New citizen, Maria Marques O’Connor, poses with her family after receiving her Canadian citizenship at Surrey City Hall on Wednesday (April 12). Photo submitted.

Sixty new Canadians receive citizenship at Surrey City Hall ceremony

Event also featured roundtable discussions where new citizens shared what it meant to them to be Canadian

CITY CENTRE — Sixty new Canadians were sworn in during a special “community citizenship ceremony” at Surrey City Hall on Wednesday, April 12.

The event, planned by the Surrey Local Immigration Project (LIP) in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), also featured roundtable discussions where the new citizens shared what it meant to them to be Canadian.

“As Canadians, we are very fortunate to live in a country that is celebrated for its diverse range of backgrounds and beliefs of its citizens,” said Mayor Linda Hepner in a release. “I am delighted that Surrey City Hall played host to this very special ceremony. On behalf of City Council, I would like to warmly congratulate our country’s newest citizens.”

Community citizenship ceremonies are a celebration of Canada’s newest citizens and offer unique opportunities to reflect on what it means to be active, engaged citizens, according to a city release.

“Ensuring that Surrey is welcoming and inclusive for all citizens is a top city priority,” said Surrey Councillor Judy Villeneuve, who also serves as LIP chair. “I encourage both new and existing residents alike to explore opportunities to connect and experience the rewards of active participation in civic life.”

ICC CEO Charlie Foran said celebrating new citizens is a “remarkable” gesture of inclusion.

“New citizens are important voices, and our community citizenship ceremonies encourage conversation and connection,” Foran added.

The community citizenship ceremony is part of the City of Surrey’s Canada 150 celebrations. Canada 150-related projects, events and celebrations are planned throughout the year all throughout the city.

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