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New citizens, Santa welcomed

Canada’s newest residents were sworn in just in time for Christmas yesterday, joining Santa Claus himself for the official ceremony.

Canada’s newest residents were sworn in just in time for Christmas yesterday, joining Santa Claus himself for the official ceremony.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said St. Nick can be “rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living Canada’s North, he can re-enter freely once his trip around the world is complete.”

Beyond Santa’s reaffirmation, the ceremony held special significance for residents like Iranian native Atousa Samie.

“I love everything about Canada,” she said. “It’s a freedom country ... I don’t like the weather, but everything else is perfect.”

Others took the opportunity to have a little fun at the ceremony.

Niv Stilman, his wife and two sons all donned T-shirts of longtime Canadian rockers Rush.

When asked about his favourite song, the former resident of Israel replied, “All of them.”

Kester Nwaekeze said the ceremony represented the end of a four-year journey for his family.

“We came here from Nigeria in 2006,” he said. “We’re here for economic reasons, to get a better life, better schooling.”

 
 
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