Canada in Brief, Oct. 4-10

October 5, 2017 Updated: January 3, 2019

Julie Payette sworn in as Canada’s 29th Governor General

Amid all the pomp and pageantry afforded the Queen’s representative in Canada, former astronaut Julie Payette took the formal oath of office on Oct. 2 to become the country’s 29th Governor General in a traditional ceremony on Parliament Hill.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by as Payette read the oaths of allegiance of the Governor General and commander-in-chief of Canada, and of the Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada.

The audience included many dignitaries as well as Payette’s friends and family, but it was Payette’s touching speech, delivered in multiple languages without the help of notes, that for many cemented her suitability for the role.

Singh names Guy Caron to lead NDP in the Commons

Jagmeet Singh has selected leadership rival Guy Caron to lead the NDP in the House of Commons. Singh won the party leadership last weekend but has no Commons seat.

He says Caron will be parliamentary leader in the House while B.C. MP Murray Rankin will remain as House leader.

Singh was welcomed with loud cheers as he met his parliamentary caucus earlier on Oct. 4.

Neither outgoing leader Tom Mulcair nor Ontario MP Charlie Angus, who finished the leadership race a distant second to Singh, were in attendance.

New rules for citizenship come into effect next week

Changes to the rules about becoming a Canadian citizen come into effect next week. As of Oct. 11, only those between the ages of 18 to 54 will be required to take and pass a knowledge test. Previously, the age range was 14 to 64.

And the number of years a person must be physically present in Canada before being eligible for citizenship will change to three out of five from four out of six.

The changes are part of an ongoing overhaul of the Citizenship Act by the Liberal government, which says it wants to simplify the process. The government is also rewriting the citizenship oath to incorporate a reference to treaties with Indigenous Peoples.

With files from The Canadian Press

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