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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Disaster recovery resources available for CRD residents impacted by flooding

Deadline is Aug. 5, 2020 to apply for disaster financial assistance

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

City of Quesnel sets dates for phased reopening of facilities

Playgrounds, washrooms and sports fields to open June 8, spray park June 15

COLUMN: Students head back to the classroom in Quesnel School Distict 28

District management and staff continue to serve the city and surrounding area well during COVID-19

Quesnel gold pan relocation prompts rally, response from mayor

“At its current location, it doesn’t let us tell our story”

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read