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Canada Celebrating 60th Anniversary of Citizenship in 2007

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley, welcomed 17 new Canadian families representing each province and territory in a special commemorative citizenship ceremony held at the Supreme Court of Canada on February 16, 2007 in Ottawa. The ceremony was held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Canadian citizenship. Also in attendance was Her Excellency the Right Honorable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, the Right Honorable Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Senior Citizenship Judge Michel Simard. "I am proud to be a part of 60th-anniversary celebrations. Our values as Canadians make us an example to the world," said Minister Finley. "Every day we show that our many differences do not have to divide us. It is possible to be a diverse and harmonious society. Each and every time someone chooses to become a citizen of Canada, they are saying that this is a great country."

Canadian citizenship was legally and officially created on January1, 1947, when the first citizenship act came into effect.Until then, people living in Canada were considered British subjects living in Canada.

"I am honored to greet some of Canada's newest citizens in the very same building where the first Canadian citizenship ceremony took place in 1947," said Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.

"Today's event marks a milestone for both our new citizens and our country. We should all be proud that Canada continues to be a place where immigrants find hope for the future."

As someone who came to Canada early in life, seeking freedom and hope, I know deeply and personally the value of Canadian citizenship, "Governor General Michaelle Jean told those at the ceremony."As each of you is welcomed into the Canadian family, I hope you will take an active role in the ongoing task of building this country.

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