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Canada Day citizenship ceremony to virtually celebrate nurses, care workers 

Omair Imtiaz, 32, originally from Dubai, now lives in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Omair Imtiaz, 32, originally from Dubai, now lives in Charlottetown, P.E.I. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

Nineteen people from 13 different countries will become new Canadian citizens Wednesday in a special Canada Day ceremony.

The virtual ceremony takes place this afternoon and will bring together people ranging in age from six to 66 to swear the oath and hear from the prime minister and other dignitaries.

Read more: 2020 Canada Day ‘unlike any other’ as celebrations move online, cancelled amid COVID-19

Canada Day citizenship ceremonies are a hallmark of the holiday, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them online — since April 1, there have been over 1,000 virtual events.

Wednesday’s event is also expected to highlight something many Canadians have learned during the pandemic: the crucial role immigrants play in staffing Canada’s health-care system.

Toronto to recognize essential workers during virtual Canada Day celebration
Toronto to recognize essential workers during virtual Canada Day celebration

Among the new citizens are nurses and personal support workers, including Sweeny Karande and Omair Imtiaz.

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Both say their jobs are a way of giving back to the country and they’re thrilled to officially become citizens.