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Welcome to Our Website!

The Canadian Centre for Home Children was opened in 1999 and is located in Cavendish PEI the home of Canada's world famous orphan Anne of Green Gables, just a short distance up the road and just across the road from Avonlea Village.

In the past the Centre has tried to get those responsible for the continuing problems of the Home Children community to accept their moral, ethical and legal responsibilities and to provide help and solutions to those problems. Many promises were made few were kept and so the Centre after much thought discussion and consideration has decided a new approach is required.

The Centre has been trying since the early 1990's to find a better and quicker way to solve the problem of obtaining thee personal and family information that is still being sought by thousands and thousands of families. In 1998 it appeared a real break through had been achieved with both the Canadian and British governments. Sadly we have now concluded that was nothing more than political spin doctors at work to control the findings and the report of the British Parliamentary enquiry. The subject is complicated and a detailed outline is available later in this site. By now the Canadian Home Children community should be well aware that there is help and assistance available for any group except the Home Children family.

David Hinchliffe and John Willoughby
Chairman David Hinchliffe, Chairman UK Health Committee and John Willoughby

New methods are now being implemented and others are planned watch this site for developments and regular reports and breaking news.

The organization was founded in 1991 by John H Willoughby of Charlottetown P.E.I. It was incorporated as a non profit foundation shortly thereafter. The founding arose out of frustration with Canadian and U.K. government departments refusing to cooperate in any way with his and other Home Children families in trying to identify and locate documents and actual living family members so families could be re-united. In the previous 7 years John and other volunteers here and the U.K. were encountering all kinds of problems in trying to provide some help to an ever growing number of requests. No help or cooperation was forthcoming.

In 1997 Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the U.K. and that same year announced an enquiry into Child Migration would be held in May 1998. This was the first sign of a possible change in attitude. The Centre had many discussions and letters with the Health Select Committee in the months leading up to the enquiry. Our chairman and Vice Chairman flew to London and met with and submitted a report to the Committee. There was much hope that good things would happen but in the end as far as Canada was concerned our needs were ignored and all the help and attention was directed at Australia and New Zealand. Since then the Centre has been trying to obtain better treatment for the Canadian Home Children family without much success. But our efforts will not only continue but will increase. Canadians do not deserve to be treated like this by the U.K. government .

Shortly after the hearings in the U.K. were announced lo and behold a meeting with Sheila Copps then Minister of Heritage and Parks was arranged. This took place in Charlottetown in February 1998. Many promise were made to help the Home Children community but only one was kept. That was to provide a property in Cavendish P.E. I. For the use of as the home of the centre. Once the report of the U.K. Committee was presented to the Canadian Government in December 1998 the promises she made disappeared like the snow in spring. In spite of many efforts the Government of Canada hasn't changed it's position. SO that is why the Centre is changing it's attitude and approach. That change is long overdue. Other groups have found help and solutions and we intend to do the same whatever it takes. It is our intent to follow this new direction once and for all obtain the justice for the long suffering Home Children community.

Status of Canadian Government

The government of Canada has done almost nothing to help or assist the Home Children community with any problems since the program to bring young British children to Canada in 1869.

Over and over when we contacted various federal government departments prior to 1998 we got the same answer “Sorry, we have programs to help this group of people”, end of discussion. In February we met with the minister of heritage and Parks Canada, Sheila Copps. We were astonished to learn that she had no prior knowledge of the Home Children and had never been briefed by anyone in her department. We had a good meeting with Mrs. Copps and were promised much help with the Home Children’s problems. Her main statement was we will do for the Home Children as what we did for the Irish at Gros isles P.Q.

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Status of UK Government

The U.K. governments through the years  basically ignored the child migration problems. The last Conservative Prime Minister John Major when asked a question in the House of Commons answered "Any concern about the treatment of children in another country  is essentially a matter for the authorities of that country." 2 Nov 1993 Hansard.

This was generally the attitude of all U.K. governments prior to 1997.Even though the children were still British citizens  they were out of sight out of mind and someone elses problem.

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Chairman's Comments

John H. Willoughby Founder and Chairman
John H. Willoughby Founder and Chairman

Read the Chairman's Blog
http://johnwilloughby.wordpress.com/


January - Year of the Home Child
The first month of The Year of the Home Children in Canada is over, with nothing new from the Government of Canada. I have had time to consider the postal stamp announcement, and it is loaded with irony. Here is a 4 million strong community deliberately kept separate for generations. They have tried hard to find each other, mostly with little success. So the Minister of Immigration announces a new stamp featuring Home Children. NOW if we only knew who they are - and where they live, we could use the stamp to contact them. The Minister, having just taken over the Home Children file, is ill advised of their actual needs. Or it is an outright slap at the Home Children community? In the past I have been impressed with the way he handled problems, and I am shocked by this apparent callous indifference.

