Evaluation of the Citizenship Awareness Program
3. Evaluation findings
This section presents the findings of the evaluation, organized by the two broad themes of relevance and performance.
3.1.1. Continued need for Citizenship Awareness programming
Finding: There is a continued need to promote citizenship in order to reinforce its value among all Canadians and maintain high uptake rates.
The promotion of citizenship supports the dual objectives of facilitating access and enhancing its value. These objectives are grounded in a larger social policy direction, adopted by CIC, which promotes the full integration of newcomers, from settlement through to citizenship acquisition. This policy rests on the premise that promoting citizenship and encouraging its acquisition supports the creation of a welcoming environment, contributing to social cohesion.Footnote 17 High rates of citizenship have also been associated with better employment rates and higher earnings,Footnote 18 which also contributes to an integrated society. Finally, the acquisition of citizenship is said to support diversity and multiculturalism, combating discrimination and social exclusion and promoting equality.
The majority of individuals interviewed as part of this evaluation were supportive of the need to promote the value of citizenship. The most common explanations for this position focused on social benefits, such as the importance of active citizenship for all Canadians and the idea that understanding and valuing Canadian citizenship contributes to a more cohesive society.
Access to citizenship
High citizenship take-up rates are a positive indicator of an integrated society.Footnote 19 There is a need to ensure that newcomers are aware that citizenship is important to their integration and that it should be acquired. Citizenship awareness activities provide an opportunity to communicate this message to newcomers.
Statistics show that the citizenship take-up rate in Canada recorded 3 years since landing (YSL) increased from 78.7% in 1986, based on census data, to 85.6% in 2011, based on data from the National Household Survey (see Figure 3-1 below).
Figure 3–1: Citizenship take-up rates
Text version: Citizenship take-up rates
Canada's take-up rate is higher than in other immigrant receiving countries such as the United States (50%), the United Kingdom (67%) and Australia (81%).Footnote 20 Researchers have suggested that the difference in take-up rates between Canada and other countries may be attributable, in part, to differences in the integration policies held by each country. For example, Bloemraad (2008) suggests that the endorsement of multiculturalism in Canada makes immigrants more interested in citizenship, while Joppke (2013) comments on the Canadian model of "liberal multiculturalism" in the context of a robust citizenship policy aimed at turning immigrants into loyal Canadians.
The Migrant Integration Policy Index,Footnote 21 which allows for a comparative examination of seven policy areas within each of 31 countries to determine whether migrants are "guaranteed equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities", gave Canada high marks with respect to access to nationality. In 2010, Canada ranked fourth among the participating countries with respect to this policy area, behind Portugal, Sweden and Australia. The analysis found that "nearly all Canada's residents are encouraged to become Canadian citizens", and that "as in all other traditional settler countries, immigrants and their children have clear access to citizenship".
While the citizenship take-up rate in Canada has been and remains very high, concerns have been raised that recent changes to the citizenship acquisition process in order to ensure program integrity may result in a decrease in the number of individuals who are applying for citizenship.Footnote 22 Citizenship awareness activities can contribute to ensuring that those who are eligible for citizenship are not discouraged from applying.
Enhancing the value of citizenship
Overall, the evaluation found that while citizenship is valued by Canadians, there are concerns that this value could be eroded.
The survey of new citizens conducted as part of this evaluation found that 88.6% agreed (either somewhat or strongly) that Canadian citizenship is valued by people in Canada, and 92.1% agreed (either somewhat or strongly) that Canadian citizenship is respected by people in other countries.
A national public opinion survey on Canadian citizenship, conducted in 2011, concluded that there was a sense of public confidence in the concept of citizenship as it is currently defined and that respondents did not feel it was under threat from increased immigration and expanding cultural diversity. As well, the survey found that globalization was not perceived to be a threat to citizenship as most Canadians surveyed were not concerned that millions of Canadians live abroad. That said, there was an underlying concern about citizens who did not have a history of residency in Canada and who took advantage of their status to access benefits without paying taxes or otherwise contributing to the country.Footnote 23
Researchers have argued that there has been a devaluation of citizenship as the rights and privileges accorded to permanent residents no longer differ substantially from those of citizens. Others have pointed to more recent situations such as terrorist events in Western countries and, specifically with respect to Canada the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon in 2005, as having raised the level of interest in citizenship issues and concerns regarding its value.Footnote 24
Concerns regarding the potential for individuals to take advantage of Canadian citizenship have also been reflected in government statements. In a 2011 speech, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism voiced his concern that “some people had not met the requirements of citizenship and did not really value their Canadian citizenship.”Footnote 25The Minister, in a separate news conference held in the same week stated that “the value of Canadian citizenship can be debased – by those who try to put a price on being a citizen.”Footnote 26
Based on these concerns, there is a continued need to promote the value of Canadian citizenship in order to ensure it is not devalued.
3.1.2. Consistency with CIC goals and government-wide priorities
Finding: Promoting the value of citizenship is aligned with Government of Canada and CIC objectives and priorities; however, there is some indication that emphasis is being shifted from promotional activities to processing activities.
Alignment with Government of Canada priorities
The document review found that the Government of Canada, through Speeches from the Throne, has sought to reinforce key concepts related to citizenship. In the 2010 Speech from the Throne, the concepts of democracy, rights and the rule of law were mentioned, as was the notion that Canadians are united by a shared history, while the 2011 Speech mentioned the concept of "diverse communities connected by shared values and aspirations". These concepts are consistent with those promoted through the Citizenship Awareness Program.
While citizenship promotion has not been identified as a government-wide priority in official documents, the value of citizenship has been tied to priorities dealing with the need to ensure the integrity of Canada's immigration system. In a speech at a 2010 citizenship ceremony, the Prime Minister of Canada contrasted the willingness of newcomers to " live by Canadian law and to work within the system we have established, first, to become immigrants, and, now, to receive Canadian citizenship" to concerns regarding "the growing problem of mass arrivals through human smuggling" and the resulting need for Canada "to control its own borders" and act in order to avoid a "massive collapse in public support for our immigration system."Footnote 27
While only a few interviewees commented on the alignment between the program and government priorities, those who did comment mentioned either linkages to civic pride or to the integrity of the immigration system, reflecting the evidence found through the document review.
Alignment with CIC objectives and priorities
Citizenship Awareness is identified as an element of the Citizenship Program, which supports the achievement of the department's third strategic outcome: to ensure "newcomers and citizens participate in fostering an integrated society". In pursuing this outcome, the department "seeks to minimize income disparities and strengthen social integration by... encouraging active civic participation; and inculcating a sense of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship and the value of diversity."Footnote 28
During the timeframe under review as part of this evaluation, citizenship awareness was a priority for the department. The main evidence of this priority was the development of the Citizenship Action Plan. Although not exclusively focused on promotion, it specified activities aimed at both increasing awareness of citizenship, as well as strengthening the acquisition process. Awareness activities under the Action Plan included the creation of the Discover Canada study guide and supplementary materials in multiple media, enhancements to citizenship ceremonies and the development or continuation of other promotional activities, including Citizenship Week and the Citizenship Award.
While significant activities related to citizenship awareness were to be undertaken under the Action Plan, over time, the level of effort devoted to promotional activities diminished. For example, while the Citizenship Award was revamped in 2010, it was subsequently suspended. Another initiative, the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship Campaign, and advertising campaign intended to increase knowledge of rights and responsibilities associated with Canadian citizenship, and to encourage people to download / order the Discover Canada citizenship guide, and participate in a Citizenship Contest was stopped after 5 days due to an election call and was never restarted due to the end of fiscal year deadline. Phase 2 of the campaign was intended to take place in 2011-12 but was also cancelled.
CIC continues to implement the Citizenship Action Plan; however, many of the concrete activities identified in the Action Plan have been completed, and the emphasis has been shifting towards efforts to bolster program integrity and efficiency through modernization. In 2011, two reviews were conducted on the operations of the Citizenship Program: the Citizenship Operations Review Exercise (CORE) and the Organisational Readiness Assessment. While some of the findings pertained to promotional efforts and common issues of governance and management of the program as a whole, the emphasis of these reports were on issues related to processing, and this was clearly reflected in the recommendations. The recommendations from these reviews have played an important part in informing current citizenship modernization efforts, which have been designed to meet the needs of clients while ensuring program integrity, with an ultimate operational goal focused on timely processing of citizenship grants and proofs.
Other changes in the operational context also appear to be contributing to this shift away from citizenship promotion. A few interviewees indicated that recent workforce reductions in the regions and increased workload related to the introduction of stricter residency requirements have resulted in less time available for, and being spent on, promotional activities. This shift away from promotional activities to activities aimed at strengthening the integrity of the acquisition process has not changed the key messages around the value of citizenship, but rather the way in which this value is being protected. As indicated by a few interviewees, the focus is on making citizenship valued by making it “harder to get and easier to lose”.
3.1.3. Alignment with federal roles and responsibilities
Finding: The current approach of shared responsibility for citizenship promotion, led by the federal government with broader participation from provinces and communities, is appropriate.
Federal responsibility for citizenship is grounded in legislation. Section 91(3) of the Constitution Act of 1867 assigns exclusive legislative authority over naturalization to the federal government and Section 4 of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act assigns jurisdiction over citizenship to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
The way in which citizenship is granted is set out in the Citizenship Regulations. This includes instructions regarding the knowledge required by those applying for citizenship. The Regulations also set out the requirement that citizenship ceremonies impress on new citizens the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.Footnote29
There was almost unanimous agreement among interviewees that promoting citizenship is a federal responsibility, although not necessarily solely federal. Some interviewees noted that because CIC is responsible for granting citizenship, it should also be responsible for ensuring that newcomers and Canadians understand what this entails. While a few interviewees emphasized that the Government of Canada should lead citizenship promotional efforts, all agreed that a variety of other parties have a role to play.
