If you haven't seen this YouTube video called "Waking Up Canadian, you really ought to watch it. Turns out, it has real significance for me. My parents emigrated from Canada to the US when I was in second Grade and when they later became US citizens, I automatically did also. At the time, I was excited about becoming a US citizen and I remember dressing up in a velveteen dress to go to the swearing in ceremony. I remember thinking later that it was unfair that I didn't get to decide for myself whether I wanted to give up my Canadian citizenship, after I learned in school that I could never be elected President of my new country.
My parents took a citizenship course and studied California history as part of their application process. As a result, my parents knew California history better than most natives of the state. Both my parents came from provinces in Canada where English was spoken. When my Dad went to the courthouse to apply for citizenship, the clerk commented: "Mr. L. how did you learn to speak English so well in just a short time in our country?"
I've gone to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site and read about this change in the citizenship law. Not only does this amendment make me a citizen of Canada, but it also makes my two children citizens.
The new law will give Canadian citizenship to certain individuals who lost it and to others who will be recognized as citizens for the first time. This includes people who lost their citizenship as minors as long as they were born or naturalized in Canada or born outside Canada to a Canadian parent in the first generation born abroad. Citizenship will be automatic and retroactive to the date of loss or the date of birth, depending on the situation.
I try to make it back to Canada every year or two to visit my old aunt and see my grandfather's summer home. The photo just above was taken on one of those trips. I used to imagine moving back to Canada, in fact I briefly considered applying to Canadian universities, but at the time I wasn't a Canadian citizen. Even if I never move back to Canada, it's nice to feel like I've reclaimed some of my history.