Benefits and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship

Benefits and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship

All Canadians have certain rights and responsibilities. Many of these rights are defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which legally protects the basic rights and freedoms of everyone in Canada. Some of these rights and freedoms are

  • legal rights, such as the right to a fair trial;
  • equality rights, such as the right to protection against discrimination;
  • mobility rights, such as the right to live and work anywhere in Canada;
  • Aboriginal peoples' rights; and
  • basic freedoms, such as freedom of thought, speech, religion and peaceful assembly.

Some citizenship rights are defined in Canadian laws. One such right is the right to be given

Canadian Citizenship rights and benefits

When you become a Canadian citizen, you will have new rights and responsibilities.

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian citizens have the right to

  • be candidates in federal, provincial and territorial elections;
  • be educated in either official language;
  • apply for a Canadian passport;
  • vote in federal and provincial or territorial elections; and
  • enter and leave Canada freely.
  • preference for jobs in the federal government.

Citizenship also brings responsibilities. For example, voting in elections is both a right and a responsibility. Before you read the next section, review the list of rights and try to think of the responsibilities that come with them.

Citizenship responsibilities

All Canadian citizens have the responsibility to

  • vote in elections;
  • help others in the community;
  • care for and protect our heritage and environment;
  • obey Canada's laws;
  • express opinions freely while respecting the rights and freedoms of others; and
  • eliminate discrimination and injustice.

Getting involved in Canada

Being a Canadian citizen is more than voting and obeying laws. Being a citizen also means getting involved in your community and your country. Everyone has something to give to make Canada a better place. Here are some ways to participate:

  • join a community group such as an environmental group;
  • volunteer to work on an election campaign for a candidate of your choice;
  • help your neighbours;
  • work with others to solve problems in your community; and
  • become a candidate in an election.

How to Become a Canadian Citizen

To become a Canadian citizen, you must

  • be a permanent resident of Canada;
  • be 18 years old or older;
  • have lived in Canada for at least three of the four years before applying for citizenship;
  • speak either English or French;
  • know Canada's history and geography; and
  • know about Canada's system of government and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

In order to become a Canadian Citizen, you need to first become a permanent resident of Canada. If you are not already a permanent resident of Canada you may start the process by completing the Canadian immigration evaluation form.

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