Vancouver Island has 152 new reasons to celebrate after it welcomed new Canadians in a special citizenship ceremony on Canada Day.
Victoria welcomed 152 new Canadians in a special citizenship ceremony at Government House on Canada Day.
CHEK News spoke with several people shortly after they received their citizenship certificates.
All were proud to become citizens in a country they had worked in, raised families in and contributed to, some for many years.
"It's one of the happiest moments in my life," said Aref Hajassad, who came here with his family from Syria five years ago. "So I'm happy, and I can't describe how honoured I am to be Canadian, to be part of this beautiful country."
"It's a great country, and the weather and the environment," said Mina Wu, from China. "Everything is perfect for us."
"When we just look at the beauty of this country and remember the new chance, the freedom Canada offered to us, we are thankful," said Frank Stroschein, who escaped from East Germany in 1988, came to Canada and sponsored his wife.
"As a woman, I can express my feelings, I can express my freedom, and I have the same rights as men," said Rizwana Rahman, who brought her family here from Bangladesh to escape violence and gender discrimination in her homeland. "That's what I didn't get in my country. So I'm very proud of being a part of Canada."