Brandon will host not one, but two citizenship ceremonies this summer.
The first ceremony will be held June 5 at Waverly Park School, followed by another ceremony the next day at the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba’s Summer Fair, according to a spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The spokesperson also confirmed that Brandon’s Jim McCrae, a judge with CIC, will preside over both ceremonies.
“The ceremonies are a very special time for our new citizens and it’s also a very special time for me as the presiding citizenship judge because there was talk at one time that we might see a reduction in citizenship ceremonies in Brandon and that seems to be in the past now,” McCrae said.
Since being appointed to the position last May, McCrae has presided over ceremonies in Winnipeg, Clear Lake and Thompson in Manitoba, as well as in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Iqaluit, Nunavut.
McCrae said he has had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people who have come to Canada for a variety of reasons.
“It’s been a wonderful privilege and it’s brought home so clearly how fortunate we are as Canadians,” McCrae said.
“The whole concept of freedom is maybe sometimes something we as Canadians don’t understand as well as people who have lived in other countries. They’ve lived lives without freedom, and some are new citizens that have escaped tyranny, a lack of freedom and fear.”
Ceremonies were previously held in Brandon biannually for more than a decade, but were pulled in 2012 after operational guidelines were changed, stating that itinerant services should not be provided in locations less than 300 kilometres from a CIC office.
The spokesperson said those guidelines haven’t changed but that the “CIC delivers itinerant services, as needed.”
“Many factors are considered when determining where itinerant services may be scheduled, including wait times, size of inventories, capacity, and other considerations, such as special events, historic and momentous occasions, and special circumstances,” she said.
Eight individuals from 18 countries are expected to take the citizenship oath at Waverly, while approximately 100 new Canadians from 26 countries will take part in the ceremony at the Summer Fair.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 13, 2014