Mississauga, ON — September 13, 2023 — The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE), a division of the Peel Children’s Aid Society, in collaboration with Senator Mobina Jaffer, held a highly productive roundtable discussion on Bill S-235, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The event, which took place on September 13, 2023, from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Peel Children’s Aid Society in Mississauga, brought together a diverse group of community members and partners to discuss this crucial legislation.
Bill S-235, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, aims to provide Canadian citizenship automatically to non-citizen youth who have been in Canada for at least a year before leaving foster care. This legislation is essential to ensure that non-Canadian youth who transition through the foster care system, under the responsibility of the state, have the opportunity to reach their full potential in alignment with the principles of the United Nations' 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The roundtable discussion provided a platform for individuals with varied backgrounds and perspectives to share their insights and expertise on the bill. Attendees included social workers, community members, advocates and experts who are well-positioned to speak on this important matter. Their input will play a significant role in shaping the future of Bill S-235 and advancing its passage through legislative channels.
Senator Mobina Jaffer, the sponsor of Bill S-235, expressed her gratitude for the engaged participation of attendees. Senator Jaffer emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in advocating for the rights and well-being of non-Canadian youth who have experienced foster care.
“As Canadians, we have a moral obligation to ensure that these children are not left behind.
As Canadians, we have a legal obligation to ensure that these children are not stateless.
As Canadians, we have a humanitarian obligation to ensure that these children are not vulnerable.”
Senator Jaffer reiterated her commitment to working together with Peel Children’s Aid Society CWICE and the community to move this legislation forward stating
“These children are not strangers. They are our children. They have grown up in our communities, attended our schools, and contributed to our society. They deserve to be treated as full members of the Canadian family.”
Peel Children’s Aid Society CEO, Mary Beth Moellenkamp, noted the success of the roundtable discussion, highlighting the diverse perspectives and valuable feedback received. “We are happy to support the Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer’s proposed Bill S-235, sponsored by MP Matthew Green. This bill will ensure that children and youth in care across Canada are able to obtain citizenship, allowing them to achieve the permanency and sense of belonging they urgently need and deserve. We look forward to our continued collaboration in the best interest of our nation’s most vulnerable residents.”
NDP MP Matthew Green, who will sponsor Bill S-235 in the House of Commons, expressed his support for the initiative, stating, "Bill S-235 is a crucial piece of legislation that addresses a long-overdue issue of justice and fairness for these children. Providing Canadian citizenship to non-citizen youth who have been in foster care is not just a legal necessity, but a moral imperative. I am proud to sponsor this bill in the House of Commons and will continue to advocate for its swift passage."
The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence and Senator Mobina Jaffer extend their gratitude to all attendees for their contributions to the discussion. The insights gained during this event will further inform the ongoing efforts to advance Bill S-235 and bring positive change to the lives of non-Canadian youth in foster care.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Honourable Mobina S.B Jaffer, Q.C.
Peel CAS Media Contact:
905-363-6131 ext. 1153
The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE) supports child welfare organizations and provides direct assistance to children, youth and families on cases involving unresolved immigration, settlement, or border-related issues.
About Senator Mobina Jaffer:
Senator Mobina Jaffer is a passionate advocate for children's rights and immigration issues. As sponsor in the Senate, she has been a leading voice in the push for Bill S-235, recognizing the importance of providing equal opportunities to non-Canadian youth in foster care.
About NDP MP Matthew Green:
NDP MP Matthew Green is a dedicated advocate for social justice and equality. He will sponsor Bill S-235 in the House of Commons, supporting the bill's mission to grant Canadian citizenship to non-citizen youth exiting foster care.
Note to Editors:
High-resolution images from the roundtable discussion are available upon request.