At the federal level, the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) was frequently identified by interviewees as having a role to play related to citizenship promotion. PCH is responsible for state ceremonies and Canadian symbols, two elements that are inseparable from the promotion of citizenship. PCH also delivers the Celebration and Commemoration Program, which includes responsibility for Canada Day festivities that provide a key opportunity for the promotion of citizenship to a broad audience.
Half of the individuals interviewed identified the provinces as having a role to play, generally stemming from their responsibility for education, which positions them well to convey citizenship values to school-aged children, their desire to attract and retain newcomers in their respective regions and/or to promote civic engagement among all citizens. Some interviewees also mentioned a role for municipalities, primarily in relation to Canada Day festivities, but also to encourage community participation.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were also seen to have a role to play by some interviewees, who mentioned their involvement in hosting citizenship ceremonies and offering citizenship preparatory courses (often through language training). As well, NGOs were seen by some interviewees to contribute to citizenship promotion by modelling Canadian behaviours and values in their interactions with newcomers.
Finally, a few interviewees identified a role for the private sector, while a few others were opposed. Those who favoured their involvement also cautioned that any partnerships entered into between the federal government and the private sector would need to be managed carefully in order to avoid the appearance of endorsing private firms and to maintain control over event branding.
3.2.1. Participation in CIC promotional activities
Reach of the citizenship study guide
Finding: The citizenship study guide (Discover Canada) is widely distributed and available in various formats. It is routinely sent to newcomers applying for citizenship; however, it is unknown to what extent it is being used by the wider Canadian audience.
Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship is CIC’s official study guide.Footnote 30This guide was published in 2009, and revised in 2011, replacing the previous guide, A Look at Canada, which had first been published in 1995. Content within the guide forms the basis for the questions asked during the citizenship knowledge test.
The study guide serves as a foundational document for the department in terms of information and messaging around citizenship. It is circulated automatically to citizenship applicants, with one copy being mailed out per applying family.Footnote 31Correspondingly, the survey of new citizens showed that 83.3% of respondents reported having read or used a study guide; 47.3% of those surveyed reported having referred to Discover Canada, 18.0% reported having referred to A Look at Canada, and another 18.0% recalled having referred to a study guide, but could not be sure of the title. Thus, the study guide is reaching new citizens, many of whom are likely using it in preparation for the citizenship knowledge test.
The study guide is also distributed upon request to individuals, community organizations, such as libraries and schools, and CIC local offices, and supports citizenship promotional efforts, such as advertising campaigns and other outreach initiatives (discussed in more detail in section 3.2.1 on the reach of citizenship outreach). In these promotional efforts, the targeted public is encouraged to refer to the guide for additional information.
Lastly, Discover Canada has served as the basis for the development of a Citizenship Resource to be used by Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) and adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) instructors to teach citizenship-related concepts and issues to newcomers.Footnote 32The Citizenship Resource binder was distributed to LINC providers in 2011, and is available online. Because the LINC enrolment rate is estimated at 25% of all newcomers,Footnote 33the study guide content taught using this resource has the potential to reach a large audience of prospective citizenship applicants.
In order to facilitate its use, Discover Canada is available in multiple formats. These include traditional hardcopies, as well as audio, large print, and Braille formats. The table below shows the number of copies of each format over the period of study:
|Publication||Year||Hardcopy Edition||Audio||Large Print Edition||Braille Edition|
|A Look at Canada||2007-08||127,984||8,568||136,552||16||1||17||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Source: CIC internal documents.
In addition to the formats presented above, the study guide has also been published in various online and audio formats. These include the web page that links to all versions of the guide and the PDF version of the guide, as well as an application developed for use on mobile devices.Footnote 34 Table 3.2 shows the number of recorded page-views or downloads.
Source: CIC web analytics reports.
As shown in the two previous tables, there has been an overall increase in the distribution and online access of the study guide.Footnote 35 However, it was not possible to determine how much of this reach was to new citizenship applicants, versus to other Canadians, or the extent to which people made use of more than one format of the guide.
Finding: There is an indication that the study guide, a key promotional tool, requires a higher level of language proficiency, which may limit its accessibility to some vulnerable groups.
The success of the study guide depends, not only on the resource reaching those who need it, but on the quality and appropriateness of the information contained within it. The content of Discover Canada was developed in consultation with a panel of prominent Canadians, including public figures, authors, and historians.Footnote 36When asked about the content of the study guide, most new citizens surveyed for the evaluation who had indicated reading/using Discover Canada agreed that the information presented in the guide was easy enough to understand (79.4% “strongly” and 13.5% “somewhat”), and that it included the kind of information they wanted to know about Canada and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship (on average, 70.8% “strongly” and 23.0% “somewhat”). In addition, some interviewees provided positive comments about Discover Canada, with a few indicating that it was an improvement compared to the previous guide.
Discover Canada is also available in multiple formats, which makes it accessible for more users, such as those who have sight impairments. However, these formats do not address accessibility issues related to the language level of the guide, which was raised as a concern by some interviewees. As a result, the evaluation explored the language level of the study guide in greater depth to better understand this concern. Follow-up consultations within CIC found that Discover Canada has never been formally assessed, and suggested that portions of the guide require higher language proficiency to understand. The Citizenship Resource, designed to help instructors in adult ESL classrooms teach citizenship-related concepts and issues to newcomers participating in language training, also notes that language learners at higher proficiency levels can read Discover Canada on their own, but they may not be familiar with some of the issues and concepts. When an informal analysis of the study guide content was conducted by the evaluation team,Footnote 37the language level of the guide was rated somewhere between high school and university-level reading levels.
In light of these findings, survey results on the content of study guide (mentioned earlier) were explored in relation to the education level of respondents. This analysis found that most of the survey respondents who indicated having read/used Discover Canada had at least some post-secondary education (87.1%), and almost two-thirds had university degrees (64.6%). Survey results also suggest most respondents who rated the content of Discover Canada had passed the citizenship knowledge test in order to obtain their citizenship, given that 94.2% of these respondents were between the ages of 18 and 55 at the time of application.
These results are consistent with recent CIC analysis, estimating the effects of applicant characteristics on knowledge test pass rates. This research showed that educational attainment is the most important predictor of the written test pass rate. It also showed that official language ability is positively associated with these pass rates, and its effects are stronger with lower education.Footnote 38Given that the content of the study guide forms the basis of the citizenship knowledge test, this research suggests that the study guide may be less accessible to those with lower levels of education and official language ability.
In order to increase accessibility, other jurisdictions offer study materials related to citizenship in multiple languages or in plain language. For example, the Manitoba government has developed a self-study guide, written in plain English, which is designed to help newcomers understand the content of Discover Canada.Footnote 39 Other countries, such as the United States and Australia, provide study materials for their citizenship programs in multiple languages. Currently, CIC does not offer Discover Canada in non-official languages, nor does it provide supplementary materials in plain language.
Reach of the citizenship ceremonies
Finding: Although open to the general public, citizenship ceremonies are predominantly attended by new citizens and their guests.
Ceremony attendance is mandatory for those receiving citizenship who are 14 years of age or older. Administrative data show that 126,422 new citizens attended citizenship ceremonies in 2010-11, and 134,852 in 2011-12.Footnote 40
In addition to those required to attend, citizenship ceremonies can be attended by family and guests of those getting their citizenship, as well as by members of the public. The Department has developed a resource for those interested in attending citizenship ceremonies to find out when and where they are occurring, but this resource was only introduced in the last year of the reporting period for the evaluation. Web analytics show that some people are accessing the web pages related to citizenship ceremonies (see Table 3-3). However, CIC does not record the number of guests and members of the public that attend citizenship ceremonies, making it impossible to determine the full extent to which ceremonies reach an audience beyond those required to attend.
Table 3–3: Web analytics of CIC citizenship promotion web pagesFootnote 42
|Prepare for the Citizenship Ceremony||63,141||9,093||72,234||76,093||12,034||88,127|
|Find a Citizenship Ceremony||N/A||N/A||N/A||58,006||7,405||65,411|
|How to Host a Citizenship Ceremony||11,508||2,733||14,241||12,710||3,843||16,553|
Source: CIC web analytics reports.
While specific numbers are not available, the evaluation found that new citizen participants bring guests to their citizenship ceremonies. Attendance by guests was referred to anecdotally by CIC staff during the course of the interviews, as well as observed at the ceremonies attended by members of the evaluation team during the site visits.
In contrast, attendance by the general public at citizenship ceremonies is largely unknown. Anecdotally, it is known that ceremonies held in community spaces, such as those hosted by the ICC, can involve community members and volunteers. While information on volunteers is available for ceremonies hosted by the ICC (provided in section 3.2.1), no information is available for volunteers at other ceremonies. Furthermore, there is no information on the attendance by other members of the general public for any of the ceremonies, but evidence suggests that these numbers are relatively small. Off-site ceremonies represent approximately 20% of all ceremonies, and although no official limit has been placed on the number of guests or others who may attend a citizenship ceremony, attendance is constrained by the size of the space in which the ceremony occurs, limiting the possibility of attendance beyond new citizens and their guests.
Finding: It is unknown to what extent reaffirmation ceremonies are held beyond those hosted by CIC. Attendance at CIC-led reaffirmation ceremonies is high; however they do not occur on a frequent basis, limiting their reach and profile among a broader audience of Canadians.
Reaffirmation ceremonies are similar to citizenship ceremonies, in that the oath of citizenship is recited, and the national anthem sung. However, these ceremonies do not bring together people who have been successful in their application for Canadian citizenship. Instead, they are intended to provide interested Canadian citizens a mechanism through which to affirm their commitment to Canada.
On occasion, CIC hosts reaffirmation ceremonies during Citizenship Week or on Canada Day. There is some information related to reach for reaffirmation ceremonies hosted by the Department, particularly the "Great Canadian Oath" held in Ottawa at Major's Hill Park on Canada Day.Footnote 43 While the reach of this event was estimated in one of the interviews at 2,000 to 3,000 participants, no other information on the number of participants at CIC reaffirmation ceremonies was found for the reporting period.
