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Guest Adrienne Clarkson

Of the quarter of a million immigrants that arrive in Canada each year, 80% become citizens. That's the highest citizenship rate in the English-speaking world, and is a statistic the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson is proud of. The former Governor General knows all about the challenges and opportunities associated with 'becoming Canadian'.

In 1942, three-year-old Adrienne Poy and her family emigrated from Hong Kong to Ottawa. They arrived as war refugees, at a time when Canada routinely rejected non-white immigrants. Yet Adrienne says she experienced little difficulty settling into her adopted country. She had support where it mattered most - in the classroom, and at home.

She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English and Literature, and went on to have a long and successful career with the CBC. She was a writer, producer and host of iconic programs like 'The Fifth Estate', but behind the scenes she dealt with great family loss and sadness.

In 1999, she was sworn in as Canada's 26th Governor General. She brought certain sensitivity and flare to the position, and forged a special connection with the armed forces and the far North. But she also faced much criticism for what was perceived as lavish spending and a luxurious lifestyle.

Adrienne has kept busy since leaving Rideau Hall in 2005. She founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and has authored three books. Her most recent offering is called 'Room For All of Us'. It tells the story of eight extraordinary Canadians who, like herself, immigrated to this country and have since helped to transform it.

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