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Proposed Class Action on behalf of foreign-born Ontario Crown wards moves forward

TORONTO, Dec. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A class action lawsuit brought against the Government of Ontario on behalf of foreign-born Crown wards is moving forward, with the filing of an updated statement of claim.

“Immigrant Crown wards” are non-citizen children who were removed from their families and placed into the care of the Ontario government. The class action alleges that the Crown has systematically failed to seek and secure Canadian citizenship for the benefit of those Immigrant Crown Wards since 1966. The claim also alleges that the Crown failed to maintain, protect and preserve the immigration status of Immigrant Crown Wards or to obtain, maintain and preserve their citizenship, nationality and/or immigration records.

The plaintiff, Kiwayne Jones, was an Immigrant Crown Ward who remained a non-citizen when he left Crown wardship at age 18, despite having been eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship before he turned 18. As a result of the Crown’s failure, Kiwayne and other Immigrant Crown Wards have been put at risk of deportation, and been denied the benefits that come with being a Canadian citizen. The claim alleges that the Immigrant Crown wards been denied their democratic and Charter rights, lost educational and employment opportunities, and suffered a profound loss of identity, community and belonging.

“I am eager to push this lawsuit forward to certification and to trial as quickly as possible,” said plaintiff Kiwayne Jones. “This lawsuit is both a reckoning for harms done in the past, but also to push Ontario to change its policy and practice so that what happened to me never happens again.”

“Ontario failed the vulnerable kids that were in its care. There is nothing more basic for a guardian to do than to ensure that essential citizenship and immigration rights of children are secured. Ontario’s failure to do so has put already vulnerable children and young adults in legal jeopardy. This is unacceptable,” said Cory Wanless, one of the proposed lawyers for the class.

Lawyers working on the case anticipate that a certification motion will take place in 2020, with trial to follow thereafter.

Proposed class counsel are Waddell Phillips PC, Julie M. Kirkpatrick, and Valent Legal. Individuals who believe that they may be affected by this class action are encouraged to contact one of these law firms at the contact information below.

For more information: https://waddellphillips.ca/class-actions/crown-ward-citizenship-class-action/

For media enquiries, contact:

Cory Wanless
Waddell Phillips Barristers
647-874-2555
cory@waddellphillips.ca

Julie Kirkpatrick
Barrister & Solicitor
416-274-8996

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