Non-permanent resident families living in Canada, including irregular migrants, are prevented from receiving the Canada Child Benefit–a policy that poverty advocates say is discriminatory and should be changed.
A new report published Friday, entitled Every Child Counts, is calling on the federal government to allow families who do not yet have permanent status in Canada to be able to access to the child benefit.
“Canada treats children as expendable based on the status of their parents,” the report states.
A coalition of poverty and immigration advocacy groups authored the report who say impoverished children and women living in precarious situations after arriving in Canada are being made more vulnerable by being denied access to this financial help.
“Children who are in families who have immigrated to Canada recently have various other barriers related to race and language … and poverty rates are higher and disproportionate among immigrant families,” said Anita Khanna, national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000, an advocacy organization dedicated to ending child poverty in Canada.
“To see this exclusion from this poverty-fighting benefit is a real equity issue and one we wanted to highlight in hopes of change in lowering child poverty rates for families.”