New Canada Citizen’s Guide

Citizenship guide to focus on military history, symbolism

OTTAWA — An updated citizenship study guide for new Canadians will focus more on military history and symbolism, which is virtually ignored in the current version, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said Tuesday.


The new guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, is to be released Thursday — the day after Remembrance Day. It replaces the 1997 guide, A Look at Canada, written by the previous Liberal government.
Back then, there was no war in Afghanistan and Canada was portrayed as a peacekeeping nation with a fondness for recycling.
“The current citizenship guide is awfully thin,” said Kenney. “It has, for instance, virtually no reference to the history of Confederation, not a single line on Canadian military history.
“I think it’s scandalous that a new Canadian could become a citizen without even knowing what the poppy represents.”
Kenney said he consulted with historians and academics to produce the new book, which will focus on the “history, values, and institutions” in Canada, and less so on such arcane facts as, say, provincial economies.

Kenney says the guide, entitled “Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship,” promotes “a greater understanding of Canada’s history, values, symbols and important Canadian institutions, such as Parliament and the Crown.”

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