The Department also provides several resources for the benefit of those looking to host a reaffirmation ceremony. These materials include certificates, ceremony program guides and speaking points, and copies of the national anthem,Footnote 44 and may be freely downloaded from the departmental website. Web analytics show that some people are accessing the web pages related to reaffirmation ceremonies (see Table 3-4). However, there is no information available on the number of other reaffirmation ceremonies actually conducted using these materials, or the degree to which they are attended by established Canadians.
|Participate in a Reaffirmation Ceremony||7,606||1,280||8,886||9,779||2,302||12,081|
|Reaffirmation Ceremony Program (downloads)||N/A||N/A||N/A||722||423||1,145|
|Reaffirmation Ceremony Program Guide & Speaking Points (downloads)||1,537||730||2,267||1,737||941||2,678|
|Reaffirmation Certificates (downloads)||1,478||604||2,082||1,293||587||1,880|
|Canadian National Anthem Bookmark (downloads)||N/A||N/A||N/A||534||423||957|
|Oath of Citizenship (downloads)||N/A||N/A||N/A||917||300||1,217|
Source: CIC web analytics reports.
Though not the intended audience, survey results from the evaluation suggest that overall attendance at reaffirmation ceremonies is relatively low, at least among new citizens, with only 1.5% of respondents indicating that they had taken the oath again at a reaffirmation ceremony. Also of note, 8.5% of new citizens surveyed reported having taken the oath again at someone else's citizenship ceremony.
Reach of Canada's Citizenship Week activities
Finding: Canada's Citizenship Week provides an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate citizenship. However, the focus of Citizenship Week activities for CIC has been on ceremonies.
Canada's Citizenship Week is held during the third week of October, and is intended to encourage all Canadians to reflect on the value of citizenship, what it means to be Canadian, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.Footnote 46 This event has been held annually since 2000.Footnote 47 During Citizenship Week, the Department typically schedules additional citizenship ceremonies, many of which are enhanced through partnership with a local organization. These ceremonies are also given a higher profile, with the Department issuing media advisories and providing support to reporters at ceremonies.
The Department also provides promotional materials to stakeholders, such as libraries and schools, for use during Citizenship Week.Footnote 48 Reaffirmation ceremonies may also be scheduled during Citizenship Week for the benefit of established Canadian citizens. In 2011, Citizenship Week activities included citizenship ceremonies, a high-school civics gameshow-style event hosted by the Historica-Dominion Institute at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and social media activity.Footnote 49
Web analytics show that there is a modest interest amongst the Canadian public in materials related to Canada's Citizenship Week (see Table 3-5). However, information on how these materials are used or the extent to which new and established Canadians take part in Citizenship Week activities is not collected.
|Canada's Citizenship Week||22,315||3,121||25,436||22,256||3,365||25,621|
|10 Ways to Celebrate Canada's Citizenship Week||1,737||186||1,923||2,889||361||3,250|
|Citizenship Week Poster (downloads)||418||141||559||832||354||1,186|
Source: CIC web analytics reports.
Though not the only intended audience, survey results from the evaluation suggest that overall participation in Citizenship Week activities is relatively low, at least among new citizens, with only 7.5% of respondents indicating that they had participated.
In the past, the Department also bestowed awards for citizenship during Citizenship Week. The Citation for Citizenship, established in 1987, was an award honouring Canadian individuals for their outstanding contributions in helping immigrants and refugees successfully integrate into Canadian society. The award aimed to recognize volunteer work in support of the citizenship values of freedom, justice, equality, and respect for diversity.Footnote 51 In 2010, this program was renamed, with twelve Canadians receiving the new Canada's Citizenship Award during Canada's Citizenship Week. However, this new program was suspended in 2011, and there is no clear indication as to when it will be reinstated, removing a means by which the Department could promote and celebrate active citizenship.
Reach of other Citizenship Awareness activities
Finding: While the CIC website and advertising campaigns are reaching the general public, other public outreach to schools and promotional activities undertaken by citizenship judges to a wider audience lack a clear direction.
As noted in previous sections, CIC provides a variety of informational materials to the public in the "Citizenship" section of its website. In addition to the materials related to Canada's Citizenship Week and the citizenship and reaffirmation ceremonies, the Department also provides educational resources, videos and other information related to citizenship. Consistent with the findings of web analytics presented earlier for Citizenship Week and the citizenship and reaffirmation ceremonies, there has been a steady level of interest in other citizenship promotional and informational material available on the website (see Table 3-6).
Table 3–6: Web analytics for other CIC citizenship promotion web pagesFootnote 52
|Education and Activities||12,542||917||13,459||13,708||1,031||14,739|
|A Fun Path to Learning||49,288||7,683||56,971||47,800||6,565||54,365|
|How Canadian Are You, Eh? (app)Footnote 53||N/A||N/A||32,907||N/A||N/A||6,142|
|Celebrate Being Canadian (main page)||196,082||24,449||220,531||194,300||26,406||220,706|
|Waking Up Canadian (video)||2,093||462||2,555||1,542||295||1,837|
|Becoming Canadian: Citizenship (video)||565||110||675||182||25||207|
Source: CIC web analytics reports.
The table above shows that the Department has continued to add promotional material to its suite of online information, including the addition in 2011-12 of the "Find a Citizenship Ceremony" page, which became one of the top five visited pages in its first year of release. The only resources for which there has been a significant reduction in the amount of viewer traffic are the citizenship-related videos. Similarly, survey results from the evaluation showed that a number of new citizens surveyed (55.9%) had used the information from the Citizenship section of the CIC website, while fewer (19.3%) had used videos produced by CIC.
It should be noted that, during the course of the evaluation, the Department made significant revisions to its website. Citizenship promotional material is now found under the tab of "Canadians", rather than the more intuitive tab of "Citizenship", potentially making it more difficult for people who do not have their Canadian citizenship to find.
In addition to the website, the Department conducts a number of outreach activities to the general public, often then encouraging them to access the citizenship material on the website. Advertising campaigns are a mechanism through which the Department communicates information for strategic purposes. Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, citizenship-related advertising campaigns have included the following:
- 2007-08 – Citizenship status public notice campaign;
- 2008-09 – Citizenship Act changes campaign; and
- 2010-11 – Rights and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship campaign.
The first two campaigns sought to encourage people to visit the CIC website to verify whether they were, or how they could become, Canadian citizens. Although these campaigns were not promotional in the sense of encouraging people to either apply for or celebrate Canadian citizenship, these campaigns constituted a concerted effort at outreach, providing a higher probability that those who would need to act on this information would be in a position to do so. Information on reach was not collected for these campaigns, rendering it difficult to evaluate their impact.
However, information on reach was available for the 2010-11 advertising campaign; it was intended to increase knowledge of rights and responsibilities associated with Canadian citizenship, to encourage people to download or order the Discover Canada citizenship guide, and to participate in a Citizenship Contest.Footnote 54 However, due to the call of an election, the campaign was suspended after only five days. Nevertheless, within this time, the campaign was able to generate interest in the study guide and related material, yielding the following results:
- 22,625 visits to the Discover Canada web page;
- 4,813 viewings of the Discover Canada video;
- 4,381 downloads of Discover Canada ;
- 12,257 copies of Discover Canada ordered;
- 192 related calls to Service Canada;
- 1,638 additional Facebook followers; and
- 229 contest participants (from which two winners were selected).Footnote 55
Most recently, CIC has engaged with the public on citizenship issues through social media. The Department maintains a Facebook page,Footnote 56 which is used to support and extend the reach of departmental promotional efforts. The Facebook page content primarily features citizenship-related postings. In 2011-12, over six thousand people followed Facebook links to content on the departmental website (5,188 English, 1,008 French),Footnote 57 expanding the reach of citizenship messaging.
Schools are another way through which the Department engages the general public, and were identified in the interviews as an effective way to assist people in learning about Canadian history, culture, rights and responsibilities. The Department occasionally sends out emails to schools to encourage teachers to use citizenship material, such as Discover Canada and the Teacher’s Corner, to support the delivery of their civics lessons. A list of schools in Canada is purchased and used to send these email “blasts”. This approach, though passive in nature, respects provincial authority over education. However, the list uses the email addresses of school principals or the school administration, and not the teachers, relying on intermediaries to reroute the information to the desired target audience. Therefore, it is unclear whether the initial outreach efforts actually reach the intended audience of teachers. Uptake of the citizenship material as a result of these efforts is not currently being tracked by the Department.
The Department also conducts outreach related to citizenship through the use of information booths at events. Interviewees noted that information booths are used in a variety of situations, including providing general departmental information as well as material targeted towards special events, such as Asian History Month, and special audiences, such as schoolteachers. These booths have the potential to reach a wide audience. For example, at the Calgary Stampede in 2011-12, CIC’s booth promoted the “How Canadian Are You, Eh?”Footnote 58 game, and distributed 2,738 copies of Discover Canada , along with other promotional materials.Footnote 59
Lastly, citizenship judges, on occasion, conduct outreach activities, such as speaking events at schools. A half-day per month is allocated to full-time citizenship judges for the purpose of conducting outreach activities. Partial information for the period of study provides some indication of the extent of these activities, but is limited, and may not present a full picture of the reach of these endeavours. During the course of the interviews, it was also noted that part-time judges sometimes also volunteer their time to conduct outreach. Table 3-7 reflects the outreach activities of the citizenship judges who submitted promotion records to the Citizenship Commission office, and therefore, do not necessarily reflect all such activities undertaken by the judges.
|# of Events||Attendance||# of Events||Attendance|
Source: Citizenship Commission
In general, the evaluation found that judges conduct outreach activities on an ad hoc and individual basis, and prepare their own citizenship material to present. While judges are given direction and support related to ceremonies and application decision-making, they do not have clear direction with respect to the purpose and expectations for these additional promotional activities, nor much support. Section 3.2.6 on Resource Utilization discusses this finding in more detail.
