Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Laidlaw School
Friday, March 8, 2019 – 1:30 p.m.

Parents and children, students and teachers, believers in the value of citizenship – it’s an honour to join you as you make memories that will last a lifetime.

For some of the people gathered here, today marks the beginning of their lives as citizens of Canada.

For the rest of us, today is a day when we get to experience the importance of citizenship and the power of belonging.

There will be smiles and hugs and I suspect tears of joy among the women and men and children who take the oath of citizenship today.

There may be a few tears of joy among the watchers as well.

Each of the new Canadians taking the oath today – including your own principal – has a unique story. It’s a story of how they came to Canada, of the life they made in Canada, and of what led them to go through the long process of becoming Canadian citizens.

To our new Canadians, I’d like to say thanks for letting us witness this milestone in your lives.

Your commitment to Canada is inspiring to all of us. You had to study this country, its laws, its history and culture in order to become citizens. You had to make a choice – that, yes, you wanted to be a citizen of Canada.

For many of us, watching this ceremony will make us think about the meaning and importance of citizenship.

I know that the students at Laidlaw School have been preparing for today by learning about citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

What I hope the students – and indeed all of us – take from this experience is that citizenship is not just what kind of passport you have or what box you click on a government form.

Citizenship is about making a personal commitment to the world around you. It’s about taking personal responsibility for things. It’s about asking yourself, “do I want the country, or province, or city I live in to be a good place to live?”

Good citizens take the time and make the effort to learn about their country and their community and they take the time to get involved when something needs to be done.

The new citizens we are welcoming today bring with them their energy, passion and commitment to Canada.

Let’s celebrate them by joining with them to make this a wonderful country for everybody.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.