New citizens of Canada taking the oath of citizenship at a ceremony

The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, has said that Ottawa is looking to make changes to how immigrants to Canada may become citizens.

"We are in general trying to reduce the barriers people have to overcome to become a citizen," stated McCallum.

"We would do two things. We would make it impossible for government to take away someone's citizenship, and we would reduce the barriers that are currently in place that people have to overcome to become a citizen."

One of those barriers is a test to prove language proficiency in English or French. Bill C-24, which came into effect last year under the previous Conservative government, expanded the age range for people required to take that test, to those aged 14 to 64 from a range of 18 to 54.

"We may make some modifications to the language testing — that hasn't been announced yet, but we're certainly not ditching it. We could bring it back to [age] 54. That's an adjustment at the margin on the grounds that some older people coming to this country may not be fully proficient in English, although their children will be and their grandchildren certainly will be." stated McCallum.

"I think you could call it tweaks to the system, and certainly not ditching the system."

Minister McCallum added that further news from his department could be expected in the near future, with more concrete proposals to come "in the coming days and weeks, but not very many weeks."