TORONTO — Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues, issued the following statement:

“Today we recognize National Child Day. This year's theme is ‘8 Million Strong’ in honour of the power and resilience of the eight million children in Canada, and their right to survive and thrive.

First celebrated in 1991, National Child Day provides an opportunity for educators, parents and caregivers to teach children about their rights.

This year also marks the 67th anniversary of World Children’s Day, a day that promotes international togetherness, awareness among children, and the need to improve the welfare of children around the world.

Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have access to the tools they need to reach their full potential. That's why our government is committed to ensuring children, youth and families, including those receiving child welfare services, have the supports they need to succeed and thrive.

The redesign of our child welfare system focuses on developing more community-based prevention services that are high quality, culturally appropriate, and responsive to the needs of children, youth and families. It also addresses the over-representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Black, racialized and LGBT2SQ+ children and youth in care.

Throughout the pandemic, children and youth have shown extraordinary resilience, and exceptional leadership in support of their families, schools and communities. History will show that Ontario's young people played a key part in helping us beat COVID-19.

On this special day we celebrate the role children play in our communities and acknowledge that we all have a role to play in making things better for future generations.”