New history rules for Canadian immigrants

Nov. 11, 2009 at 9:43 AM

OTTAWA, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Canada is unveiling a new study guide for would-be citizens that requires much more knowledge of the country's military history, a federal minister said.

At an Ottawa news conference Tuesday timed for the observance of Remembrance Day Wednesday, Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney said the new immigration test will require knowledge of Canada's military achievements in both World Wars, Korea and a myriad of peacekeeping missions, Sun Media reported.

"I think it's scandalous that someone could become a Canadian not knowing what the poppy represents," Kenney said of the 1.5-inch red plastic lapel pins sold each year to commemorate the thousands of World War I Allied soldiers buried in a French cemetery rife with poppies.

Kenney said newcomers needed to understand how Canada's military actions helped shape the country to what it is today.

"If we want to keep a cohesive country, particularly with very high levels of immigration, we need to make sure we have a common understanding of our values and institutions," he said.

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