When in Rome, do as the Romans do... when in Canada, it should be no different, except of course, you do what Canadians do.
The federal government is taking a bit of flack – and also garnering some support – over a decision to tighten up immigration laws. In 2010, questions on our national citizenship test were overhauled, requiring a higher score to pass – 15/20 instead of 12/20 – emphasizing a greater need to speak English or French and making questions about Canadian history, identity and values more challenging. While someone immigrating to Canada is entitled to apply to become a Canadian citizen after three years of having legally lived in the country, the final step is to pass the citizenship test.
So admittedly, there were a couple of questions on an online sample test that I struggled with, but for the most part it’s plain and simple Canadian facts. It’s also multiple choice with some fairly obvious answers. The key though, is that you HAVE TO comprehend either or both of the English and French languages and if you ask me, that’s not a bad thing.
If becoming a Canadian citizen is your true heart’s desire then I think you ought to put forth the effort to really integrate. If that means studying and working towards a long term goal then so be it. You have three years after all to learn the lingo and feel the place out.We’re also just talking about 15 questions AND you’re allowed to get five of them wrong.
That said, the decision is posing a fair amount of problems for those who hail from non-english speaking countries. Across the board apparently, the failure rate has almost quadrupled from less than four per cent in 2009 to nearly 15 per cent last year. Nearly half of the Afghan-born immigrants failed; as compared to 21 per cent in 2009. For people born in Vietnam, test failure rates went from 14.8 per cent in 2005 to 41.2 per cent last year.
It’s not the best pass rate but seriously, how really, is a person going to fare if they can’t properly communicate and if they can’t take the time to try?
We’re living in a country filled with opportunity and it’s gotten that way because of our values and priorities. If we let that all fall to the wayside, what will become of the Canada we all know and love?