ARCHIVED – Speaking notes for the Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism for an update for a news conference on Haitian Adoptions
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Ottawa, Ontario, January 23, 2010
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Good morning. I am pleased to join the Prime Minister in sharing some good news about adoptions from Haiti, which we know Canadian parents are anxious to hear.
As I explained yesterday, a list was presented to the Government of Haiti with the names of 154 children who are currently in the adoption process.
While we expect to be made aware of additional cases, I am very pleased to announce we can expect the arrival of an Air Canada passenger plane tomorrow morning in Ottawa at approximately 6:30 a.m. with the first group of children.
As we speak, my officials are calling adoptive parents as we identify which children are on that flight.
We are extremely grateful for the generosity that Air Canada is showing at this critical time.
CIC is working to get as many of the adopted children out of Haiti as quickly as possible and we anticipate more commercial flights in the coming days. Upcoming flights using Canadian Forces and commercial aircraft will be landing at the Montreal airport.
At the moment we know of 86 children whose adoption cases were well advanced and have been cleared by the Haitian government.
We are working with provincial and territorial governments, and child welfare agencies to expedite the remaining cases that are at an earlier stage in the adoption process.
As children are brought to the Embassy, we will be scheduling their departures on flights to Canada in the coming days. Parents are being advised of arrangements by CIC as quickly as we get them onto the compound and issue their documents.
If you are in the process of adopting a child from Haiti, please e-mail your enquiries.
We also recognize the importance of reuniting families, and while adoptions have been a priority, we’ll be turning more attention to family class applications. There were more than 2,000 such applications in our system before the earthquake struck Haiti, and we expect to be dealing with several thousand more in the days, weeks and months ahead.
The CIC Call Centre is up and running this weekend from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm eastern time to respond the increased volume of calls related to Haiti.
Let me reassure you that we are doing all we can to unite these children from Haiti with their new families in Canada.
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