Government Takes Action to Ensure Canada Child Benefit Helps Children Who Need It Most
April 13, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
By giving more support to the families that need it most, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is helping them invest in the things that give children a good start in life—like a safe place to live, healthy food, music lessons or sports camps. The Government of Canada believes that all families who qualify for the CCB should receive it, including those with children living under the care of a grandparent, extended family member or family friend.
Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced the Government of Canada's intention to propose amendments to the Income Tax Act to clarify eligibility for the CCB in respect of children being cared for under provincial/territorial kinship arrangements. The proposed amendments will ensure that individuals caring for a child under the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Grandparents and Care Providers program, or under similar kinship programs in other provinces/territories, are eligible for the CCB regardless of whether they receive financial assistance under such a program (provided they meet all other CCB eligibility criteria).
The Government of PEI introduced the Grandparents and Care Providers program on December 1, 2017, to provide short-term living arrangements for children found to be in need of protection from parental harm and requiring out-of-home care for safety reasons. Some other jurisdictions offer similar programs. Such programs are intended to provide an alternative to children being brought into the legal custody and guardianship of provincial/territorial governments.
"Our Government introduced the Canada Child Benefit in 2016 to give Canadian families more money to help with the high cost of raising their children. We are committed to ensuring that all families that qualify for this benefit receive it as intended, so that they can use it to make a real, positive difference in children's lives. With the clarifying adjustment proposed today, we are helping to ensure that all Canadian children have the opportunity to reach their full potential—an opportunity that every Canadian deserves."
- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
"As a grandmother and a former social worker, I am committed to working with the province of PEI to ensure that grandparents or other care providers who step in to take care of a child under a kinship program are eligible for the CCB, even if they are receiving financial assistance from the province. The legislation to be introduced by the Government of Canada will apply to other similar provincial and territorial kinship programs."
- Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
Nine out of 10 families are better off under the CCB than they were under the old system of child benefits.
Families entitled to the CCB are receiving $6,800 on average this year.
The CCB has helped lift about 300,000 children out of poverty, and it is estimated that child poverty was reduced by 40 per cent at the end of 2017, from what it was in 2013.
In its 2017 Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposed to strengthen the CCB by indexing benefits annually to keep pace with the cost of living as of July 2018, two years ahead of schedule. Indexing the CCB will ensure that it continues to play a vital role in supporting Canadian families and reducing child poverty.
Media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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