To reach that amorphous group of beneficiaries, the Canadian government has turned to YouTube. It's running an ad there titled "Waking up Canadian," in which a man awakens on April 17 to a room festooned with red-and-white Canadian flags. He's met by a welcoming committee consisting of two stuffed plush moose, a hockey player, and a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Just who does this apply to?
Thanks to a new law, Canada will bestow citizenship Friday on what its government believes could be hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting foreigners, most of them Americans.
The April 17 amendment to Canada's Citizenship Act automatically restores Canadian nationality to many people forced to renounce it when they became citizens of another country. It also grants citizenship to their children.
In above video 'Waking Up Canadian,' a man goes to sleep in a drab room and wakes up to find out that he's become a citizen of Canada. Surrounded by flags, maple-leaf-shaped cookies and a canister of maple syrup, he's welcomed by a hockey player, two plush moose and a uniformed Mountie.
For more information on the new immigration rules and whether they apply to you, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.
Eligible individuals automatically become Canadian citizens. But they don't get proof of that citizenship unless they apply for it, meaning other countries -- including those that allow people to be citizens of only one nation -- won't be alerted, according to the immigration office spokeswoman. Those people also may renounce their citizenship rights, she said.
The new law offers citizenship to many individuals now in limbo. It also stops the previous practice of granting citizenship in perpetuity to children of Canadians born abroad, limiting eligibility to children of parents born in Canada.