11:30 AM

In the news: Report shines spotlight on skilled trades

They came to Canada for opportunity and freedom and with the dream of creating a better life for their families. For 35 new Canadians the long journey from their former homeland to Canada came to an end today after taking the oath of citizenship at a swearing-in ceremony held in the McIntyre Theatre at the Fennell Campus.

The newly sworn-in Canucks hail from 17 countries including China, Ethiopia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan, to name a few. Essraa (right) and Wafik Bakir

Among them were Mohawk students, including Essraa Mahmod, a second-year Network Engineering student who came to Canada from Iraq four-and-a-half years ago.  

“I found freedom here,” said Essraa. “I am so excited to be here in Canada, to start a new life here, to have freedom and human rights.”

Her wish is that Iraq will one day be like Canada, safe and secure and able to offer a future for families like hers.

Today’s swearing-in ceremony, held during national Citizenship Week, was the second to be hosted by Mohawk College in 2010. The college hosts two a year and was the first college in the province to become a chapter of the Institute of Canadian Citizenship. The Institute is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to engaging Canadians about citizenship. It was founded and is co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson (a former Governor General of Canada) and John Ralston Saul.

Walter Gretzky congratulates new Canadians at Mohawk swearing-in ceremony