Pitfalls to achieve citizenship are numerous, deplore learners of Popular Education Centre (PEC) in the Eastern Townships. Among these obstacles, there is administrative costs which are passed over $ 500 per adult and exam questions for citizenship, which may raise eyebrows original Quebecers. A petition has been launched to raise awareness of the federal government to this issue.
In a letter sent to the Eastern Townships in the House of Commons, CEP representatives explained that the fees for the application for citizenship have been $ 120, but they are now more than $ 500.
“Under the previous government, the process of accession to citizenship has greatly complicated to the point of becoming a nightmare for the families,” it said in the letter reproduced on page 14.
The review of citizenship is one of the necessary conditions to obtain Canadian citizenship. An examination must now be passed to Montreal instead of Sherbrooke.
Christine Difuni in Quebec for 10 years and is one of the instigators of the petition.
The adoption Québécoise not afford to take the exam, she laments.
“We want them to reduce prices and they bring the office here (note: where the review could be gone before), as before,” said Ms. Difuni.
Another obstacle to prepare for the citizenship test, for students who do not always know how to read and write, is difficult. There is a written guide to accompany them, but the vocabulary level is fairly high, it is argued, and it is difficult for immigrants to memorize the information. People attending the CEP Estrie have not been educated in their country of origin. “I have never been to school. This is the first time here, “says Christine, about learning to CEP, a literacy organization. Those who fled the Congo spent 12 years in a refugee camp.
Chair of the Board of CEP Estrie, Martine Facal, one of the signatories of the letter, said that it has the effect of discouraging people from taking the exam, given their chances of success. “There are a lot of questions found on the internet (note: to prepare for the assessment). There are choice of questions, but if they learn these questions by heart, it’s the same kind under consideration, but they are not the same. ”
“For us who do not know how to handle a computer, what can we do? “Asks Ms. Difuni.
What are the consequences of not being a Canadian citizen? Getting the US becomes much more complicated, lists Ms Facal. “The most tangible consequence is that they do not have the right to vote. ”
A meeting is scheduled for Thursday with the assistant Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and Francophonie, and Member of Parliament for Compton-Stanstead.
“I hope we come back to more reasonable costs and feeling the exams, I would not relieved, because you have to be aware of a few things, but adapted to a few customers educated … “notes Ms. Facal.
“We do not demand a discount to citizenship, this is not the objective. We want to start thinking about how we can consider other ways to do the review, to make it accessible to a greater number of people, including refugees. We give solutions … “nuance CEP Coordinator, Mylène Rioux, who attended the interview granted to us Difuni Mrs. and Mrs. Facal.
“I invite the applicants of this petition to come and meet me in my office,” for his part said the NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault, stressing that it wants to offer support in the process of accession to the citizenship.
Examples of study topics in the review of Canadian citizenship
– Name two key documents that contain our rights and freedoms.
– List four rights that Canadians enjoy.
– What does the word Inuit?
– What is the importance of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best?
– Who was Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine?
– Who can vote in federal elections?
One can read on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada that “all questions that make up the citizenship test has been formulated from the information provided in the (present) study guide, and relate to facts and ideas presented in the guide. ”
“One of the essential criteria for citizenship is to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge about Canada. The citizenship test is used to evaluate your knowledge of Canada and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, “says does one also.
The pass mark is 75%.