The CORE report found, based on its consultations, a sense among judges that organizational support for promotional activities had lessened. "For example, they felt they were not able to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to outreach activities, and that reduced resources for the ceremony have had a negative effect on the ceremony experience."Footnote 61 The report also concluded that "the focus on processing in recent years is resulting in an opportunity being lost to engage judges in a more strategic outreach role."Footnote 62
Reach of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC)
Finding: The reach of the ICC has grown substantially since its inception in 2006-07. Though more concentrated in Ontario, the organization is successful in reaching new citizens through its programming and has engaged a network of volunteers and various attractions across Canada to accomplish this work.
As noted elsewhere in the report, CIC currently funds the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) as part of its efforts to promote awareness of Canadian citizenship by matching funds raised by the organization.Footnote 63 The ICC was founded in 2006-07, and has two main programs for new citizens.
- The Building Citizenship program, which relies on a national network of volunteers to organize special community-led citizenship ceremonies, preceded by roundtable discussions on what it means to be, and to have become, Canadian; and
- The Cultural Access Pass program, which offers new citizens and their children a year's worth of free access to attractions across the country, such as parks and museums.
As shown in Table 3-8, there has been steady growth since 2007-08 for these two programs.
Table 3–8: Reach of ICC activities
|Number of ceremonies||N/A||N/A||N/A||21||31||34|
|Number of committees||2||15||21||24||26||31|
|Number of volunteers||N/A||N/A||N/A||83||448||754|
|Number of new citizen participants||N/A||N/A||N/A||921||1,315||1,570|
|Number of attractions||0||6||34||234||1,002||1,078|
|Number of cities / communities covered||0||3||5||30 + Ontario Parks sites||124 + Ontario & Alberta Parks, Parks Canada sites||150 + Ontario Parks, Parks Canada, Alberta Parks sites|
|Number of provinces / territories covered||0||1||2||5||13||13|
|Number of Cultural Access Pass members (cumulative)||0||3,262||10,973||22,701||43,681||64,859|
ICC ceremonies involve members of the community who volunteer at and host the roundtable discussions. The number of committees has continued to increase since 2007-08. By 2012-13, the ICC had engaged 31 volunteer committees in eight provinces across the country. However, about 57% of these committees are concentrated in Ontario, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where about 69% of the Ontario-based committees are located. The first ICC ceremonies were held in 2010-11, and the number of ICC ceremonies, new citizen participants and volunteers attending these special ceremonies has increased since that time.
The Cultural Access Pass program depends on partnerships with attractions to provide free access for new citizens. The number of attractions has grown from six founding institutions focused in the GTA in 2008-09 to 1,078 across Canada in 2012-13. At the time of data collection for the evaluation, about 69% of attractions were parks, including Ontario Parks, and 39.1% of the other attractions (such as museums, art galleries and historical sites) were located in Ontario. The number of members (new citizens registered for the program) has also grown – from a total of 3,262 members in 2008-09 to a total of 64,859 in 2012-13, with the amount of growth also increasing each year. Survey results for the evaluation showed that 23.2% of new citizens surveyed had used the Cultural Access Pass; of these, 47.3% were from Ontario.
On Canada Day 2012, the ICC also formed a partnership with Via Rail in support of this program, offering Cultural Access Pass members 50% off the lowest available fare, in any class, one way or round trip, with no blackout periods, for them and up to four of their children under the age of 18.Footnote 64
In spite of the significant growth in the volunteer network and number of ICC ceremonies over the last few years, the reach of the program is still limited relative to the overall number of citizenship ceremonies held and the level of new citizen participants across the country. ICC ceremonies represented a little over 1% of all ceremonies and reached less than 1% of new citizen participants (based on 2010-11 and 2011-12 data).
There is still opportunity for growth in the volunteer network to host ICC ceremonies. As noted earlier, many of the volunteer committees are located in Ontario, which is reasonable given that it is one of the main receiving provinces for newcomers. However, there is still potential room for expansion in other high-volume provinces, such as Quebec, where there is one committee in Montreal, and British Columbia, where there are three committees, one of which is in Vancouver.
Any further growth will depend on resources, both those of the ICC and the Department. During the course of the interviews, it was noted that enhanced ceremonies and working with partners, such as the ICC, to host ceremonies requires more level of effort on the part of CIC staff in terms of coordination. The additional planning in relation to scheduling enhanced ceremonies is also acknowledged in the Guide to Citizenship Ceremonies. Given the recent reductions to CIC local offices and local office staff and the increased pressure to meet processing targets for citizenship applications, it will be challenging in the future for CIC staff to work with local communities and partners in planning and hosting enhanced ceremonies, including those hosted by the ICC.Footnote 65
3.2.2. Knowledge of citizenship rights and responsibilities
Finding: Using CIC's study guide or participating in the citizenship ceremony were found to have a positive impact on new citizens' knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.
One of the goals of the citizenship program is for individuals to obtain an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Interviewees felt, on the whole, that promotional activities help participants gain knowledge of Canadian rights and responsibilities. This observation related primarily to newcomers, as they have to study the guide and participate in a citizenship ceremony. Some interviewees indicated that, while those born in Canada are expected to have the knowledge, they are not as informed as new Canadians because they do not have to go through the naturalization process. For the purposes of this evaluation, impacts were measured with respect to CIC's main products/activities, namely the citizenship study guide and ceremonies.
The survey of new citizens asked about the extent to which reading/using the study guide had an impact on their knowledge and understanding related to citizenship. Overall, the majority of new citizens surveyed for the evaluation indicated that reading/using the study guide (either Discover Canada, or the previous A Look at Canada) helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens and to learn more about Canada (see Table 3-9).
|Nature of Impact ("quite a bit" or "a great deal")||Survey of new citizens|
|Helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen||79.0%|
|Helped them to learn more about Canada||81.8%|
|Made them want to become more involved as citizens||69.7%|
Source: CIC survey of new citizens.
These survey results are in line with citizenship knowledge test results, which provide a more objective assessment of the knowledge and understanding of new citizens related to citizenship, and are relatively positive overall. Although recent changes to the citizenship testing regime designed to assess client knowledge more rigorously resulted in a temporary reduction of the citizenship test pass rate (from 95% to 69% in March 2010), this rate has since increased, returning closer to the rates observed prior to the test changes (83% in December 2011). The citizenship knowledge test is based on the study guide, and newcomer applicants are encouraged to read it, so it provides a good benchmark in terms of the study guide's impact in relation to citizenship applicants. However, it is important to note that other factors, other than the study guide, have an impact on an individual's ability to pass the test. As discussed earlier, departmental analyses have revealed that the main predictor of citizenship test success is the applicant's level of educational attainment; this factor is linked to the effects of other variables, such as official language capacity.
Research from the literature review suggests that new Canadians have adequate, and possibly higher, levels of civic knowledge relative to other Canadians. Several surveys commissioned by the Historica Dominion Institute (HDI) indicate that Canadians born in Canada have relatively low levels of civic knowledge. For example, their 2007 benchmark studyFootnote 66 found that Canadian immigrants outperformed other Canadians on a knowledge test similar to that administered as part of the naturalization process.
Consistent with this research, new citizens surveyed for the evaluation generally described their understanding of rights and responsibilities and their knowledge of Canada, relative to other Canadians, in a positive way. In terms of their understanding of rights and responsibilities:
- 23.4% described it as “excellent”;
- 34.7% as “above average”; and
- 39.3% as “average”.
Similarly, in terms of their knowledge of Canada:
- 16.4% described it as “excellent”;
- 31.5% as “above average”; and
- 48.4% as “average”.
Wanting to become more involved as a citizen was also explored as a next step in understanding one’s rights and responsibilities, indicating a progression towards civic engagement. Survey results from the evaluation found that reading/using the study guide made many of the new citizens surveyed want to become more involved as citizens by doing things like voting or volunteering (see Table 3-9).Footnote 67 That said, a 2012 Statistics Canada report using data from the Labour Force Survey on voting in the 2011 election found lower voting rates among recent immigrants (who immigrated to Canada in 2001 or later) compared to established immigrants and those born in Canada (51.1%, 66.3%, and 67.1% respectively).
At citizenship ceremonies, information related to the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship is communicated through the statements made by the judge during the ceremony. The citizenship ceremony manual describes how the judge’s welcoming remarks are intended to emphasize the importance of active citizenship, the contribution each new citizen can make to Canadian society and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.Footnote 68
Ceremony observations highlighted the important role of the judge’s speech for impacts related to knowledge of rights and responsibilities. Ceremony impacts were ranked more highly by evaluation team members for ceremonies where there were positive comments regarding the judge’s speech. Volunteerism and/or active citizenship were mentioned most often by judges in their speeches, as were the various rights and responsibilities that citizenship entails.
Many new citizens surveyed indicated that participation in the citizenship ceremony helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities and made them want to become more involved as citizens (see Table 3-10). A greater percentage of those who completed the exit survey soon after participating in a citizenship ceremony indicated that participation made them want to become more involved as citizens.
|Nature of Impact ("quite a bit" or "a great deal")||Survey of New Citizens||Ceremony Exit Survey|
|Helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen||71.5%||70.4%|
|Made them want to become more involved as citizens||67.9%||84.5%|
Sources: CIC survey of new citizens and CIC ceremony exit survey.
Finding: The presence of special elements at ceremonies has a positive impact on new citizens wanting to become more involved as citizens. Of note, ICC ceremony discussion groups were found to provide a good platform to reflect on the meaning of active citizenship for new Canadians.
Impacts in relation to citizenship ceremonies were also assessed in order to understand whether there was a difference in outcomes for participants related to various characteristics of the ceremony.
The first characteristic explored was the presence of special elements at the ceremony, such as a reception or a special speaker. CIC refers to ceremonies with these kinds of features as "enhanced." Ceremonies conducted in partnership with the ICC and featuring a discussion group prior to the ceremony, are also considered to be enhanced. In 2011-12, about 14% of ceremonies were classified as enhanced (up from about 10% in 2010-11).
