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

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Rec users are not entitled to access to range

DND land is excluded from local control, says letter writer

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

Goalie gear found in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Mounties want to return goalie gear to owner

Thieves steal tents meant for Nanaimo school’s Grade 7 camping trip

Businesses, staff and parents ensure trip goes on

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Strengthening privacy laws should be an election issue

In other places, political parties are held to the highest standards of openness, says letter writer

Timbermen beat league’s first-place team

Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse team handles Maple Ridge Burrards 11-6

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Suggested street names bizarre

Letter writer would be mortified to live on any of Lantzville councillor’s bizarrely named streets

Complex with more than 200 apartments pitched for Nanaimo’s south end

Construction planned for next spring on Junction Avenue in Chase River

Nanaimo teachers’ union president worries new deal could see job losses

Teachers’ federation and Ministry of Education negotiating with contract expiring at month’s end

Historian recalls Nanaimo’s drunken disorder back in 1890

Imagine the seamen’s surprise when they found themselves inside a brewery, writes columnist

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Most Read