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