Santa Claus re-affirmed his Canadian citizenship at a special ceremony overseen by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Calgary on Wednesday.
“We wish Mr. Claus all the best in his Christmas Eve duties again this year,” said Minister Kenney. “And rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living in Canada’s North, he can re-enter Canada freely once his trip around the world is complete.”
Santa was joined at the ceremony by 100 new Canadians from 32 countries who were also sworn in as citizens.
It is unclear whether Santa realized his citizenship could become part of the international disagreement about who owns the high North, an issue Kenney alluded to in his comments.
“The Government continues to invest in measures that exercise Canada’s sovereignty and create more economic opportunities in the North,” said Kenney.
“We want to ensure that Santa and all Northern peoples benefit from the considerable progress that has been made.”
Transport Canada announced Wednesday that Santa had passed all his required pre-flight tests and is ready to make his annual deliveries.
“As part of his preparations, Santa passed the regular medical tests required by all pilots who want to get and keep their licence. According to Mrs. Claus, Santa put on a few extra pounds while working with his elves on the huge amount of toys requested from boys and girls around the world,” said the release.
“Happily, Santa also passed the test to demonstrate his flying ability and knowledge. Like all pilots, he must pass this test using a flight simulator or with a check ride. So this morning, at the Transport Canada hangar at the Ottawa International Airport, Santa Claus successfully completed a series of takeoffs and landings with the help of his very fit reindeer.”
The release noted that a Transport Canada inspector travelled to the North Pole earlier this month to inspect Santa’s sleigh and safety systems, including harnesses, landing gear, and Rudolph’s nose.
Santa updated his instrument this year and it now sports a GPS, noted the release.
“Millions of children can sleep easy knowing that Santa is fully prepared to make his most important trip of the year this holiday season,” said the release.
Those wishing to follow Santa’s trip around the earth can do so through NORAD’s Track Santa website at www.noradsanta.org and through Google Maps and Google Earth.
NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa since 1958 after taking over for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) which had tracked Santa since 1955.