This week the Conservative government announced changes to Canada’s citizenship guide, which will emphasize the country’s values of freedom and equality.
“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,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney upon announcing the changes. “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 changes will include focus on the legal recognition of gay and lesbian marriages, as well the intolerance Canada has for forced marriages. It will also emphasize to immigrants that choosing Canada means choosing its values, no matter what past beliefs or experiences one might have had.
NDP’s Immigration critic Olivia Chow says that the announced changes are a step in the right direction, but that more could and should be done to instill Canadian values into newcomers.
“I would have put in more description of how Canada is based on Medicare, sharing and compassion,” said Chow. “Immigrants coming into the country came here partially because of Canadian values that we’re very proud of.”
Source: National Post