Celebrating Citizenship Week at a special ceremony in St. John’s

News release

Come and join the community in welcoming Canada’s newest Canadians

October 11, 2018 – St. John’s, NL – Tomorrow, we will celebrate Citizenship Week in St. John’s, at a special ceremony, where 30 new candidates from 12 countries will become Canadian citizens.

As Citizenship Week (October 8 to 14, 2018) falls during Women’s History Month, at citizenship ceremonies across Canada, we are also celebrating the outstanding achievements of women who have shaped Canada. Prominent women in civics, business, science and other areas will speak as guests at several of our special citizenship ceremonies.

To celebrate Women’s History Month in St. John’s, Her Honour, the Honourable Judy May Foote, the first female Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, will preside over the ceremony. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., on Friday, October 12, in the Main Conference Room of the Emera Innovation Exchange, at the Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University. On behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, will welcome the new citizens.

Members of the community at large and students on campus are invited to attend the citizenship ceremony and reaffirm their own citizenship.

Citizenship Week also marks the 1‑year anniversary of Bill C‑6, which brought in important changes to the Citizenship Act, helping qualified applicants get citizenship faster. The changes from Bill C‑6 came into effect on October 11, 2017, and provided those wanting to become Canadian citizens with greater flexibility to meet the requirements. In particular, the changes reduced the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship from 4 out of 6 years to 3 out of 5 years.

By the end of October 2018, an estimated 152,000 people will have obtained Canadian citizenship since the changes came into effect. This is an increase of 40%, compared to the 108,000 people who obtained citizenship from the same period the year before. Bill C‑6 has allowed more permanent residents to apply for citizenship. In the 9‑month period from October 2017 to June 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada received 242,680 applications, more than double the 102,261 applications that were received in the same period the year before. Despite the increase in applications, processing times for routine citizenship applications remain under 12 months.


“Citizenship ceremonies like the one at Memorial University are moving events, and I know the community sharing in this ceremony is highly appreciated by Canada’s new citizens.

During Citizenship Week, I encourage everyone to celebrate their citizenship and to reflect on what being Canadian means to you. October is also Women’s History Month, making this a perfect time to give thanks and show appreciation for the many women who helped build and shape Canada throughout our history.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Immigration is critical to Canada’s economic growth. With an aging population and lower childbirth rate, Canada is relying more and more on immigrants to help fill labour and talent shortages in communities across the country.

  • Studies from Canada and around the world have found that immigration in Canada is positive for our country, both socially and economically.

  • Changes to the Citizenship Act also included reducing the age range for applicants who must meet the language and knowledge requirements and counting the days that temporary residents and protected persons spend in Canada as half days (up to 365 days) toward their physical presence requirement.

  • Over the last 10 years, nearly 1.7 million people have become Canadian citizens, and their contributions to our communities are significant.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 

Media Relations 
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 

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