Canadian Citizenship

Maple Leaf If there was ever some­thing that was going to get me updat­ing this blog again, it would have to be some­thing like this. In less from 24 hours from now, Pam and I will be Cana­di­an cit­i­zens.

We have been request­ed to appear at about 8AM tomor­row morn­ing at the Immi­gra­tion offices in Yale­town where I took the test for cit­i­zen­ship about 2 months ago (I guess this means I passed.) The instruc­tions includ­ed what we need­ed to bring in with us (all pre­vi­ous doc­u­ments used in the cit­i­zen­ship appli­ca­tion we made, any  pass­ports — can­celled or not, our card that shows we are per­ma­nent res­i­dents and a few oth­er doc­u­ments. Option­al­ly, we  can bring a ‘holy book’ of our choos­ing. Not plan­ning on doing that. We can also choose whether we swear or affirm our cit­i­zen­ship. I don’t believe that there is a legal dif­fer­ence as to which one choos­es, but I sup­pose ‘swear­ing’ alle­giance to the Queen of Eng­land is some­thing that some (par­tic­u­lar­ly Amer­i­cans) are not as keen to do as affirm­ing. I haven’t decid­ed whether I’ll be a swear­er or an affirmer, but I’m lean­ing toward affir­ma­tion, all the same. Swear­ing just sounds too reli­gious for my taste. I’ll see if I can post some pho­tos of the cer­e­mo­ny (one of Pam’s friends is com­ing to be a wit­ness, of which I’m glad and thank­ful).

Thoughts that come to mind about this upcom­ing event: relief that our sta­tus will final­ly be set­tled once and for all. There’ll be no more wor­ries about renew­ing Res­i­den­cy Sta­tus doc­u­ments. I also feel excit­ed that I’ll be able to vote, both in the local and fed­er­al elec­tions. In fact, I’m think­ing that I may vol­un­teer some time work­ing on a cam­paign again, which is some­thing I did before we left the US. I guess, you can take the boy out of the Coun­try, but you can’t take Pol­i­tics out of the boy.

Final­ly, I have a sense of clo­sure and a lit­tle pride, that the past 7 years (last week, on the 14th,  it was 7 years to the day that we arrived here with noth­ing but the our lap­tops on our backs) have meant some­thing, and that I’ll now be able, with­out equiv­o­ca­tion, to call myself a Cana­di­an. Ever since the 2000 US elec­tion, I’ve felt embar­rassed and even ashamed to call myself an Amer­i­can, a label that I did­n’t achieve, but was born into. To be a born white and Amer­i­can in the last or cur­rent cen­tu­ry, is to be priv­i­leged. Not hav­ing cho­sen or even worked for that priv­i­lege, I’ve late­ly felt more than a lit­tle uncom­fort­able with hav­ing it. Whether it’s White Man’s Guilt or Blame-Amer­i­ca-First or what­ev­er the peo­ple on Fox and Friends call it, I nev­er want to have to cringe again when I see some­one in a for­eign coun­try act like a jerk and just keep my head down, hop­ing that they don’t hold it against the rest of us as well. Nope,  just us Cana­di­ans at this table.

I also like Cana­da, if not Mr. Harper’s Cana­da (and I’ll work hard to help us return to the Cana­da we could be, not his greedy and envi­ron­men­tal­ly malfeasant petro-theoc­ra­cy with noth­ing but mon­ey and pow­er on his mind). I like the Cana­da of Lester Pear­son, Pierre Trudeau, Ter­ry Fox,  Glenn Gould, Frank Gehry, William Shat­ner, Moshe Safdie, Guy Lal­ib­erté,  Nathan Fil­lion, Kiefer (and Don­ald) Suther­land, Dou­glas Cou­p­land, Mar­shall McLuhan, Stephen Pinker, David Suzu­ki, John Kric­falusi, John Byrne, Cory Doc­torow and Mar­garet Atwood…yes, that’s a coun­try I want to be con­sid­ered a cit­i­zen of, even if I was­n’t born there.

Final­ly, I think it is bet­ter to choose one’s coun­try rather than sim­ply wear it, like a red, white and blue birth­mark. Many in my fam­i­ly were immi­grants who became cit­i­zens of a coun­try they weren’t born in,  and now, I’m one as well. Tomor­row, I’ll have the papers to prove it.

13 Replies to “Canadian Citizenship”

  1. David and Pam, that’s GREAT news! Con­grats to you both!

    The points you brought up in your post are so rem­i­nis­cent of our rea­sons for vacat­ing The Excit­ed States for Cana­da, too. Even with the harp­er régime doing its best to destroy the Cana­da we moved to, it still far sur­pass­es our for­mer res­i­dence.

