- Vermilion Voice
A Citizenship Ceremony was hosted at the Lloydminster Centennial Civic Centre by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – Edmonton Office, and the City of Lloydminster on March 12. There were 126 candidates for citizenship from 34 countries, and as they entered they received video greetings from Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. People from Eastern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan participated, including one from Mannville and two from Vermilion. As the ceremony began Clerk, Joanne, welcomed everyone; and piper, Brett Rowan, led dignitaries to the stage. MLA Garth Rowswell, Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Doreen McCaw - Lloydminster Learning Council, Kemoh Mansaray - Lloydminster Local Immigration Partnership, and Victor Juba - recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medals and longstanding member of the Lloydminster community were among the special guests. A traditional greeting and Indigenous blessing were given by Elder, Doris Stanley. Presiding Official, Cesarie, said “Being a Canadian means more than having a piece of paper; it is sharing a common set of values, having rights and responsibilities, and being part of a family. You can now participate politically by voting in provincial or federal elections, or run in those elections. From the first inhabitants to the generations of newcomers, Canada has welcomed people for many years. As you become citizens, think about what you have achieved in the past and look towards the future. Take the oath to heart, and affirm your commitment to Canada.” After repeating the oath in unison, they were congratulated on becoming new citizens. New citizens received their certificates and signed the oath of citizens. MLA Garth Rowswell said, “Good afternoon my fellow Canadians; it’s a great privilege to be here today. I can imagine the difficulties many of you have faced to get here. This country offers advantages, freedoms, and opportunities that few others do - the ability to change the trajectory of your family in one generation. We welcome you, and ask that you take care of Canada; be good to her.” “Congratulations on becoming Canada’s newest citizens!” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers. The Presiding Official went on to say, “Today we have much to be proud of. Each of you are different and have a unique talent that can enrich this country.” New citizens and guests went on to join in the singing of “O’Canada,” led by Donny Mariano and Rufy Guron. They later enjoyed refreshments, visiting, and taking photographs with dignitaries. Overall, everyone enjoyed the celebration and was pleased to have the opportunity to welcome the new citizens.