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Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates supports introduction of Senate bill creating a national commissioner for children and youth

June 16, 2020 – The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) supports BILL S-217 an Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada, tabled today in the Senate.
“Having a national voice to promote the rights and interests of children and youth, with particular attention to First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth and those who are members of other vulnerable communities such as immigrant and refugee youth, is important to our country,” said Del Graff, Alberta Child and Youth Advocate, and President of the CCCYA. “For many years, the CCCYA has lobbied the federal government to establish an independent federal commissioner for children and youth, and we are finally at the point where we may see one created.”
“Provincial and territorial advocates work hard in their respective jurisdictions on behalf of vulnerable children and youth,” said Jackie Lake Kavanagh, Newfoundland and Labrador Child and Youth Advocate, and Vice President of the CCCYA. “However, there is a significant gap in protecting children's rights in Canada without a federal counterpart. Creating an independent office at the national level would go far to address this current gap.”
If passed, the bill would grant the Commissioner the mandate to promote and protect the rights, well-being and views of children and youth, especially those who belong to a vulnerable group. The Commissioner would also be required to collaborate with Indigenous governing bodies to include Indigenous views and values in the Commissioner’s advocacy for Indigenous children and youth.
About the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates
The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates is an association of government-appointed children's advocates, ombudsman and representatives from 10 provinces and two territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. Advocates are independent officers of the legislatures in their respective jurisdictions.
Media Inquiries:
Tim Chander
Communications Manager
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (Alberta)
CCCYA Statements and Publications related to National Children’s Commissioner
March 2008 – CCCYA letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on child poverty calls for establishing an independent children’s commissioner. http://www.cccya.ca/images/english/pdf/Letter_to_Stephen_Harper_re_child_poverty_Mar_31_2008-copie.pdf p.2
• June 2010 – CCCYA position paper recommends creating a National Children’s Commissioner. http://www.cccya.ca/images/english/pdf/aboriginal_children_youth_advocates_position_paper_2010.pdf p.13
• November 2014 – CCCYA release reiterates 2010 call for creation of a National Children’s Commissioner http://www.cccya.ca/Images/english/pdf/17-11-2014_EnglishRelease_FINAL.pdf p.30
• March 2019 – CCCYA Statement of Children’s Rights in Canada reiterates CCCYA call for an independent parliamentary officer. http://www.cccya.ca/Images/english/pdf/0326%20Statement%20on%20Children%27s%20Rights%20EN-Final.pdf p.2

Child, youth and seniors’ advocate maintains operations through virtual office

30 March 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB)— The Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate is advising people that it continues to serve the public by telephone and email during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Adjusting to isolation in response to COVID-19 can bear a heavy burden on individuals and families,” said Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé. “During this period of reduction in government services our office remains closed but we will continue to accept your requests for assistance. New Brunswick’s most vulnerable population cannot be left in the dark.”

Those in need of advocacy services from the Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate may call, toll-free, 1-888-465-1100 or email ..

“We anticipate that it will not be possible to conduct investigations within normal time frames,” said Bossé. “We thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Bossé said that it is important to follow the guidelines from the chief medical officer of health and the government during this time, and that everyone has a role to play in reducing the curve and preventing the spread of the virus. He added that staying in touch with family members and neighbours by phone or social media can help people cope with feelings of stress from isolation.


During the present outbreak of COVID-19, Government of New Brunswick operations have shifted focus to maintain critical programs and services. This decision was made in consultation with New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

During this period of reduction in government services, our office will continue to accept complaints. We anticipate that it will not be possible to conduct investigations within normal time frames. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Advocate releases State of the Child Report 2019

Nov. 20, 2019

FREDERICTON (GNB) — The Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate released its 11th State of the Child Report today at an annual breakfast fundraiser hosted by NB Champions for Child Rights Inc.

The report’s release was part of Child Rights Education Week and also in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

“Over the past 30 years, advocates for the rights of children have worked towards substantial progress,” said Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé. “However, many challenges linger to ensure all 54 Articles of the UNCRC are upheld.”

Bossé noted some improvements.

“The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, highlighting the devastating impact language loss has on Indigenous rights and culture,” he said. “We see in the New Brunswick data how critically endangered First Nations languages are. But there is hope in the fact that, in our province, a significantly higher percentage of Indigenous youth view learning about their culture as important compared to non-Indigenous youth.”

“It is also very heartening to see that the number of incarcerated youths continues to drop, and also that a new Department of Public Safety policy reverses the practice of Sheriff Services handcuffing and shackling all youth in transport,” said Bossé. “Now it is allowed only if it is justifiable in exceptional circumstances.”

