August 19, 2014 marks the citizenship ceremony of Canada’s 150,000th new citizen of 2014.
Welcoming Canada’s 150,000th new citizen of the year suggests that the government is continuing one of Canada’s highest periods of sustained immigration to date. Canada has welcomed an average of 250,000 newcomers a year since 2006, and the citizenship rates for 2014 indicate a continuance of this trend.
The Canadian government has been working tirelessly during 2014 to streamline the procedures of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order to reduce a growing backlog in both citizenship and immigration applications.
After passing the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act in June and the implementation of other measures earlier in the year to reduce wait times for applications to CIC, wait times and backlogged applications have been steadily decreasing.
Clearly, the streamlining measures are achieving their goal and are facilitating the integration of permanent residents into Canada as citizens. Canada’s 150,000th new citizen of 2014 is part of a significant growth in new citizenship approvals. Canada has welcomed over twice as many new citizens in 2014 as they did during the same period in 2013, indicating the success of the new measures.
The government hopes to continue reducing wait times and the backlog in future years. While backlogged citizenship applications have already been reduced by eight percent, the government plans to continue to reduce that backlog by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016.
To celebrate Canada’s 150,000th new citizen of 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander attended a citizenship ceremony in Scarborough. Alexander stated that the “government is proud to welcome more new citizens to the Canadian family. The increased number of new Canadians in 2014 is an indication that our government’s changes to the citizenship system are working. With our recent changes to the Citizenship Act, we will see improved processing times and high numbers of new Canadians taking on the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.”
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