For the purposes of measurement, new citizens surveyed for the evaluation were asked whether their citizenship ceremony had happened on-site or off-site, and whether they had included various special elements (from a list of options), some of which would be considered features of an enhanced ceremony. 66.7% of new citizens surveyed reported at least one special element at their citizenship ceremony. The most frequently reported special elements were:
- The presence of public figures (e.g. a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or elected officials) – 42.4%;
- A reception at the end – 32.9%; and
- Discussion groups talking about citizenship experiences – 19.4%.
The first element could be present at a standard ceremony, but the latter two are only features of an enhanced ceremony. Survey results found that the presence of at least one special element, one of which was a discussion group, had a positive influence on new citizen's wanting to become more involved as citizens (see Table 3-11).
|Nature of Impact
("quite a bit" or "a great deal")
|No special elements listed||At least on special element without discussion group||At least one special element with discussion group|
|Help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen||n.s.||n.s.||n.s.|
|Make you want to become more involved as a citizen||62.4%||67.4%||79.2%|
Percentages are shown when difference is statistically significant. "n.s." denotes not significant.
Source: CIC survey of new citizens.
ICC ceremonies feature discussion groups, where new citizen participants and other Canadians talk about citizenship issues. Discussion groups frequently centre on rights and responsibilities, with voting and respecting others’ cultures mentioned most often, as well as the meaning of active citizenship, including ideas for becoming more active.Footnote 69The ICC Evaluation of Community Ceremonies (July 2010) found that their community ceremonies are a successful way to engage new and established citizens in a discussion about the significance of citizenship. Consistent with this research, most new citizens who completed the exit survey for the evaluation soon after participating in an ICC ceremony indicated that participation helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens and made them want to become more involved as citizens.
The ICC Social Value of Citizenship Roundtable Report (August 2010) found that new citizen participants have a clear idea of what is expected of them as active citizens, and see as central the responsibility to be engaged. In addition, the report observed that some new citizen comments highlight that engagement is not just about participation in the political process, but also about helping others in the community (making a positive contribution to society).
The second characteristic explored was the site. Ceremonies can either be held “on-site” at the local CIC office or “off-site” at a location within the community. In 2011-12, about 20% of ceremonies were held off-site (down from about 25% in 2010-11). In the past few years, this type of ceremony has been held at locations, such as community centres, parks, and schools. The theory is that the degree of engagement with the community is potentially higher with this type of ceremony; however, it does take more time and effort in terms of organization on the part of CIC staff. Interviewees from regional offices in particular noted the difference in the amount of time required to prepare for an off-site ceremony, and the conflict between expending time on this type of event versus devoting time to processing. 63.9% of new citizens surveyed indicated that their ceremony had been held on-site at a CIC office.
The third and final characteristic considered was the size of the ceremony. For the purposes of the survey of new citizens, ceremonies with fewer than 50 participants were considered small, those with between 50 and 100 participants were considered of medium size, those with more than 100 but less than 200 participants were considered large, and those with over 200 participants considered very large. These categories were further grouped in the analysis to create two size classifications, small or medium and large or very large.
Impacts related to understanding rights and responsibilities were first considered in relation to the site and size of the ceremony independently. While no impacts were found related to size, a greater percentage of new citizens who indicated having participated in an on-site ceremony reported that this participation made them want to become more involved as citizens. It is important to note here that site location does not determine whether or not a ceremony is enhanced or standard, and thus, not all ceremonies held off-site are enhanced. Two notable examples of standard ceremonies held off-site were the mega-ceremonies observed in Montreal during the course of the evaluation.
Further analysis examined impacts related to the presence of special elements in conjunction with either the site or the size variable, and found a positive influence for the presence of special elements in the context of on-site or small to medium size ceremonies (see Table 3-12 below). The positive effects were particularly notable when one of the special elements reported was an ICC ceremony discussion group. Thus, a combination of factors can play a role for new citizens with respect to the effectiveness of the ceremony experience.
| Nature of Impact
("quite a bit" or "a great deal")
Presence of special elements
|On-site||Small to medium|
|None||At least one without discussion group||At least one with discussion group||None||At least one without discussion group||At least one with discussion group|
|Helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen||68.6%||73.3%||82.6%||62.1%||70.0%||83.1%|
|Made them want to become more involved as citizens||63.5%||73.2%||81.7%||56.2%||67.3%||77.5%|
Percentages are shown when difference is statistically significant.
Source: CIC survey of new citizens.
Finding: There is some indication that efforts to increase the efficiency of citizenship ceremonies by increasing the number of new citizen participants may diminish the effectiveness of these ceremonies.
Though potentially more efficient in terms of number of new citizens naturalized, there was some indication that mega ceremonies were less successful in terms of delivery.
When ceremony impacts, as measured by the ceremony exit survey, were considered in relation to ceremony size (i.e. “mega” ceremonies with about 400 new citizen participants or “average-size” ceremonies with 60 to 110 new citizenship participants), it was found that mega ceremonies had less of an impact for new citizens on understanding rights and responsibilities and wanting to become more involved as citizens. Specifically:
- 80.0% of those who had participated in an average-size ceremony (compared to 62.2% in a mega ceremony) indicated that participation helped them to understand their rights and responsibilities (“quite a bit” or “a great deal”).
- Similarly, 91.6% of those who had participated in an average-size ceremony (compared to 78.6% in a mega ceremony indicated that participation made them want to become more involved as citizens (“quite a bit” or “a great deal”).
Results from the ceremony exit survey also showed that 60.2% of respondents who had participated in a mega ceremony indicated that something could have been improved; of these, 41.2% indicated that the location could have been improved. The most frequently reported suggestions/comments related to the ceremonies were: fewer participants or too many participants; better organization or management of event; and less wait time or wait time was too long. These particular suggestions/comments largely came from participants at the mega ceremonies.
Similarly, observations of the mega ceremonies by members of the evaluation team highlighted that a great deal of time at these ceremonies was spent on processing issues (e.g. registering new citizen candidates), and relatively little time was spent on the ceremony itself. The judge’s speech at these ceremonies discussed the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, but was a relatively small part of the overall duration of the event.
There appears to be a tension between the processing and promotion objectives in relation to ceremonies. From a citizenship processing perspective, larger ceremonies naturalize more new citizens and are more efficient. From a promotion perspective, smaller ceremonies can enhance impacts in relation to understanding rights and responsibilities. A balance must be found between efficiency and effectiveness concerns related to ceremonies in order to meet the objectives of each.
3.2.3. Impacts related to valuing Canadian citizenship
Finding: Participating in the citizenship ceremony or, to a lesser extent, using the study guide was found to have a positive impact on valuing citizenship.
A second goal for the citizenship program is to promote the value of citizenship to all Canadians. This impact is limited by the extent to which citizenship activities can reach all the relevant sectors of the population. While the expected outcome of valuing Canadian citizenship relates to all Canadians, and is reflected in the Citizenship Action Plan, the focus of the present study was primarily new citizens.
It is important to acknowledge that historically CIC's target clients have been newcomers, even with the addition of the Multiculturalism Program, which provides support for some activities related to citizenship. Other government departments such as Canadian Heritage, Veterans Affairs, and Parks Canada, as well agencies such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, also have a role in promoting Canadian history, culture and values to the broader public. As such, the outcome that Canadian citizenship is a valued status is supported through government priorities beyond the relationship to the citizenship awareness program.
The majority of interviewees indicated that CIC promotional activities had some degree of impact on the value of citizenship. A few respondents highlighted that there is a difference in the way in which newcomers value citizenship compared to those born in Canada. They commented that newcomers value their citizenship a great deal, and are more explicit about it. Those born in Canada feel less of a need to participate in citizenship activities, as their perception of citizenship is more implicit or inherent.
For the purposes of this evaluation, impacts were measured with respect to CIC's main awareness activities, namely the citizenship study guide and ceremonies. Viewed as the occasion where candidates for citizenship embrace their new country's values, the citizenship ceremony was expected to show greater impacts related to valuing citizenship, and is the main focus of the subsequent analysis.
According to the Guide to Citizenship Ceremonies, for new citizens, the citizenship ceremony is the formal entry into the Canadian family and the acceptance of the responsibilities and privileges of membership. Valuing citizenship was explored in the analysis in relation to four dimensions: feeling welcome, feeling a sense of belonging, appreciation of Canadian citizenship and feeling good about becoming Canadian. Survey results showed that, for many new citizens, reading/using the study guide or participating in the ceremony had positive impacts on these feelings related to valuing citizenship (see Table 3-13). As expected, results were more positive for the impacts in relation to ceremonies. Moreover, a greater percentage of those who completed the exit survey soon after participating in a citizenship ceremony indicated these positive impacts.
|Nature of Impact
("quite a bit" or "a great deal")
|Survey of New Citizens Study Guides||Survey of New Citizens Ceremonies||Ceremony Exit Survey|
|Made them feel welcome in Canada||74.5%||87.7%||92.8%|
|Helped them feel a sense of belonging to Canada||73.7%||84.7%||93.8%|
|Helped them to appreciate Canadian citizenship||80.3%||83.4%||90.3%|
|Made them feel good about becoming Canadian||80.6%||89.3%||95.2%|
Sources: CIC survey of new citizens and ceremony exit survey.
The same impacts related to valuing citizenship were also assessed as part of the ceremony observations, and it was found that evaluation team members ranked the impacts more highly in ceremonies where there were positive comments about the judge’s speech.
Analysis of the qualitative responses to the exit survey found that participating in the ceremony evoked many positive feelings for new citizens. For 38.1% of respondents, participation in the ceremony generally made them feel good (or great, happy, joy, wonderful). 27.7% of respondents felt a sense of pride overall or were proud to be Canadian, and 17.8% expressed a sense of belonging, sometimes referring to Canada as their home or their country, or referring to the family of Canada. For 17.3%, the experience made them feel emotional, moved or touched, and for 9.9%, it confirmed for them that they were Canadian, or made them feel really or fully Canadian.
These findings are consistent with findings from the larger survey of new citizens. Overall, most new citizens surveyed agreed that they felt proud to be Canadian (97.6%), and that getting their citizenship increased this sense of belonging (95.3%). New citizens surveyed also described their sense of belonging; 86.9% rated it as a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1 was defined as “not at all strong” and 5 as “very strong”.
