ontario news watch

Citizenship oath at the click of a mouse would cheapen tradition: Tory critic

OTTAWA — The Conservative immigration critic says a proposal to allow people to become a Canadian citizen with the click of a mouse “cheapens” an otherwise special moment for newcomers. 

The federal government is seeking feedback on a plan to let people take the Oath of Citizenship online, rather than attend an officiated ceremony. 

Tom Kmiec says the ceremonies are a big deal for people like him who are not born Canadian, and the tradition shouldn’t be diminished as a way to deal with an administrative backlog. 

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser first floated the idea in January 2022 as a way to speed up processing times, and it was published in the Canada Gazette late last month.

The comment period closes on March 27.

If approved, the changes to the Citizenship Regulations would come into effect at early as June, at a cost of about $5 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press