Mutsumi Takahashi presides over Canadian citizenship ceremony
It was a Canadian citizenship ceremony to remember for hundreds of new Canadians – but also a very well-known citizen of Montreal: CTV’s own Mutsumi Takahashi.
As a new member of the Order of Canada, Mutsumi is now able to preside over citizenship ceremonies, and she did that for the first time on Thursday.
The opportunity was an honour that brought Mutsumi – an immigrant herself – full-circle.
“It was important for me to tell them that I was once there too. I stood there, I took the oath of citizenship, and I know what kind of hope these people have for themselves and for their children. I wanted them to understand that anything is possible now,” she said.
More than 300 people took their oath in the city's east end, where the excitement, happiness and accomplishment of the day were palpable.
“I’m just very, very happy because it was a long story for us to be here,” said one new Canadian.
“We take for granted all the rights, the liberties, that we have as Canadians,” said Mutsumi. “We don’t really stop and think about it -- and it’s in a situation like this where all of a sudden you take stock, and you think these people worked so hard to become Canadians.”
Even though many of these new Canadians have been living here for years, making it official means more.
“I can participate in the elections, that for me is very exciting,” said one woman.
Adults and children alike sang ‘O Canada!’ in a touching moment for everyone there.
“I think singing that national anthem is the culmination of everything this country stands for,” said Mutsumi.
For her, it was an opportunity to reflect on her own journey and offer well wishes for future generations of Canadian immigrants.
“You see the little kids now, and they see it as a good time. I hope that they look back one day and maybe they’ll be doing what I did today,” she said.