Vancouver, March 14, 2011 — The popular citizenship study guide, Discover Canada: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, has been updated and is now available, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced today.
The updated study guide further strengthens its content on common Canadian values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the equality of men and women. It promotes to immigrants and Canadian citizens alike a greater understanding of Canada’s history, values, symbols and important Canadian institutions, such as Parliament and the Crown. It also highlights the contribution of ethnic and cultural communities in shaping our Canadian identity and the sacrifices made by Canada’s veterans for our country.
“Discover Canada has been an immensely popular publication among newcomers and established Canadians,” Minister Kenney said. “The guide is being read by a wide variety of people from citizenship applicants to students and families. And it has sparked a national conversation about who we are as Canadians.”
The Discover Canada update contains everything from the previous release and more. Changes to the guide include:
- A new pull-out box called Becoming Canadian which emphasizes that a newcomer has a responsibility to embrace Canadian democratic principles and that past experiences in warfare or conflict do not justify bringing violent, extreme or hateful prejudices to Canada.
- Recognition that gay and lesbian Canadians enjoy the full protection of and equal treatment under the law, including access to civil marriage.
- The addition of forced marriage among the practices that are not tolerated in Canada.
- Additions to the section on the War of 1812, which celebrates its bicentennial next year. The section has been expanded to include more context on the conflict and its importance in shaping Canada.
- A revamped Modern Canada section including new headings, more content about trade and economic growth, and more examples of Canada’s outstanding cultural figures.
“We expect people who want to become Canadians to have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and the values and institutions that are rooted in Canada’s history,” Minister Kenney said. “This study guide has strengthened the value of Canadian citizenship.”
The comprehensive guide for Canadian citizenship was originally launched on November 12, 2009. In developing the original Discover Canada study guide, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) consulted with a panel of prominent Canadians, including public figures, authors and historians. It had also been reviewed by well-known organizations involved in citizenship promotion, such as the Historica-Dominion Institute, the Association of Francophone and Acadian Communities and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Discover Canada is the official study guide for the citizenship test. The test is used to assess whether or not citizenship applicants meet the knowledge of Canada requirement for citizenship meaning that the applicant can demonstrate an adequate knowledge of Canada, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Additional questions will be added to the citizenship test over time to cover the new material in the study guide. For now, applicants can study any copy of Discover Canada study guide issued by the Government of Canada since November 12, 2009.
Discover Canada is part of CIC’s Citizenship Action Plan that aims to strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship, including combating residency and citizenship fraud, clarifying the language requirement for citizenship, and ongoing measures to strengthen the integrity of the citizenship knowledge test. The action plan has also resulted in enhancements to citizenship ceremonies and educational resources such as games in the Teacher and Youth Corner on the CIC website.
Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship can be downloaded or ordered from the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/discover/index.asp.
Citizenship applicants can contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 if they have any questions.
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