Recognizing 70 years of Canadian Citizenship

News Release

January 3, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) hosted a special citizenship ceremony today at the Supreme Court of Canada with 26 individuals invited to kick off Canada 150 celebrations and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act.

The event resembled the first Canadian citizenship ceremony held 70 years ago, on January 3, 1947, at the Supreme Court chamber. On that day, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King received the first Canadian citizenship certificate, numbered 0001.


“Throughout history, Canada’s identity has been largely shaped by the significant cultural and economic contributions of immigrants. The 70th anniversary of Canadian citizenship is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian – the rights we enjoy, the responsibilities we share, and the diversity that makes us strong. During Canada 150 and beyond, I encourage all Canadians to celebrate their citizenship.”

The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Citizenship Act was introduced by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and became law on January 1, 1947, marking the beginning of Canadian citizenship as a legal status. It also made Canada the first Commonwealth country to create its own class of citizenship, separate from Great Britain.
  • In the past 10 years, Canada has welcomed more than 1 500 000 proud new Canadians.

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Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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