70th Anniversary of Canadian Citizenship

Did you know that until January 1, 1947, a person born in Canada was considered a British subject? Celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, and the moment when Prime Minister Mackenzie King received the first Canadian Citizenship Certificate.

70th Anniversary of Canadian Citizenship

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Transcript: “70th Anniversary of Canadian Citizenship”

Video length: 01:47 minutes

Upbeat music plays.

White text displays on a black background: “The Canadian Citizenship Act was enacted on January 1, 1947. Until then, a person born or naturalized in Canada was considered a British subject. This Act gave legal recognition to the terms ‘Canadian citizen’ and ‘Canadian citizenship.’ On January 3, 1947, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King received the first Canadian citizenship certificate, numbered 0001.”

Text displays: “70th Anniversary of Canadian Citizenship”

Black and white archival footage shows Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King addressing a crowd behind a CBC microphone, walking to a panel of judges and receiving a certificate.

William Lyon Mackenzie King: Chief Justice, ladies and gentlemen, I speak as a citizen of Canada.

His Citizenship Certificate is shown. Applause is heard in the background. A montage shows archival footage of people arriving in Canada, interacting with Canadian federal officials.

Another montage shows modern footage of groups of people participating citizenship ceremonies and in various activities against the backdrop of Canadiana including: Lakes, lighthouses, sporting events, outdoor activities.

William Lyon Mackenzie King: On behalf of all Canadians, I congratulate the new citizens, who have just received their certificates, on having become citizens of Canada. I welcome you into the full enjoyment of the rights of Canadian citizenship.

Black and white archival footage shows Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King addressing a crowd behind a CBC microphone.

William Lyon Mackenzie King: Canada was founded on the faith that two of the proudest races in the world, despite barriers of tongue and creed, could work together in mutual tolerance and mutual respect, to develop a common nationality.

A montage shows the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride, students participating in school activities, modern and archival depictions of families in various indoor and outdoor settings.

William Lyon Mackenzie King: So long as we continue to cherish the high ideals of our common citizenship, our country will make a great and it may be a decisive contribution to the preservation of human freedom and to the establishment of enduring peace. That is the largest opportunity and the heaviest responsibility of Canadian Citizenship.

Applause is heard in the background

Text displays: “Canada’s population is made up of over 200 ethnic groups”.

Text displays: “More than one in five Canadians were born outside Canada”.

Text displays: “In 2016, 147 652 people became Canadian citizens”.

Canada 150 logo is shown.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature and the copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2017” are displayed followed by the Canada wordmark.

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