“Still, more work needs to be done, especially in relation to the troubling situations that are evident in the data for youth in poverty,” he said.

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NB Child & Youth Advocate Annual State of the Child Breakfast, a fundraiser for Champions for Child Rights

 State of the Child Breakfast Facebook Cover

About this Event

You are invited to join Champions for Child Rights and the Child & Youth Advocate's office on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. for the State of the Child Breakfast. This fundraiser breakfast will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Fredericton, and will be the platform for the release of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate's 2019 State of the Child Report.

This year, the event will discuss the Right to Education for Children and Youth in New Brunswick and feature:

  • Welcome and Opening Prayer
  • Opening remarks from the President of Champions for Child Rights, Jacqueline Mcknight.
  • Greetings from Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic Cardy.
  • Youth Panel Presentation (YVC and Shaking the Movers)
  • Keynote presentation from Norman Bosse Q.C., Child, Youth & Seniors Advocate for New Brunswick.
  • Optional civil society workshop on " A New Model for Education (Green Paper and Rights Respecting Schools)” after the breakfast (from 10 a.m to 12 p.m). Please register with the FREE separate ticket for the workshop.

Tickets are $50 each, and tables of 8 may be purchased for $400. To register for the workshop please "purchase" an additional FREE Civil Society Workshop ticket.

Tickets for students are $25.

If you would like to attend the workshop and not the breakfast, please register by purchasing the FREE Civil Society Workshop ticket.

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Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates releases national paper on youth suicide

WINNIPEG, September 17, 2019 - The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) published A National Paper on Youth Suicide that calls on governments at the national, provincial and territorial levels to take concrete action to prevent youth suicide in Canada.
The paper consolidates research by the CCCYA members that led to the identification of three broad findings related to youth suicide: the impact of traumatic childhood experiences, the importance of service integration and continuity and how the voices of children and youth needs to be at the front of change.

"Suicide is the second most common cause of death amongst young people in Canada," said Del Graff, Alberta Child and Youth Advocate, and president of the CCCYA. "By ensuring communities are appropriately resourced, governments can play a key role in preventing these tragic deaths. While the rate of suicide is disproportionately high among Indigenous youth and requires particular attention, preventing suicide for all young people, including those at elevated risk, must be our collective priority."

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Advocate releases Behind Closed Doors report

Jan. 28, 2019 

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has released a report entitled Behind Closed Doors: A Story of Neglect.

The report stems from the review of a severe case of child neglect involving a family of five young children.

In February 2018, the advocate’s office gave the Department of Social Development formal notice of investigation of this case.

The advocate’s review found violations of the children’s rights to: 

  • be protected from all forms of violence including neglect,
  • a decent standard of living,
  • health services,
  • rest, leisure and engage in play, and
  • parental and state supports in their child-rearing, prior to their placement in care.

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Advocate releases State of the Child Report

Nov. 20, 2018

FREDERICTON (GNB) – As part of the Child Rights Education Week, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate released its tenth State of the Child Report today at an annual breakfast fundraiser hosted by NB Champions for Child Rights Inc.

The report contains an overview of some of the serious challenges facing New Brunswick youth, which includes: discrimination, mental health, poverty, and declining educational engagement.

“This year there is a special emphasis on the child’s right to preserve their identity, and the right of minority and indigenous children to enjoy their culture, to practice their faith and to speak their own language,” said Child, Youth and Senior’s Advocate Norman Bossé.

The report, which focuses on Articles 8 and 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, contains more than 200 statistics presented in a Child Rights Indicators Framework. This data is part of the information the provincial government needs to ensure it is helping all young people, and especially the most disadvantaged.

 “According to this data, children and youth from our province face numerous challenges,” said Bossé. “For example, the province has not done nearly enough to ensure the preservation of indigenous cultures. First Nations languages are imperilled to the point of crisis. I call upon the government to act immediately with First Nations leaders to preserve New Brunswick’s rich indigenous linguistic heritage.”

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Report on the rights of newcomer and refugee children

October 11, 2018

FREDERICTON (GNB) — The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, in collaboration with the youth group East Coast Shaking the Movers, issued a report at the legislative assembly on Oct. 10 entitled Defending Child Rights for Refugees and Newcomers.

The report was issued during an information session with staff from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, young participants, and elected officials.

The young participants provided 33 recommendations on the rights of the child while taking into consideration the context of immigration, the refugee process and the school environment. They also reported cases of discrimination towards newcomers and identified recommendations to break down stereotypes and foster respectful communities where rights are respected and are individuals are free from racial discrimination. The report includes only recommendations from the young participants and reflects their discussions during a weekend event.

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State of the Child Report 2019 1

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