Canada has 40 new citizens.
An Institute for Canadian Citizenship community ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the Westerner where the new citizens took the oath of Canadian citizenship.
After the ceremony Andrii Vatulin said it did feel different being a Canadian.
“It means a lot. I finally feel like I’m home,” said Vatulin who came from the Ukraine.
“I’m very happy to be in Canada, very happy to be in Red Deer. This country is presenting me with more and more opportunities every day. I came a long way from working as a labourer to working as a federal government employee,” said Vatulin who came to Red Deer in 2012 to work for Olymel and now works for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
He said he feels equal to all Canadians.
New Canadian Majok Lem, who has been in the country for three years, said becoming a Canadian citizen makes him feel born again.
“It is giving me opportunity. I went back to school. I’m now taking social work,” said Lem who was from an African nation and spent several years in a refugee camp before arriving in Canada.
He said people respect Canada and like Canadians.
“I’m happy to be in Canada.”
Rejoice Adjei, who attended the ceremony to watch her friend take the citizenship oath, said she found herself repeating the oath during the ceremony.
“It felt like I was a new citizen again,” said Adjei who is from Ghana and became a Canadian about 16 years ago in Toronto.
“It’s beautiful. It’s always nice to be part of this ceremony.”
She said being Canadian is a privilege.
“Canadians are very respectful. Different countries respect Canada.”
Allison McLeod, citizenship supervisor for Southern and Central Alberta with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, told the new citizens that few people share the same past, but as Canadians they all can share the same future.
“Our Canadian journey, our success would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to Canada from every corner of the globe. Together the boundaries of what we can accomplish are limitless. Each of you possess your own talent and ambitions to enrich the country,” McLeod said.
“As Canada’s newest citizens, you are helping to write the continuing story of Canada.”