January 9th, 2018

Children in care need better support to reach citizenship

Rally planned tonight in support of Abdoul Abdi

Halifax – The recent case of Abdoul Abdi is raising the issue of citizenship for children in care again in Nova Scotia. The 23-year- old, who came to Canada as a refuge from Somalia, is facing deportation. Abdi was in the care of Nova Scotia Community Services from the age of seven, yet the issue of his citizenship was not resolved while he was in the care of the province.

“This case highlights one of many areas where our current system is lacking,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP spokesperson for Community Services. "Today the deputy minister said the province acts 'as a parent' when children are in care. If that is truly the case, then they have the responsibility to do everything possible to give children in care the opportunity to succeed. For children who are refugees or immigrants this should include citizenship.”

At today’s Standing Committee on Community Services Deputy Minister Lynn Hartwell said the Department does provide supports for children to apply for citizenship when needed but acknowledged that those efforts don't always result in success for a variety of reasons.

“Children in care are the responsibility of the Minister and Department of Community Services, so why isn't citizenship considered a high priority to make sure these children don't slip through the cracks," said Leblanc.

A rally in support of Abdi is planned for outside Sackville High School tonight where Prime Minister Trudeau will hold a town hall meeting.

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