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

Pick all your apples and save the bears

As summer ends, bears become more active looking for food

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. Premier announces fall election

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka reacts to election announcement

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

“Unprecedented” coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read