Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Canadian citizenship - brought to you by The Royal Bank of Canada

The CBC is reporting that, for the first time ever, a private corporation has sponsored the swearing-in of new Canadians.

Now it would be mighty generous of The Royal Bank of Canada to host a welcome party for new Canadians, but to actually sponsor the citizenship ceremony itself seems, well, unseemly. I just can’t shake the image of a new Canadian being handed his or her Citizenship Certificate, rolled up with an RBC mortgage application form. It doesn’t sit well.

Obtaining one’s Canadian citizenship should be a joyous occasion, but it is also a very serious event as it represents reciprocal commitments being made between Canada and its new citizens. For many, it also signals the start of a new and better life away from poverty, persecution, civil strife, and war. It is a serious occasion and one which must be treated with respect. It is not a marketing opportunity.

However Canada’s Now Slightly Used Government clearly doesn’t see it that way. What’s next - advertising in Canadian passports?

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