Canada is an immense country. To understand what it means to be Canadian, it is important to know about our three founding peoples: Aboriginal, French and British. Aboriginal peoples' ancestors were well established here long before explorers from Europe first came to North America. Today, Canadian society stems largely from the English-speaking and French-speaking Christian civilizations that were brought here from Europe by settlers.
Most day-to-day life is conducted in English or French. Canada is home to people of many different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and cultures. Our laws and our governments ensure that we treat all people equally and that there is equal opportunity for all. Our laws also protect minorities. Together, we work hard to maintain a secure, peaceful and prosperous society.
Canadian rights and responsibilities arose from our history. Our laws, our traditions, our identities and our shared values reflect those rights and responsibilities.
Living in Canada means that you have many of the same rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. If you become a Canadian citizen, you will share all the rights that every Canadian enjoys and all the responsibilities.
Thanks to the sacrifices and the work of people in the past, as a resident of Canada today, you have the right to:
As a resident of Canada, your responsibilities include:
Obeying the law
Canadian citizens also have the right to:
Vote in municipal, provincial and federal elections
As a Canadian citizen, you have the responsibility to:
Canadians expect fairness and respect for ourselves, our children and our families. In turn, we strive to treat others the same way. We believe in equality between women and men and we do not tolerate unjust discrimination based on race, age, sexual orientation or physical and mental disability. The dignity of individuals is well established in our laws and traditions.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada