Glad to become Canadian in Greater Victoria

Families gain citizenship at CFB Esquimalt, courtesy the admiral of Canada’s West Coast navy

  • May. 19, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Matthew Bott

Families gain citizenship  at CFB Esquimalt, courtesy the admiral of Canada’s West Coast navy

Megan Bott, 12, looks forward to one day voting in an election, now that she is a newly minted Canadian citizen.

“Not being able to vote is like not being able to have a choice in who leads,” the Grade 7 North Saanich middle school student said.

She was one of four children and 54 adults, representing 22 countries, who officially became Canadian citizens at a ceremony at CFB Esquimalt last Thursday.

Megan, younger brother Matthew, 11, and their parents emigrated from Guernsey island in the English Channel in 2004 and now call North Saanich home.

At the ceremony, one of the final steps to becoming a citizen was for each candidate to recite the Oath of Citizenship, led by Rear Admiral Nigel Greenwood, commander of Maritime Forces Pacific. The oath is a promise of loyalty to the Queen, that Canadian laws will be followed and that new citizens’ will respect their duties as Canadians.

Greenwood’s involvement marked the first time in Western Canada that a military member administered the Oath of Citizenship.

Last October Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, gave that privilege to recipients of the Order of Military Merit.

Prior to that, guest presiding officers included the governor general, lieutenant governors and Order of Canada recipients.

“In finding your place in Canada, as its newest citizens, you can claim the common collective history of all Canadians who have come before you,” Greenwood told the candidates.

He came to Canada from England as a child.

Selena Chen, 10, who moved to Canada from the U.S. when she was two, said her new citizenship “feels good.”

“It’s important, because we’ve been living here for quite a long time, and we’ve been waiting to become citizens of Canada,” said the Saanich resident, a Grade 5 student at Torquay elementary.

Her mother and father, who hail from China, also became Canadian citizens.

Miles Packham, 9, decided to wear his Cub Scout uniform to mark the occasion.

“I could have worn plenty of other things,” said Miles, a Grade 4 student at the Victoria School for Ideal Education in Oaklands. “But if I’m going to meet the admiral, I thought I should look something slightly the same as the admiral.”

He and his parents built a new life in Saanich after leaving their home in London, England about five years ago.

Miles’ citizenship has been a long time coming. “I’m finally a Canadian citizen,” he said, before taking a big bite of red and white cake.

Just Posted

WANTED: VicPD seeks car owner in assault investigation

Driver of Hyandai Santa Fe described as 6 foot Caucasian male, late 30s

Saanich makes appeal for regional fire dispatch system

Five CRD communities drop Saanich service in favour of Surrey

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

New Galloping Goose overpass at McKenzie could open next week

Drivers reminded to watch the road in McKenzie construction zone

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Saanich invites input on garden suites

Early returns suggest support for the legalization of garden suites, but the… Continue reading

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Most Read