No one wants to receive a brown envelope from the Canada Revenue Agency but if you file a tax return, you can expect to get some correspondence from the taxman.
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It is to recognize all children, in rich countries as well as in poor, who are left behind because their families lack income and their societies fail to reach them with the services they need. It's time to end child poverty in Canada. It's entirely possible and there are promising steps.
This new benefit is meant to "lift some 315,000 Canadian children out of poverty" by adding to household income, tax-free, for those most in need. It is based on Adjusted Family Net Income, a line item on our tax returns (which doesn't allow for a lot of nuance, I'll concede, but still seems more fair than not).
The Canada Child Benefit is a new program aimed at helping families with the cost of raising children today and into the future. This is the week when the cheques (or direct deposits) are set to arrive. I'm optimistic that the money will prompt some families to open up a Registered Education Savings Plan for their kids.
It is historic -- the benefit provides targeted support to low and moderate income families across Canada. According to the minister of families, children and social development, it is projected to slash child poverty rates in this country by a record 40 per cent.
The proposed budget will increase government spending while having a deficit of $29.4 billion. It will direct billions of dollars to infrastructure spending, First Nations, and the middle class and lower income groups.
The changes are designed to distribute benefits and programs more fairly based on income. Families and students are the main beneficiaries of the new budget, though many of the proposed changes will not take effect until next year's tax return.
Canada's current patchwork of child care does not meet the needs of Canadian families. The new federal government has shown an understanding of the importance of improving our child care for the health and well-being of children and their parents.
Both Treasury Board Guidelines and the Ethics Commission state it is inappropriate for a government official to blur the lines between a government and a partisan announcement. However, Minister Pierre Poilievre felt no apparent shame. He was quick to point out that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats support the UCCB (a half-truth at best). Accordingly, he was not so subtly attempting to persuade an apparently gullible public that only the Conservatives could be trusted to protect families. It's not new for governments to attempt to play politics with taxpayer money; but vote buying has rarely felt more shameless.