Newly Minted Canadians!
One of our own became a Canadian today, and the tears could not be held back.
My chest is swollen with pride and happiness as I watch my friend Martins, and his wife Ruta, take an oath. This oath is the official moment when these two people, born in Latvia, become Canadian citizens! We Canadians-by-birth are lucky, and I certainly appreciate what we have. However, it was a surprisingly sobering moment to watch them and many others receive what I inherited through the luck of the birth lottery.
Martins path to Canada
Martins and I have worked together for many years, most recently as a crew chief at Third Rock Geomatics. He is a towering and kind man, who is extremely confident in the practice of land surveying. His formal education in Latvia prepared him well for working outdoors in Alberta. He and his brother came to Canada over 10 years ago to help fill a labor shortage and Martins decided to stay and pursue full Canadian Citizenship.
In talking with Martins and Ruta, they feel fortunate to have entered into Canada through a Labour Mobility Agreement. Today, the process is much harder and the skills required are not a guarantee one can enter. Attaining their Permanent Residency was a very difficult process. Each year they would re-apply, then update financial details and other government documents each time. They needed to remain Permanent Residents for a specific period of time before they could begin the application process for their citizenship. Martins had developed a standard response for anyone who asked about his progress which was one word, “Waiting”.
Well, wait no longer, you now have a new home! You are free to pursue anything you wish. Dream big my friend! And of course, the first round is on me!
Mark Sutter, Alberta Land Surveyor
CEO, Third Rock Geomatics
P.S. As a Professional Land Surveyor, I spend more than the average amount of time thinking about the history of people across this vast land. Starting with First Nation peoples and explorers, pioneers and surveyors, to developers from coast to coast, and now these newly minted Canadians! What an honour to witness this momentous event. I remain truly grateful to have shared this unique moment and privileged to live in this great country.