For 30 years, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (Canadian Centre) has been supporting families of missing and sexually exploited children, while working to increase the personal safety of children across Canada. Tonight, we proudly commemorate this important milestone with a celebratory dinner to share in the success of our agency’s efforts with those who have supported us through the years and have helped shape our story.
The Canadian Centre is honoured to have the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper deliver this evening’s keynote address. We are pleased to present Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Mrs. Laureen Harper with a special honour acknowledging their steadfast support and commitment to the protection of Canada’s children.
“Our agency is incredibly fortunate to have the Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper stand with us in our efforts to protect children,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre. “Their leadership on addressing serious issues impacting children and youth such as sexual abuse and exploitation has helped bring this conversation to the forefront in our country.”
This evening honours the countless children who have been lost or victimized and the families, who have lived through the unimaginable. Two dozen family members from communities across Canada have joined us to be part of tonight’s event. Their strength and willingness to share their stories has helped us shape programming and resources to protect children in Canada.
“These children cannot and must not be forgotten,” says McDonald. “They are the reason we work so hard every day as we strive to reach our vision – a world where children are protected and safe.”
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection launched its services in April 1985 as Child Find Manitoba, following the disappearance and subsequent murder of 13-year-old Candace Derksen. The agency has grown to provide national intervention, education, and prevention programs including Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children and MissingKids.ca – national missing children resource and response centre.
On May 25, 2006, the organization was renamed the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to more accurately reflect its national role. Today, the Canadian Centre is a charitable organization leading the country in addressing issues related to missing and exploited children.