Finding: The presence of special elements at ceremonies has a positive impact on how new citizens value citizenship. For example, ICC ceremony discussion groups have a positive impact on helping them to appreciate citizenship.
As in section 3.2.2, impacts in relation to citizenship ceremonies were also assessed by several different delivery components in order to understand whether there was a difference in outcomes for participants related to these factors.
The analysis first explored the effects of special elements, and found that the presence of at least one special element had a positive influence on new citizens’ feelings related to valuing citizenship (see Table 3-14). Moreover, the presence of discussion groups had a notable influence on helping those surveyed to appreciate Canadian citizenship.
|Nature of Impact
(“quite a bit” or “a great deal”)
|No special elements listed||At least on special element without discussion group||At least one special element with discussion group|
|Made them feel welcome in Canada||80.2%||91.9%||91.3%|
|Helped them feel a sense of belonging to Canada||76.7%||87.3%||92.8%|
|Helped them to appreciate Canadian citizenship||76.4%||84.7%||92.1%|
|Made them feel good about becoming Canadian||82.4%||91.5%||96.0%|
Percentages are shown when difference is statistically significant.
Source: CIC survey of new citizens.
The ICC Evaluation of Community Ceremonies (July 2010) found that new citizen participants can make meaningful connections during the roundtable discussion groups through sharing intimate stories of hardship, and connecting with others from different backgrounds, realizing they often share experiences. The ICC Social Value of Citizenship Roundtable Report (August 2010) concluded that for new citizen participants, citizenship is about legal membership status, belonging and being engaged, stating that “its value is something that is cherished by these individuals who have given up so much to become Canadian.”
Similarly, analysis of survey results for those completing the exit survey after having participated in an ICC ceremony found that participation in the ceremony made all respondents feel welcome in Canada, helped them feel a sense of belonging to Canada, and made them feel good about becoming Canadian. Most respondents also indicated that participation helped them to appreciate Canadian citizenship.
In addition to new citizens, participation in the discussion groups can have positive benefits for established Canadians. The ICC Evaluation found that the roundtable discussions can give established citizens the opportunity to reflect upon their own citizenship in meaningful ways, as well as new insight into the newcomer experience. Similarly, the ICC Volunteer Survey (April 2012) found that the majority of volunteer respondents agreed that being involved in the organizing and hosting of a community-based citizenship ceremony with roundtable discussions helps to deepen their appreciation of their own citizenship.
As in the previous section, the analysis then considered impacts on valuing citizenship in relation to the site (on-site or off-site) and size (small to medium or large to very large) of the ceremony. While no impacts were found related to site, a greater percentage of new citizens who indicated having participated in a large to very large ceremony (i.e. more than 100 participants) reported that this participation helped them to appreciate Canadian citizenship. It is important to note here that the size variable was an estimate reported by the respondent, and may also be affected by recall. Moreover, as with the previous analysis, it was anticipated that a combination of factors may be at play.
Therefore, subsequent analysis examined the effects of special elements relative to ceremony site and size, and found a positive influence for the presence of special elements in the context of on-site or small to medium size ceremonies for most of the factors explored related to valuing citizenship (see Table 3-15). The positive effect was particularly notable for helping new citizens who had participated in a small to medium size ceremony with a discussion group to appreciate Canadian citizenship. Therefore, as with impacts related to understanding rights and responsibilities, a combination of factors can play a role for new citizens with respect to the effectiveness of the ceremony experience in relation to valuing citizenship.
|Nature of Impact (“quite a bit” or “a great deal”)
Presence of special elements (from list)
|On-site||Small to medium|
|None||At least one without discussion group||At least one with discussion group||None||At least one without discussion group||At least one with discussion group|
|Made them feel welcome in Canada||n.s.||n.s.||n.s.||77.4%||90.4%||92.2%|
|Helped them feel a sense of belonging to Canada||78.4%||87.2%||88.6%||75.8%||86.1%||91.1%|
|Helped them to appreciate Canadian citizenship||75.7%||87.3%||93.0%||71.8%||81.7%||91.1%|
|Made them feel good about becoming Canadian||82.9%||91.1%||94.4%||79.0%||90.4%||96.6%|
Percentages are shown when difference is statistically significant. "n.s." denotes not significant.
Source: CIC survey of new citizens.
3.2.4. Impacts related to applying for Canadian citizenship
One of the expected results for promotion activities geared towards newcomers is that they will encourage newcomers to apply for citizenship. The causal relationship between experiencing promotional activities and citizenship application is not possible to validate through the results of this study, however the evaluation can provide some evidence of its contribution to the decision to apply for citizenship.
Finding: Promotional activities that reinforce feelings of belonging or permanency influence the decision to apply for citizenship.
Canada has always had very high naturalization rates and there has even been a modest increase over the course of recent decades to 85.6% in the 2011 Census, up from 78.7% in the 1986 Census and 85.1% in the 2006 Census. Picot and Hou (2011) identified three types of determinants of up-take: individual characteristics (e.g. educational attainment, age at immigration, language skills), source country characteristics (e.g. GDP in source country, civil liberties) and immigration class. While this explains some of the variance in up-take rates, there is evidence from the existing citizenship literature that supports the notion that the institutional context also plays a role in whether newcomers will decide to apply for citizenship.
Both the political and the policy structures in any given country affect the extent to which people will feel facilitated to naturalize.Footnote 70 The differences in citizenship uptake between Canada and the United States are indicative of how government policies can impact citizenship rates. In Canada, the integration continuum is structured to include obtaining citizenship as a key point and policies are more amenable to encouraging citizenship. The Canadian perspective is less about imposing barriers, such as limiting access to services to those who are not citizens, as is done in the US and many European countries, and instead has more to do with facilitating the transition for those who want to become citizens.
According to results from the survey of new citizens, 88.7% of respondents felt that it was “quite” or “very” important for the government to inform permanent residents about citizenship to encourage them to get Canadian citizenship. Interviewees were fairly evenly divided between those who felts that promotion encourages uptake and those who did not. Those who felt that it did not encourage uptake tended to respond that newcomers either plan to apply for citizenship when they relocate to Canada, or will never apply, for personal reasons that cannot be changed through promotional activities (for example, the ability to hold dual citizenship). Those who felt that promotion encouraged uptake tended to emphasize the relationship between citizenship and integration. As well, they cited the need to inform newcomers of their rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions about citizenship.
Among interviewees, citizenship judges and external stakeholders tended to support the need for promotion to encourage uptake, while CIC staff in the regions tended to feel that it was less important. These differences in perspective may relate to the type of position, as the regional staff bears the weight of the processing challenges most directly and would see an increase in focus on uptake as an addition to an already heavy processing load.
The majority of new citizens surveyed in both the exit survey and the survey of new citizens indicated that it was “quite” or “very” important for them to become Canadian citizens. The exit survey respondents, who had recently obtained their citizenship, were slightly more positive at 96.2%, compared to 90.9% for those who responded to the survey of new citizens. Additionally, the majority of new citizens agreed that their legal status as Canadian citizens was important; with 86.8% of those surveyed indicating that they “strongly” agreed with this statement.
New citizens surveyed had many reasons for their decision to become a Canadian citizen. Figure 3-2 presents the various reasons explored in the evaluation.Footnote 71For those surveyed as part of the larger survey of new citizens, the most frequently reported reasons were wanting to make Canada their permanent home (92.1%) and wanting to feel fully Canadian (89.2%). For those surveyed as part of the ceremony exit survey, these two reasons were among the top five most frequently reported, along with being able to vote, getting a passport and for their children (see Figure 3-2).
Figure 3–2: Reasons for becoming a Canadian citizen for respondents to the survey of new citizens and the ceremony exit survey
Text version: Reasons for becoming a Canadian citizen for respondents to the survey of new citizens and the ceremony exit survey
|Reasons for becoming a Canadian citizen||Survey of new citizens (n=629)||Ceremony exit survey (n=216)|
|So cannot be deported||28%||3%|
|Wanted to sponsor others to come to Canada||31%||3%|
|To access government jobs||44%||13%|
|To show employers that I am a good/loyal citizen||54%||5%|
|Other family members are Canadian citizens||55%||13%|
|Freedom to live abroad and still come back to Canada||64%||18%|
|For my children||67%||26%|
|To be able to vote||71%||56%|
|To have a stronger legal status||72%||13%|
|To get a passport / travel||75%||47%|
|Political stability / safety in Canada||75%||22%|
|Already felt Canadian||80%||14%|
|Wanted to feel fully Canadian||89%||39%|
|Wanted to make Canada my permanent home||92%||41%|
When asked to identify their most important reason for becoming a Canadian citizen, wanting to make Canada a permanent home and wanting to feel fully Canadian emerged most frequently as the most important reasons. This was true for respondents across both surveys, though in a reverse order (see Figure 3-3).
Figure 3–3: Most important reason for becoming a Canadian citizen for respondents to the survey of new citizens and the ceremony exit survey
Text version: Most important reason for becoming a Canadian citizen for respondents to the survey of new citizens and the ceremony exit survey
|Which reason was the most important for you||Survey of new citizens (n=650)||Ceremony exit survey (n=203)|
|So cannot be deported||0%||0%|
|To show employers that I am a good/loyal citizen||1%||1%|
|To access government jobs||1%||2%|
|Wanted to sponsor others to come to Canada||1%||0%|
|Aready felt Canadian||2%||6%|
|Other family members are Canadian citizens||2%||4%|
|To have a stronger legal status||3%||3%|
|Freedom to live abroad and still come back to Canada||5%||3%|
|To get a passport/travel||9%||7%|
|To be able to vote||10%||14%|
|Political stability/safety in Canada||11%||11%|
|For my children||12%||12%|
|Wanted to feel fully Canadian||16%||17%|
|Wanted to make Canada my permanent home||19%||16%|
Thus, newcomers have various reasons for getting their Canadian citizenship. The evaluation found that reasons for obtaining citizenship such as getting passports, having access to different jobs, being able to sponsor relatives, and having the freedom to live abroad, which are more practical in nature and have direct personal benefits to newcomers, ranked below the more intangible reasons for becoming Canadian, which are more linked to their social integration. While the more practical reasons are personal and less amenable to promotional efforts, these findings underline the role that promotion can have in creating a sense of belonging and permanency for newcomers to further encourage uptake of Canadian citizenship. As such, the evidence illustrates that awareness activities are important to maintain a policy environment that facilitates citizenship for those that make the personal choice to obtain it.
