Madam Speaker, from 1869 to the 1930s, over 100,000 poor, orphaned, and homeless British children were herded into camps and shipped across the seas to the Colonies. While some of these children would go on to build new lives, the program was stricken with corruption, and it was poorly implemented and virtually unsupervised.
Children shipped to Canada often found themselves forced into indentured servitude and hard labour, often facing physical and emotional abuse from their new parents, who viewed them as disposable, unpaid workers to be discarded if they did not perform.
Some of them were fortunate in finding a family like that of my constituent Anita Nevins, which took in one of these home children who had run away and welcomed him into their family as their own son.
September 28 is recognized in Ontario as British Home Child Day. I rise today to recognize the contributions of former home children and to express our sorrow and regret to these children and their descendants.