Thousands upon thousands (no one knows exactly how many!) of people woke up yesterday morning to discover they were Canadian!
The above YouTube was put out by the Canadian government to let people in on this phenomenon. You have to admire a government that's so down with the times!
If you have a moment, watch it. It's very adorable and shows a man who goes to sleep in a boring room, but wakes in a very red-and-white room that's decorated with all manner of Canadian paraphernalia. The man is greeted by a friendly hockey player (who may still have all his teeth!) and a friendly mountie. By the way, this man is not representative of the kind of good looks you can expect to find in Canada!
The upshot is that many people who lost or were not even granted their Canadian citizenship (Canadians who took out American citizenship between 1948-1977, border babies*, a group of Mennonites who moved to Mexico for a 3 or 4 decades, war brides, and more) have all been welcomed back into the big red Maple Leaf fold.
*Trivia (and you know how I love my trivia): What are border babies?
The answer is at the bottom of this post.
How does this new bit of legislature affect my little family? My grandchildren (who I hope will not be born for a LONG LONG time!) will not be Canadian. Sigh. Up until today, my children's children would automatically have been Canadian. Now, only the first generation born abroad are given Canadian citizenship. Unless, of course, I do something DRASTIC and CRAZY like kidnap my labouring daughter-in-law (and I hope not to have any of these for a LONG LONG time!) and speed north to a hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. Given my poor sense of direction, this is unlikely to happen!
For more details and to find out if you have turned Canuck without realizing it, go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website.
*Answer to trivia question:
Border babies were born between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, to one or two Canadian parents in an American hospital because it was closer to their home than the hospital in the nearest Canadian town. Aside from the short time spent in the hospital at birth, most border babies have lived all or most of their lives in Canada. (from the CIC website)