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Child wearing mask at window
School closures put Canadian children at risk

At Children First Canada (CFC), we believe that schools should be the last to close and the first to open. There is overwhelming evidence that COVID-19 school closures have had a devastating impact on the mental and physical health of children and youth. This has also led to widespread learning loss and an increased risk of abuse. It's time to put children first.

Working in collaboration
Earlier this month, CFC joined with doctors, CEOs, parents and lawmakers to urge the Ontario government to ensure a safe return to in-person learning to protect the well-being of children.
Click here to read our open letter published in the Toronto Star.

In the media
For the latest news stories and interviews, visit our website here

Want to learn more? Click the button below to read our full statement on school closures.

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Every child matters
First Nations child welfare agreement

In a landmark deal, the federal government has made a $40 billion agreement-in-principle to compensate First Nations children harmed by Canada’s child welfare system. If the agreement is finalized, $20 billion will be set aside for children and their families, and $20 billion will fund child welfare services – making it the largest financial settlement of its kind in Canadian history.  

Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, said in a statement that while the agreement-in-principle is an important first step, it is still a non-binding agreement.

“It is only when that binding agreement has been written and signed by the Government of Canada and acted upon with great haste that First Nations children, youth and families will have a measure of assurance that actionable change is coming,” said Blackstock.

Click the button below to read the full statement.

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Empowering children with rights as leaders today and leaders of tomorrow
Don't miss our YCP event this month!

The Young Canadians' Parliament (YCP) is a growing movement of young people who are speaking up for their rights and sharing their views with Canadian leaders. This month, the YCP is hosting a digital event on January 29 at 1 p.m. ET to learn how the federal government creates legislation. Young people will work with their peers to develop mock bills that address climate change, mental health, systemic discrimination, poverty, housing and food insecurity.

In February, the YCP will also host a mock national debate before an audience of parliamentarians and youth to determine whether the mock bills would pass as law. Youth will then share their recommendations with government leaders. Stay tuned for more details next month! 

Do you know a young person who wants to speak up for their rights? Anyone under 18 is welcome to join the YCP event on Jan. 29. Please encourage youth to sign up at the link below.

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Lowering the voting age
Youth deserve to be heard
Should youth have the right to vote? Diego Christiansen-Barker of Campbell River, B.C., is one of 13 young litigants challenging Canada’s voting age. In a recent op-ed in the Hill Times, he shared his views on this important debate. "We need to give more young people the right to vote," he writes. "Enfranchising this unheard population, my age group, is democratic and it is the Canadian thing to do."
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Nketti Johnston-Taylor
CFC appoints a new senior leader  
We are excited to announce the promotion of Nketti Johnston-Taylor to Director of Research and Programs. Nketti joined the CFC team six months ago and has played a key role in leading our National Child Day program and event  – which made history last year with more than 8,000 people registered – and she continues to spearhead our equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. Please join us in congratulating Nketti on her new role!
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National Kids & Vaccines Day - January 27
National Kids and Vaccines Day
Mark your calendars! On January 27, National Kids and Vaccines Day will bring together industry leaders, influencers and experts to promote vaccine confidence among children and families. The initiative is a collaboration between various organizations, including ScienceUpFirst, Child Healthcare Canada and the Sandbox Project. Help us spread the word by using the #KidsVaccinesDay hashtag!
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