Prince Edward Island stole Joni Kennedy's heart 41 years ago

Brian McInnis
Published on July 1, 2014

Joni Kennedy received her Canadian citizenship certificate on Canada Day, but as important as that is to her she does not need it to remind her why she chose Canada, and in particular, Prince Edward Island as the place she wants to spend the rest of her life.

Kennedy said she does not remember when she realized that Canada is not just a place to live, but it's her home and she wants to stay here forever. However, she remembers vividly the time she told her husband that she had fallen in love with the Island and this is the place that had stolen her heart.

It was 1973 and she and her husband at the time came to P.E.I to visit former premier Pat Binns and his wife Carroll, who they had met in northern Alberta.

“As soon as we got to Prince Edward Island I yelled at my husband to stop the car and I got out and literally said to him, and I am not kidding, ‘this is so beautiful, this is where I want to live and this is where I want to have children and this is where I want to die’ and he looked at me like I was nuts,” she said in an interview after she was sworn in as a new Canadian during a special citizenship ceremony on Canada Day during the official opening of the Celebration Zone at Confederation Landing Park.

Kennedy, who is originally from Michigan, and her former husband came to Canada on their honeymoon in 1971and later ended up in northern Alberta where they met Binns, who encouraged them to visit the Island.

“That was 41 years ago and I will always be here because I love it…I had lots of opportunities to move back to the states, but that is not my home, this is my home and when I realized that there was no question to become Canadian…I did it and just wish I had done it 40 years ago.”

Kennedy is now married to an Island native, they have two daughters and live in Cumberland on the Island's south shore.

The presider for the citizenship court was Daphne Dumont who said there were 24 new citizens sworn in from eight countries.