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As Canada celebrates Remembrance Day, it's day one for these new citizens

Immigrants reflect on what brought them to Canada and what they're looking forward to

Volice

Volice Shand, originally from Jamaica, says one of the reasons she immigrated here is for the opportunities. 'If you study hard for what you want, you will get it.' (Jonathan Castell/CBC)

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Today is dedicated to honouring the past in Canada, but for some immigrants it's day one of their future as Canadian citizens. 

Yesterday, 101 people from 30 different countries were sworn in as Canadian citizens at a ceremony in Mississauga. For some, the wait was more than a decade-long. That wait, they said, was worth it for a chance to build a life in this country.

Oath

A man raises his hand while taking the Oath of Citizenship at a ceremony in Mississauga. (Jonathan Castell/CBC)

Some spoke about the Canadian freedoms, values and opportunities that attracted them here.

But prior to swearing the Oath of Citizenship, the ceremony's presiding officer, Order of Canada member and professor Mark Lautens, reminded the group how Canada became the country it is today.

Lautens

Mark Lautens, a member of the Order of Canada, was the presiding officer at the citizenship ceremony. (Jonathan Castell/CBC)

He said the freedoms and opportunities that draw many people to Canada were achieved thanks to the hard work, sacrifice and sometimes the lives of other Canadians.

"Thousands of Canadians have fought and died for what we have today," Lautens said.

Here's what some of the newly-minted Canadians had to say about their new country:

Annick Gillard Bailetti, United States

Annick

(Jonathan Castell/CBC)

"I'm very happy to be living here, in a country that values equality and diversity."

Jimmy Desai and Dhrubi Patel, India

Desai Patel

(Jonathan Castell/CBC)

Desai: "Canada welcomed us with open arms. It feels good. As immigrants we get lots of support. A lot of programs that encourage you to get good jobs and improve your language. It's a great country."

Patel: "Canada is a really good country for immigrants. We've had a really good experience here. No regrets."

Volice Shand, Jamaica

Volice

(Jonathan Castell/CBC)

"I love Canada. Canada is so free-spirited. The people here are loving. They give you chances. If you study hard for what you want you will get it. This is why I chose Canada."

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