Honorary Canadian citizenship

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Honorary Canadian citizenship
Awarded by Canada Parliament of Canada
TypeHonorary citizenship
First induction1985
Total inductees7

Honorary Canadian citizenship (French: citoyenneté canadienne honoraire) is an honour bestowed on foreigners of exceptional merit following a joint resolution by both Houses of the Parliament of Canada.

Honorary Canadian citizenship is purely symbolic; the recipient does not receive any of the rights, privileges, or duties typically held by a Canadian citizen.[1]

Recipients of honorary Canadian citizenship[edit]

  Honorary Canadian citizenship revoked by parliamentary vote
# Name Image Award date Country Notes
1 Raoul Wallenberg 1985
 Sweden Diplomat and humanitarian. Posthumous recipient of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, and second honorary citizen of the United States.[2][3]
2 Nelson Mandela 2001  South Africa Anti-apartheid activist, first post-apartheid President of South Africa, and recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.[4]
3 Tenzin Gyatso 2006  India
(born in  Tibet)
The 14th Dalai Lama and recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.[5]
4 Aung San Suu Kyi 2007  Myanmar Opposition leader and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.[6] Revoked by parliamentary vote in 2018 in response to the Rohingya genocide.[7]
5 Karim Aga Khan IV 2010  United Kingdom 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada.[8][9]
6 Malala Yousafzai 2014[10][a]  Pakistan Women's rights and education activist, and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.[12]
7 Vladimir Kara-Murza 2023  United Kingdom (born in  Russia) Political activist, journalist, author, filmmaker.[13]


Canadian civil society groups and other protestors called for the revocation of Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary citizenship in response to UN allegations that the 2017 persecution by the Burmese military against the Rohingya, an ethno-religious minority group in Burma, was a form of ethnic cleansing.[14][15] This included an online Change.org petition addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the House of Commons of Canada.[16] The House of Commons voted unanimously on September 27, 2018, to revoke her honorary citizenship.[17] The Senate of Canada approved a motion to the same effect unanimously on October 2, 2018.[7] With revocation motions passed by both houses, the Government of Canada stated that it recognized Parliament's decision to revoke the honour.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Received award in 2017[11]


  1. ^ Levitz, Stephanie (October 22, 2014). "Five things to know about honorary Canadian citizenship". Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  2. ^ Government of Canada Honours Canadian Honorary Citizen Raoul Wallenberg, Department of Canadian Heritage News Release, January 16, 2003 Archived October 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Who are the honorary Canadians?". CBC News. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  4. ^ "NELSON MANDELA". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2001-06-12.
  5. ^ "Dalai Lama". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2006-06-22.
  6. ^ "Aung San Suu Kyi". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2007-10-17.
  7. ^ a b c Curry, Bill (October 2, 2018). "Senate votes unanimously to strip Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "Hon. Jay Hill (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2009-06-19.
  9. ^ "Mawlana Hazar Imam is made an honorary citizen of Canada". TheIsmaili.org. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Senate of Canada - Debates". Senate of Canada. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  11. ^ CAMPION-SMITH, BRUCE; BOUTILIER, ALEX (April 12, 2017). "Malala Yousafzai has become an honorary Canadian citizen | Toronto Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  12. ^ "Malala Yousafzai to get honorary Canadian citizenship". CBC. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  13. ^ Robertson, Dylan (June 14, 2023). "House, Senate vote to give Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza honorary citizenship". Thestar.com. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  14. ^ Safi, Michael (September 11, 2017). "Myanmar treatment of Rohingya looks like 'textbook ethnic cleansing', says UN". The Guardian.
  15. ^ Tang, Justin (September 17, 2017). "Protesters call for Canada to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary citizenship". The Globe and Mail.
  16. ^ Abedi, Maham (October 17, 2017). "43,000 sign petition demanding Canada revoke Myanmar leader's honorary citizenship". Global News.
  17. ^ Aiello, Rachel (September 27, 2018). "MPs vote to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship". CTV News. Retrieved March 10, 2019.