3.2.5 Program management
Finding: Information regarding the outcomes of promotional activities is available but only at a broad level which is not sufficient to support program monitoring and policy decision-making.
A number of sources of information are available to those involved in the delivery of the Citizenship Awareness program including operational bulletins and the citizenship operational manual, which provide guidance on the use of promotional materials and key activities (i.e., ceremonies); outreach plans identifying the schedule of anticipated outreach activities; and monitoring documents such as the citizenship dashboard, the Book of Basics and quarterly reports that provide information on at the output level. These sources of information are used to plan, implement and monitor program activities and outputs. They are limited, however, in the degree to which they provide information on outcomes.
The lack of outcome information was mentioned by most CIC interviewees. Some interviewees mentioned constraints in collecting information that could measure contributions to program outcomes, noting constraints in conducting public opinion research that limit the collection of information directly from program participants. Given the social nature of Citizenship Awareness expected outcomes, an inability to survey public opinion could limit the extent to which the Department could determine the extent to which Canadians value their citizenship.
An additional challenge in some cases to the Department's ability to measure the contribution of Citizenship Awareness programming to its expected outcomes relates to the provision of information, rather than of direct services. For example, although CIC provides the public with materials that can be used to independently host reaffirmation ceremonies, the Department does not have any information on how many of these ceremonies are in fact held. Similarly, although Discover Canada is positioned as a resource that can be used for civic education, in addition to its core function as study material for the citizenship knowledge test, the extent to which audiences use the resource for different purposes is not known.
These limitations do not entirely explain the absence of outcome-related information. For example, while communications plans typically recorded the number of attendees at an event, no rationale was recorded for the assessment of whether the Department would consider repeating the event. Although the Department has for several years conducted an email campaign intended to increase the use of Discover Canada by schoolteachers, no information on the impact of this effort has been collected. Additionally, performance measures for several advertising campaigns related to citizenship were not recorded.
Finding: Training and support for program delivery is available; however, there are opportunities for improvement, particularly with respect to public speaking training in support of outreach activities and technical supports for the delivery of ceremonies.
Manuals and Operational Bulletins were mentioned by some interviewees as a source of timely information on program delivery needs. In particular, the Guide to Citizenship Ceremonies was identified as a very useful resource in both planning ceremony logistics and outlining messaging that could be used in ceremonies. Unfortunately, several citizenship process manuals have not been updated in some time; the Department was engaged in revisions to these manuals during the evaluation study period.
Citizenship officers receive grant delegation training of 5 days; however, this training does not include activities related to promotion. Officers who fulfill the role of clerk as citizenship ceremonies are not provided with any formal training, rather, they rely on the information in the policy manual (guide to citizenship ceremonies) and learn while “on the job.”
Citizenship judges receive approximately 8 days of training and newly appointed judges shadow more experienced judges and receive mentoring. Judges are provided with speaking notes related to specific initiatives (e.g., Black History Month) to be used in preparing their ceremony speeches. Finally, those who are not bilingual are entitled to language training classes.
With respect to ceremonies, interviewees identified gaps related to the application of the guidance provided to staff and judges. This included training on public speaking for clerks and judges. Regional officers focused more on technical issues (e.g., equipment for ceremonies, dedicated vehicles for itinerant services).
Other than training to support the delivery of citizenship ceremonies, the document review identified very little by way of training related to citizenship promotion. That said, the majority of non-ceremony promotion of citizenship is performed by communications staff, whose backgrounds and skills may already be sufficient to the task. There may be benefits to developing promotional guidance and reference material for use by staff without communications backgrounds, particularly in the regional offices.
One key shortfall in terms of promotional guidance is for citizenship judge outreach. Although full-time citizenship judges are awarded one half-day per month to be used in citizenship promotion, there is very little guidance around what venues or approaches would constitute acceptable forms of outreach. Additionally, although citizenship judges receive training in the delivery of citizenship ceremonies, other training, material, or resources may be of help in preparing to conduct outreach on other venues. For example, one popular form of citizenship judge outreach is an appearance at a school, prior to a citizenship ceremony being hosted at that school; not all judges would necessarily be capable of adjusting their messaging to this different audience.
The majority of judges and regional staff interviewed identified areas for improvement with respect to training on outreach. The most common suggestion was training on public speaking for judges in support of their outreach activities. Judges also felt more information on promotion in general (e.g., how to promote) would be beneficial.
Finding: At the federal level, there is potential for overlap in citizenship promotion.
The mandate for CIC is delineated in legislation. Section 4 of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act assigns to the Minister authority over matters related to citizenship and immigration not assigned elsewhere.Footnote 72 Within the Citizenship Regulations, Section 15 outlines the aspects of knowledge of Canada and citizenship to be instilled in those seeking to acquire Canadian citizenship; Section 17 describes how citizenship judges are to use citizenship ceremonies in order to impress on new citizens the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.Footnote 73
These provisions would seem to provide CIC with clear authority over the promotion of citizenship. However, Section 4 of the Department of Heritage Act assigns to that Department’s Minister jurisdiction over several matters relating to Canadian identity and values, cultural development, and heritage. This includes authority for multiculturalism, as well as for state ceremonial and Canadian symbols. Additionally, one of PCH’s mandates and priorities is to “promote a strong Canadian identity through active and engaged citizenship.”Footnote 74 This priority is addressed in part through delivery of the Celebration and Commemoration Program, which “provides opportunities to bring Canadians together in their communities to discover and appreciate the richness and diversity of Canadian society and to show their sense of belonging to Canada and pride in being Canadian.”Footnote 75
One example of overlap is with Canada Day. Although CIC delivers citizenship ceremonies and reaffirmation ceremonies on and around July 1st, it is PCH that is ultimately responsible for delivering Canada Day festivities as a whole, as part of the Celebration and Commemoration Program.
This overlap in mandate has the potential to lead to inefficiencies and duplication of effort across departments as well as missed opportunities to cross-promote to the wider audience of Canadians.
Finding: Within CIC, responsibility for the Citizenship Awareness Program is dispersed and there is no clear program lead, resulting in some inefficiencies in coordination and the absence of an overarching strategy.
Within the Department, there is no clear lead for the Citizenship Awareness Program. Roles, responsibilities and leadership are laid out for the management of each of the various activities that were identified for the Citizenship Awareness Program, but were not clearly delineated for the program as a whole. Though not solely focused on Citizenship Awareness, the CORE Report also found that “there is no clear owner for the citizenship program as a whole. This has resulted in challenges around accountability, authority, program visibility, as well as organisational ability to synthesise horizontal issues.”Footnote 76
For Citizenship Awareness, responsibilities are shared among a number of Branches and Sectors, and there are indications that this distribution of responsibility could lead to inefficiencies. Both Divisions within the Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch are responsible for the citizenship awareness policy function. The Communications Branch, regional offices, and the Operational Management and Coordination Branch each develop and implement plans focusing on different promotional activities, and a lack of alignment between the various plans was mentioned by a few interviewees.
At one point, Regional Program Advisors had played a connecting role between Communications, Operations, and Policy. These CIC staff members had helped to increase the efficiency of citizenship promotion, by establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, coordinating efforts, and aggregating and sharing tools developed and best practices learned. However, at the time of the evaluation, these positions had recently been eliminated, and no direction had yet been provided to ensure that communication and coordination between these groups is maintained. Furthermore, the communications function had been recently centralized, with regions reporting directly to NHQ, creating somewhat of a disconnect between the communications and operations functions in the regions.
There is a lot of overlap between Citizenship Awareness and Citizenship Acquisition, most notably they share two key activities: the study guide and the ceremonies, which serve both promotional and operational functions. It was difficult to identify the activities belonging to Citizenship Awareness Program during the course of the evaluation, and in conducting the interviews, members of the evaluation team had to clarify for some respondents as to what was meant by Citizenship Awareness. A basic inventory was developed to assist with this work. A few comments from interviewees also highlighted that Citizenship Awareness lacked a national strategy, and that there were no “pure” awareness activities.
The Citizenship Action Plan (CAP) is the main document connecting the various activities related to Citizenship Awareness; however, it does not clearly articulate the plan for these activities, nor does it provide an overarching strategy.
3.2.6. Resource utilization
Financial reporting context
Due to recent changes in the way in which the Department reports expenditures, it was not possible to determine exact funding levels assigned to the Citizenship Awareness program for each of the five years under review. Starting in the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Department transitioned from reporting expenditures by line of business activity (e.g., policy development, citizenship grants), to reporting by PAA (sub-) program (i.e., Citizenship Awareness and Citizenship Acquisition, Confirmation and Revocation). As the previous approach used multiple financial codes for line items within the Citizenship Program as a whole, aligning the previous financial codes specifically to Citizenship Awareness and Citizenship Acquisition, Confirmation, and Revocation required the reallocation of line items to one or the other sub-program.
Additionally, the financial records for several of the years within the period covered by the evaluation included line items of considerable materiality, which did not relate directly to the Citizenship Awareness program in its current structure. This included the funding envelope for the Multiculturalism Program, which was later reallocated within the departmental financial structure. Removing these line items from consideration serves to sharpen the financial picture presented, but moves the figures out of alignment with those reported elsewhere. Furthermore, although several of the grants and contributions provided by the Department support citizenship promotion and civic engagement, these are funded through, for example, the InterAction transfer payment program, are not aligned with Citizenship Awareness expenditures and are therefore not included. Finally, while corporate services are normally allocated to all programs using a pre-set formula, in this case this allocation is not appropriate, given that the Communications Branch plays a significant role in citizenship awareness activities. In the absence of more precise information, expenditures related to Communications are not included in the overall estimates, but expenditures for certain Communications activities are provided in a separate table.
