Excluding non-permanent families from Canada Child Benefit unfair: report

Report estimates 3,000 families are excluded from the Canada Child Benefit due to immigration status

A new report is calling on the federal government to reverse a policy that prevents non-permanent resident families living in Canada, including irregular migrants, from receiving the Canada Child Benefit.

Poverty advocates with Campaign 2000 say this policy is discriminatory and is “glaringly inconsistent” with Canada’s international obligations to protect human rights.

The report, released by a coalition of legal clinics and an anti-poverty network, estimates roughly 3,000 families are excluded from the Canada Child Benefit based on their immigration status. These include families in which parents do not have permanent status or who are still awaiting the outcome of their refugee claims.

This exclusion comes despite non-permanent families being required to pay income tax, said Jackie Esmonde, Staff Lawyer at the Income Security Advocacy Centre and the report’s primary author.

“The Canada Child Benefit is a powerful tool that the Prime Minister has acknowledged plays an important role in both driving economic growth and reducing child poverty,” Edmonde said in a news release. “Estimates are that the Canada Child Benefit will take up to 300,000 children in Canada out of poverty. But because it only benefits some children, it widens the gaps for others.”

The report says a far higher proportion, or 43 per cent, of non-permanent residents are living in poverty compared to 14 per cent of the general population.

Anita Khanna of Campaign 2000 calls this policy unfair and says it negatively affects the livelihoods and future outcomes of these families.

The report says that negative consequences include forcing women to stay in abusive relationships with partners who have status, or being forced to give up custody of their children. Advocates say it also sends the message that some children in Canada are less worthy of protection from poverty than others, perpetuating the discrimination and racism faced by families without permanent or long-term temporary status.

“What makes this exclusion worse is that these families are among those who are most likely to be in need,” Khanna said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reports rise in calls for service

Increase of 4.6 per cent over same time last year

MPs call on fisheries minister to allow sport fishing of marked chinook

MacGregor among those citing coastal communities rely on recreational fishing

Chemainus Harvest House still demands attention in summer

Food bank supplies dwindle with diminished donations

Singers in a jam at Chemainus’ Waterwheel Park

Soul King Clarke joins the group for latest session

Mamma Mia! smashes Chemainus Theatre Festival ticket sales record

Total expected to surpass 30,000 tickets before the show ends on Aug. 31

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Most Read