JIS News

Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan, has launched a citizenship initiative to encourage Jamaicans to apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as they qualify.
The Consul General informed Ontario’s new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, of the initiative during a call on the Minister, on February 18.
Noting that some Jamaicans are misinformed, the Consul General said that a number of Jamaican nationals who are permanent residents of Canada, have not pursued Canadian citizenship because they believe they will no longer be Jamaican citizens.
Mr. Ramocan, who assumed duties as Consul General three months ago, told Minister Hoskins that Jamaicans who remain permanent residents of Canada and do not take out citizenship are denied privileges accorded to Canadians, such as the right to vote and access to some federal jobs.
“The Canadian citizenship initiative will see a team of Jamaican/Canadians going out and speaking to our nationals to try and convince them of the importance of regularising themselves as citizens of Canada, so they can become more participative, enjoy the privileges, and contribute in more meaningful ways as citizens of this wonderful country that they are a part of,” said Consul General Ramocan.
Calling the initiative a fantastic one, Minister Hoskins, who took over the portfolio of Immigration and Citizenship in January 2010, said that as the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for St. Paul’s, he has also come across a number of his constituents “who have resided here for 20, 30 and 35 years, and they still haven’t become Canadian citizens, because they have the same fear that somehow it will impact on their country of origin and the relationship with it.”
A medical doctor by profession and humanitarian at heart, Mr. Hoskins has worked in several war-torn countries and in the 1980s did a stint in Jamaica at the Foundation for International Self-Help (FISH) clinic on Gordon Town Road, in Kingston.
He has promised his assistance to the Consul General, as the team, headed by community leader, Mr. Paul Barnett, conducts community hall meetings, forums and visits churches in a bid to convince Jamaicans to become Canadian citizens.
Permanent residents of Canada are qualified to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in the country for three years.

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