Finding: The investment in the Citizenship Awareness component is relatively small compared to the overall Citizenship Program.
Owing to the above factors, the table below presenting the Citizenship Program's resources over the period of study should be regarded as illustrative of departmental expenditures, rather than as a definitive accounting.
|Acquisition, Confirmation, Revocation||$33,597,625||$33,163,515||$38,294,727||$40,798,166||$33,397,775|
Source: CIC Financial Data.Footnote 77
Based on information from 2011-12, the resources assigned to Citizenship Awareness represent approximately 11% of the resources for the Citizenship Program as a whole. This percentage has increased steadily over the five year period; however, the Citizenship Acquisition, Conformation, and Revocation initiative continues to receive the majority of the resources assigned to the overall program. This distribution of funds is reasonable, given that processing citizenship-related requests is more resource-intensive than are most forms of citizenship promotion. It should be noted, however, that some resources assigned to the citizenship awareness program directly support aspects of citizenship processing, for example, the chief reason for the creation and distribution of the study guide is to serve as a resource for those seeking to successfully obtain Canadian citizenship. Additionally, citizenship ceremonies, while a vehicle for citizenship promotion, also represent the final stage in the successful processing of citizenship grant applications.
Expenditures related to communications activities
The Citizenship Awareness Program includes activities undertaken by the Communications Branch of CIC. Between 2007-09 and 2011-12 a number of advertising campaigns and public opinion research (POR) projects were undertaken by the Communications Branch in support of citizenship awareness. These campaigns and POR projects sought to raise awareness about citizenship issues among Canadians and obtain information to help the Department gain a better understanding of attitudes towards citizenship. While these expenditures are not reflected in the table above, some data is available through Branch reports on public opinion research and advertising campaigns and is summarized in Table 3-17. This data however also has limitations as, in some cases, communication activities can be undertaken for multiple purposes and therefore expenditures cannot be attributed in full to citizenship awareness. These activities are listed in the table as having a “partial focus on citizenship.” As well, expenditures are limited to O&M costs associated with each project (e.g., media purchases, production costs).
|Year||Project Title||Expenditures/ Contract Amount||Focus on CitizenshipFootnote A||Type|
|2007-08||Citizenship Public Notice Campaign||$275,013||Full||Advertising campaign|
|Qualitative Investigation of the Naturalization Decision||$70,893||Full||Public opinion research|
|Qualitative Investigation Of Attitudes Towards Civic Practice And Barriers To Civic Participation||$73,569||Full||Public opinion research|
|CIC Annual Tracking Survey||$42,405||Partial||Public opinion research|
|CIC Website Usability Testing||$113,259||Partial||Public opinion research|
|Focus Canada||$5,300||Partial||Syndicated study/public opinion research|
|2008-09||The 101 Things that Define Canada||$85,829||Full||Public opinion research|
|Document Utilization Survey||$36,663||Partial||Public opinion research|
|Bill C-37 Implementation (Citizenship Act Regulations revisions)||$25,000||Full||Awareness campaign|
|2009-10||CIC Annual Tracking Survey||$66,097||Partial||Public opinion research|
|2010-11||Pre-Testing the Citizenship Campaign||$30,365||Full||Public opinion research|
|Post-Testing the Citizenship Campaign||$1,483||Full||Advertising campaign|
|Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship Campaign||$938,799||Full||Awareness campaign|
|2011-12||CIC Annual Tracking Survey||$69,945||Partial||Public opinion research|
|Qualitative Research among Newcomers and Immigrants||$117,418||Partial||Public opinion research|
|Citizenship Test Focus Groups||$42,782||Full||Public opinion research|
|Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship Campaign II||$69,600||Full||Awareness campaign (cancelled, but production costs incurred)|
Sources: CIC internal documents.
Expenditures for activities that can be attributed in full to citizenship varied from year to year, with a high of $970,647 in 2010-11. The most significant expenditure was recorded in 2010-11 for the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship national advertising campaign, the purpose of which was to promote the Discover Canada guide and invite Canadians to learn more about their history and the rights and responsibilities associated with Canadian citizenship. The results of this campaign were described earlier in section 3.2.1 on the Reach of Other Citizenship Awareness Activities.
Metrics were not available for the other advertising campaigns conducted during the period covered by the evaluation.
Finding: Partnerships and other means of leveraging resources, where appropriate, are an effective way to supplement citizenship awareness activities.
The Citizenship Awareness Program is well positioned to leverage partnerships and other funding within the Department to support its various activities. The Multiculturalism and Settlement Programs are funding activities related to citizenship awareness, some with the input of Citizenship Program staff, and some not. The Department also works with other government departments, such as the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), and funds the ICC. While CIC’s direct involvement with the ICC has been primarily in relation to the delivery of the ICC community ceremonies, there is great potential for further collaboration which has yet to be explored.
Overall, opportunities for further leveraging exist to more strategically use these resources as part of a broader plan. The CORE Report also recognized this, finding that “there are unrealised opportunities for programming synergies amongst settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism programs.”Footnote 78The section below outlines some of the work being supported through partnerships and other funding mechanisms that could be further utilized.
In addition to the work done directly by the Department, the Citizenship Awareness Program is also able to draw upon work done by partner organizations. For example, one of the resources provided to new citizens at citizenship ceremonies is the Symbols of Canada publication produced by the Department of Canadian Heritage. As this document contains “colour illustrations of symbols that reflect the history, people, environment, and traditions of Canada and its provinces and territories, as well as the Crown in Canada,”Footnote 79it is a useful adjunct to the Discover Canada guide. That said, quantities are limited, which in turn limits its use as a promotional item in outreach activities other than the ceremonies.
The department has also entered into collaborative arrangements with other organizations to further citizenship awareness. For example, the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship campaign conducted in 2010-11 included collaborative agreements with the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Historica Dominion Institute, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Library Association and Hockey Canada to promote the campaign and the Discover Canada study guide.
Grants and contributions related to Citizenship Awareness
In addition to leveraging resources developed by partner departments, CIC also provides funding for organizations to deliver programming that supports and extends the promotion of Canadian citizenship. Although there is no Transfer Payment Program directly associated with the Citizenship Program, there is a grant arrangement with the ICC, and some initiatives funded under the Multiculturalism and Settlement Grants and Contributions Programs are related to the promotion of citizenship or civic engagement.
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Leveraging resources is the paradigm on which the ICC was founded. After initially providing a start-up payment of $3M to set up the organization, the grant agreement matches the funding raised by the ICC (until the end of 2014-15) for an additional, potential investment of $7M, and an overall total investment of $10M.Footnote 80A total of $1,793,579 in matched funding was claimed by the ICC between 2006-07 and 2011-12, representing about 26% of the available grant funds ($7M) for matching, and about 48% of the total available funding under the grant agreement ($10M).
Thus, the principle of partnership is built into the Grant, and underlies the activities of the organization. The ICC partners with CIC to deliver the community ceremonies under the Building Citizenship Program, and partners with parks, cultural attractions and historic sites across Canada to deliver the Cultural Access Pass program. The organization relies on a volunteer network for its Building Citizenship Program, and maintains a new citizen membership base through the Cultural Access Pass program. Other collabrations include a partnership with Tim Horton's to supply refreshments at ICC ceremonies and a partnership with Via Rail to offer discounted fares for new citizens with Cultural Access Pass memberships. They have also partnered with the Environics Institute, Maytree Foundation, the CBC and the Royal Bank of Canada to conduct a survey on what it means to be a citizen in Canada.
Grants & Contributions under the Multiculturalism Program
In addition to the direct projects funded out of the Citizenship Program, there are several initiatives under the Multiculturalism envelope that have a citizenship aspect to their scope. During the period covered by the evaluation, there were 39 approved Multiculturalism-funded proposals that were considered to have a citizenship focus, representing a total value of $8,009,482.71. These initiatives fell into three funding categories: events (valued at $15,000 or less); grants (valued at under $50,000); and contributions (valued at over $50,000). These initiatives are aligned with one of the three current objectives of the program, which is to fund initiatives related to building an integrated, socially cohesive society by… fostering citizenship, civic memory, civic pride, and respect for core democratic values grounded in our history. Table 3-18 provides a breakdown of the initiatives by type and year.
|Fiscal Year||Events||Grants||Projects||Dollar Value|
Source: CIC, GCIMS.
Note: Funded projects were identified through a search for projects with a keyword of "citizenship" during the period under consideration.
As seen in the table above, the majority of the Multiculturalism-funded initiatives related to citizenship were in the form of events; generally one-off projects run by a community organization. For example, event funded recipients include service provider organizations holding events at community festivals to foster citizenship and civic pride, or holding symposiums or short conferences to open dialogue about strategies to enhance citizenship and inclusion. There were also 16 larger projects that were funded, under the mechanism of full contribution agreements. These kinds of projects would be multi-year initiatives to fund institutions such as universities to host international conferences under the umbrella of larger projects related to topics relevant to citizenship (i.e. hate crimes), or to fund non-profit institutions to develop programming related to citizenship education for low income youth.
Grants & Contributions under the Settlement Program
The Settlement Program funds activities which promote newcomers' understanding of life in Canada, including laws, rights, responsibilities, through language training curriculum, information products and orientation sessions, community bridging including mentoring programs, and activities which connect newcomers with Canadian citizens, employers, community organizations and public institutions.
The Settlement Program funded the development of a Citizenship Resource, based on content from Discover Canada, to be used by instructors in adult Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and in English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms to help teach citizenship concepts and issues to language learners. Funding was provided in FY 2009-10 and 2010-11 within the context of a larger project to develop classroom activities resource books for LINC classes. As noted earlier, the Citizenship Resource binder was distributed to LINC providers in 2011, and the resource material continues to be available online.Footnote 81
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