There has also been no apology yet from British P.M. Brown. to the Aussies, which was supposed to be forthcoming. I wrote to Mr. Brown at the beginning of the month, but have not received a response yet. Nor have I heard from the two two opposition leaders, both of whom received copies. I will be on top of this in the coming weeks. The British government may wish to forget the Canadian diaspora, but we refuse to be forgotten. The time is long overdue for us to fight for our rights and for justice. Consider what would happen if any other ethnic group in Canada was being treated like this by their Home country. It would not be deemed acceptable. The Home Children community represents 25 per cent of Canadians of British origin - one of the largest special interest groups in the country. Our national media continues to ignore the issue, as well. Given their reticence to report on what it clearly an issue that deserves attention, we are already looking for help from alternative sources with more success.

For instance, I recently discovered Adrian Goldberg editor of The Stirrer located in Birmingham England. I came across a story on the Canadian Home Children while searching the web. Adrian was a successful BBC reporter and radio host, and left to start The Stirrer, which could be described as a news, political and social campaign web site. It is full of UK information, mostly trying to get the real stories out. The man is a dynamo. He also hosts a late night talk show on similar topics on a national radio station, talkSPORT, four nights a week.

Already several stories have appeared in The Stirrer about the British government's behaviour toward Canadian Home Children issues. The headline for one recent story was, Oi Gordon-What about Canada's Home Children? Adrian has promised additional stories on the Canadian Home Children. What a find for us in Canada!

Adrian also arranged a radio interview with me, and we were able to voice the problems facing our community. It was a call-in show and it was touching to hear English people whose family members came to Canada and were never heard from again. Hopefully this is a way we can get our story into the consciousness of the people of the UK and Canada. The more we can tell our story, the more response we will get.

Our February plans are under way and I will report developments here as they occur.


COMMENTS
Once again the Govt's of Canada and U.K. have betrayed the Canadian Home Children Community, now over 4 million strong. Being tolerant has got us nowhere. Now they expect us to be quiet while they once again ignore the Canadian diaspora.

We have watched as they apologize to all manner of innocents, that were betrayed in the past. Why then do they feel they can treat the Canadian Home Children Community like slaves. They don't even bother to throw us a few scraps.

If anyone out there has any ideas or knowledge please tell us. The most common scenario is that both Govt's are hiding some deep dark secret and are dealing with the 7000 Aussies to distract the media from the deep dark secret. In rugby they call it selling the dummy. In any case it's working.

We welcome your comments at cchc@eastlink.ca


My First Posting
Since the centre was founded we have always sought ways to find workable solutions to the problems facing the Home Children family.I had faith, as did others and as most Canadians would, that we would be treated fairly by the Governments of Canada and the U.K. The years since have sadly proved otherwise. Neither government has justice and fairness in their vocabulary when it comes to the problems of the Canadian Home Children family. We hope to change that in the upcoming months.

For instance in 1998 the U.K. government proudly announced that a million sterling Travel Fund to assist Child Migrants[ Home Children} had been set up to assist them in returning to Britain to meet long lost relatives. Canada had received about 2/3's of all the children sent out to Commonwealth countries. When the program ended 3 years later, only 1% of the total amount was allotted to Canadians.. The government of Canada refused to say one word in protest. Which is what they always have done.

I have watched closely over the years the problems facing other Canadian groups with problems caused by government programs and policies,such groups as the residential school children the Hepatitis groups the Chinese and Japanese and other similar groups. Most have by now after long and difficult fights have forced some type of solutions on reluctant governments. The conclusion is nothing will come easily if we don't demand and fight for justice and solutions they will not be forthcoming. It seems both governments are only concerned with rights and abuse when it is in some other country.

The problems the Home Children family faces are not of their own making the moral, ethical and legal responsibility for the program and it's consequences is fully the fault of the Government of Canada and the U.K. They are also responsible for solutions and any cost related to such solutions. I invite all of the Home Children family and it's friends to join us in our journey and determination to once and for all find the justice and solutions needed to solve our problems outstanding for generations.

Verite sans peur.

John Willoughby Chairman and Founder.

PS Our Governor General recently visited a slave castle on an African visit,she was moved to tears and made this statement which we should adopt as our motto. "Asked about her prayer she replied .We shall never be chained again. We shall never be on our knees again. We shall never be humiliated again. She emphasized it was not a black issue, saying that painful episode in human history should each be a lesson to {all] humanity".

Her Excellency Michaelle Jean

Governor-General of Canada