A dedicated group sharing voices
After the debate on M-133, which if passed by the House of Commons, would have Sept. 28 designated as British Home Child Day in Canada, Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon joined British Home Child descendants and friends in the rotunda of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. From left, in the front row are Lyma McIntosh, Debbie Prescott, Peter Jacks, Kay Lorente, Dave Lorente and Dan Lorente; at the back, Walter McIntosh, Tom Brownell, Judy Neville, Jim Brownell, Adrian Bugelli, Guy Lauzon, Keltie Robertson, Will Robertson, Lise Robertson and Eleanor McGrath. Thompson Goddard photo
Carolyn Thompson Goddard
OTTAWA – A small but dedicated group of people sat in the House of Commons gallery on Wed., Nov. 22 to hear Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon open the first hour of debate on M-133 which, if passed, the Canadian Parliament will see Sept. 28 recognized as British Home Child Day in Canada.
For just under 15 minutes, Lauzon related the story of the Child Migration Scheme, which saw between 100,000 and 130,000 children between the ages of 3 and 18 come to Canada to work as indentured servants in the homes and farms of Canadians.
Ontario East British Home Child Family President Judy Neville commented how honoured she was to “witness the first debate of the bill which would see Sept. 28 designated as British Home Child Day in Canada.” After seeing “many people across Canada asking why Ontario has a BHC Day and their province does not,” she contacted Lauzon, who embraced “the idea of asking the federal government to establish a National BHC Day.”
Lauzon mentioned the work of David and Kay Lorente of Ottawa who founded Home Child Canada in 1991 after learning that David’s father came to Canada as a British Home Child. Lauzon then related some of the stories of constituents with a British Home Child in their family tree and mentioned the work of Eleanor McGrath who created a video entitled Forgotten which details the story of the Fegan Distribution Home in Toronto, Ont.
In 2011, Jim Brownell, at that time MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo, and MPP Steve Clark of Leeds-Grenville guided Bill 185 through the Ontario Legislature which designated Sept. 28 as British Home Child Day in Ontario. Prior to Lauzon’s speech, Brownell commented how there was a “great opportunity to once again showcase the untold stories” of British Home Children with the introduction of M-133.
Lauzon said he was extremely happy to see all parties so supportive of M-133 with several MPs speaking in support and commented his hopes to have Sept. 28 designated as British Home Child Day in Canada in time for Sept