highly valued. We expect people who want to become Canadians to have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and the values and institutions that are rooted in Canada’s history,” Kenney said.
Citizenship applicants taking their citizenship tests before the end of February 2010 should study A Look at Canada, while applicants who will be taking their tests in March 2010 or later should study Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
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