Canadian Citizenship Ceremony

It was an honour to attend the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony today at Pier 21 with my colleagues, including Premier Stephen McNeil.

I know our new family members will bring an abundance of vibrant ideas, culture and perspective that we have always cherished in our country.

I have consistently been an advocate for immigration and have always celebrated what immigration means in Canada.

I was especially proud of my friend, Tareq Hadhad, founder of Peace by Chocolate in Antigonish, a world-famous chocolate company, who earned his citizenship today after arriving here as a Syrian refugee over four years ago.

I met a lovely couple, Victoria and Edward White, who moved here from Birmingham. They feel like Nova Scotia is their forever home — Victoria even painted her nails our nations colours!

I was so touched by the Premier’s words about my journey as an immigrant from Iraq, and how I have been able to bring the immigrant perspective to the Legislature. We are so lucky that we are able to be Canadians; Immigrants offer so much by becoming a part of the fabric of this country.

Thank you to the Federal Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendicino for being at the ceremony today. It was my first time meeting him, and I enjoyed our short chat in Italian. Minister Mendicino’s grandparents came to Canada from Calabria, Italy through Pier 21!

Also, a big thank you to CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Marie Chapman, for always doing an amazing job organizing these ceremonies.

Congratulations to the 49 new Canadian citizens. I was so happy to meet so many of you who live in Clayton Park West. You are valuable members of our community!