Saturday, November 28, 2009

510)THE STEPHEN HARPER Government's New Citizenship Study Guide To Help Newcomers And Canadians Better Understand Canada; Quotes Of Hon. Jason Kenney

Among the tens of thousands of people from six continents who visit my Blog there must be a significant number who may show an interest in becoming Canadian citizens now or in the future. Consequently I am showcasing on my Blog the Stephen Harper Conservative Government's magnificent new Citizenship Guide for prospective Canadian citizens unveiled on November 12th 2009, the day after Rememberance Day. When I read the online version of this booklet I came away feeling a deep sense of awe and admiration for the country I have lived in for the past 36 years, 5 as a landed immigrant and 31 as a citizen. Indeed this booklet should not just be required reading for prospective Canadians but also for established Canadian citizens of all ages. It's always refreshing to remind ourselves about our secular democracy-its evolution, history, system of government, regions, rights and responsibilities, justice system, economy, symbols, achievements and much, much more. The text of the booklet has been carefully researched and well written and the many photographs wisely chosen. While I have reproduced all the text from the Guide in the following Blogposts one cannot fully appreciate the material without also looking at the photographs and their captions. For that reason each Blogpost has two links to the original page on the Citizenship And Immigration Canada(CIC) website, one at the beginning and one at the end of the post.

On another forum I made the following comment to commemorate Rememberance Day on November 11th 2009: Canada is a stable secular democratic state with a solid, longstanding and admirable history. It is not a disparate bunch of autonomous multicultural fiefdoms as some political parties would have you beleive. Canada is the Magna Carta(1215), War of 1812, British North America Act(1867), Boer War(1899-1902), Vimy Ridge, Ypres and Paschendale(1914-1918), Dieppe, Monte Cassino, D-Day, Juno Beach, Belgium and Holland(1939-1945), Korean War(1950-1953), Cold War(1917-1989), Vietnam War(1960's) and Afghanistan(post 2001).

New citizenship study guide to help newcomers and Canadians better understand Canada

Ottawa, November 12, 2009 — A new, more comprehensive study guide for Canadian citizenship was launched today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship includes information on common values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the equality of men and women. It promotes to immigrants and Canadian citizens alike a greater understanding of Canada’s history, values, symbols and important Canadian institutions, such as Parliament and the Crown. It also highlights the contribution of ethnic and cultural communities in shaping our Canadian identity and the sacrifices made by Canada’s veterans for our country.

“People come from all over the world to seek Canadian citizenship. It is highly valued,” said Minister Kenney. “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. By strengthening the guide, we are increasing the value of Canadian citizenship.”

In developing the study guide, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) consulted with a panel of prominent Canadians, including public figures, authors and historians. The new guide has also been reviewed by well-known organizations involved in citizenship promotion, such as the Historica-Dominion Institute, the Association of Francophone and Acadian Communities and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

“Discover Canada should be in the hands of not only new Canadians, but every high school student in Canada,” said Marc Chalifoux, Executive Vice-President of the Historica-Dominion Institute. “All citizens, whether they were born in Canada or not, need to understand how the institutions of this country came to be. This guide tells them how.”

These are the first substantive changes to the study guide since it was created in 1995.
“It is not easy to capture Canada—its geography, its people, its society and its history—in a brief document, but this one does a fine job,” said Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan of Oxford University, author of the bestselling Paris 1919.

“At last, Canada has a guide for prospective citizens that is not an embarrassment,” said historian Jack Granatstein, author of Who Killed Canadian History?

Rudyard Griffiths, co-founder of the Dominion Institute and author of Who We Are: A Citizen’s Manifesto, said: “Finally we have a citizenship guide that provides newcomers with a comprehensive overview of the people, places, symbols and values that define our collective way of life. Two thumbs up!”

One of the requirements of citizenship is to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of Canada, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Xavier GĂ©linas, a Quebec historian and curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, noted that the guide, in both text and powerful images, includes a focus on the bilingual and bicultural nature of Canada. “One example is the inset photograph of the Speaker’s chair in the Quebec National Assembly, featured on the cover. As a historian, I have rarely seen such a frank recognition of Quebec’s reality and distinctiveness in a document published by the Canadian government. It demonstrates federalism in words, deeds and images.”

“Discover Canada introduces would-be Canadians to a nation of distinctive history, geography, character and traditions,” said Professor Randy Boyagoda, novelist and contributor to The Walrus magazine. “This guide cogently describes many of Canada’s strengths, not least of which are the rights and responsibilities of its citizens.”

“The new guide is a very positive step forward in providing more historical context than we’ve seen in previous editions, and presenting it in a way that helps readers to understand its relevance in shaping the way we are today,” said Deborah Morrison, President and CEO of Canada’s National Historic Society. “I hope you will encourage even greater distribution of the guide as I think it will be beneficial to all Canadians, the old and the new!”

Citizenship applicants who are scheduled for a test or an interview before the end of February 2010 should read the old study guide, A Look at Canada, which will continue to be available on the CIC website. Those who take the test, or who have an interview in March 2010 or later, should study Discover Canada.

Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship can be downloaded or ordered from the CIC website.
Citizenship applicants can contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 if they have any questions.

For further information (media only), please contact:
Alykhan Velshi
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

CIC Media RelationsCommunications BranchCitizenship and Immigration Canada 613-952-1650

Substantial changes to the Citizenship Study Guide: How Discover Canada differs from A Look at Canada
Writing Discover Canada
Discover Canada: Sample study questions

Quotes Of Canadian Minister Of Citizenship, Immigration And Multiculturalism Hon. Jason Kenney(2009):

1)When you become a citizen, you're not just getting a travel document into Hotel Canada.
2)I think it's scandalous that someone could become a Canadian not knowing what the poppy represents, or never having heard of Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Dieppe or Juno Beach.
3)We mention freedom of conscience and freedom of religion as important rights but we also make it very clear that our laws prohibit barbaric cultural practices, they will not be tolerated, whether or not someone claims that such practices are protected by reference to religion.
4)I think we need to reclaim a deeper sense of citizenship, a sense of shared obligations to one another, to our past, as well as to the future, a kind of civic nationalism where people understand the institutions, values and symbols that are rooted in our history.

Easy Nash