The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the various challenges facing people with precarious immigration status in Canada. What is less commonly known, however, is that many of these individuals who are helping to keep the Canadian economy going, are being denied one of the basic yet fundamental benefits that our Government provides to families in need, namely the Canada Child Benefits (CCB).
Under the Income Tax Act, you must be a citizen, permanent resident, convention refugee, or a “temporary resident” who has stayed in Canada for at least 18 months to receive CCB. Excluded from the benefits are refugee claimants and others with precarious immigration status, many of whom are working and paying tax in Canada. Even if their children are born in Canada, they are still being denied CCB because of the parent’s immigration status. It is unfair, and unconstitutional, to give CCB to visitors who may not have deep ties with Canada, while denying the benefits to refugee claimants and others in need.
The Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC) has launched a Constitutional Challenge to this unjust law. In addition, CSALC has joined hands with Campaign 2000, the Colour of Poverty Colour of Change, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, and South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, to call on the Canadian Government to immediately repeal the discriminatory provision under the Income Tax Act excluding access to CCB based on immigration status. We ask you for your support by writing/emailing to your local MP and to:
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland at Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development at Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue at Diane.Lebouthillier@parl.gc.ca
Enclosed is a template letter which you may use.
For more information about the constitutional challenge, go to: https://csalc.ca/press-release-re-constitutional-challenge-to-ccb/ and https://www-thestar-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.thestar.com/amp/news/canada/2021/02/09/she-was-a-refugee-mother-living-in-a-shelter-with-two-kids-then-ottawa-told-her-she-had-to-repay-18000.html
We are working on a public education campaign. If you would like to be part of our campaign, please sign up here: https://bit.ly/2Nj44gY
Please also share our campaign on social media: #ccbjustice
Thank you for your support.