    My appli­ca­tion for cit­i­zen­ship is being “processed” as of May 15, 2012 — I’m guess­ing my cer­e­mo­ny won’t be ’til next spring some­time.

    Glad for you both, and look­ing for­ward to the pics!

  2. i might have to ask them to can­cel your appoint­ment just because you did­n’t write it as “Don­ald (and Kiefer) Suther­land”.

    nah! you’re gonna make a great Canuck! con­grat­u­la­tions! and thank you for choos­ing us. 🙂

  3. Con­grat­u­la­tions David. I’m so very pleased for you.

    This step (giant leap) you have tak­en is the best thing I have seen come out of George W Bush’s re-elec­tion.

    I also applaud your choice. If I had to live any­where on the plan­et oth­er than where I am, Cana­da would be top of the list.

    Best wish­es — Mike

  4. Con­grat­u­la­tions to you and Pam.. and wel­come.…. you know more promi­nent Cana­di­ans than most …look­ing for­ward to you vot­ing too!

  5. Con­grat­u­la­tions, David!

    Inter­st­ing that many of the Cana­di­ans you men­tion have lived their pro­fes­sion­al lives out­side of Cana­da. I don’t think the present-day celebs on the list are very Cana­da-defin­ing. But maybe that’s not what you meant?

  6. Thanks for the con­grats, all.

    Heather, I was wor­ried that if I put Don­ald S. first, I might date myself… Kind of like the time when I was much younger that some­one said I looked like Julian Lennon, not his father John (I was thrilled). 🙂

    Jan, you’re right that a num­ber of Cana­di­ans (and per­haps the most famous ones) don’t spend all (or even a major­i­ty) of time actu­al­ly in the coun­try, but on the oth­er hand, I think they show that the coun­try has pro­duced a lot of great peo­ple (and a wide vari­ety of them, too). I also think that if I named peo­ple that only Cana­di­ans would know, it would send a very dif­fer­ent mes­sage (per­haps ‘You would­n’t know, it’s a Cana­di­an thing.’) which is not what I was after.

  7. Bob, our wait from the pro­cess­ing was about 7 or 8 months, so hope­ful­ly you’ll be tak­ing the test in Novem­ber or so. That could put your cer­e­mo­ny in Jan­u­ary or Feb­ru­ary. Hop­ing that is the case for you

  8. There were a whole bunch of oth­ers I want­ed to add, but thanks for remind­ing me of her. I was also think­ing of Erick­son and Thom, but already had Gehry. Of course, there were tons and tons of pop musi­cians I left off as well, but most peo­ple know my igno­rance of pop music.

  9. Thanks Mike. Hope we make it to Aus­tralia some time and see anoth­er great place to live. In the mean­time, you are always wel­come to come and vis­it our home.

  10. David–congrats to you and Pam.

    I’ve suf­fered some­thing of a polit­i­cal recon­fig­u­ra­tion; you can read about it on my blog.

    Great Cana­di­ans? How ’bout Randy Bach­man & Bur­ton Cum­mings?

  11. Wow, Pete. I read some of your lat­est entries and it’s head-turn­ing stuff. Thanks for the con­grats,

    I’d been fol­low­ing some of the twists and turns of Wis­con­sin and Walk­er (fun­ny, but I just saw an episode of ‘The Walk­ing Dead’ so that name now car­ries slight­ly dif­fer­ent echoes!).

    I’m sur­prised of your change of sup­port, but your per­cep­tions and log­ic are very con­vinc­ing. I hope that things get bet­ter for the State, and that the Repub­li­can par­ty divorces from the Tea Par­ty (and ALEC as you right­ly point­ed out) and once again con­tributes some seri­ous argu­ments to the chal­lenges of our world. A 2 par­ty sys­tem works bet­ter when one has a plu­ral­i­ty of real, sub­stan­tive choic­es.

    Bach­man! For­got about him. Yes, include him, espe­cial­ly because ‘Takin Care of Busi­ness’ was pos­si­bly record­ed a short walk from where we live. I must con­fess that I did­n’t know of Bur­ton Cum­mings but Pam cer­tain­ly does. I was a bit ner­vous about too many pop­u­lar music ref­er­ences, should some­one counter with Celene Dion, Justin Bieber, or worse, Nick­le­back. Not con­vinc­ing argu­ments for cit­i­zen­ship there…

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