Canada Child Benefit Still Needed Alongside National Child Care System, Minister Says

But even when the average fee hits the government’s target of $ 10 a day by 2026, Gould says there will still be households that will need the Canada Child Benefit to pay the bills.

That’s why Gould says she doesn’t see the benefit disappearing from the federal toolbox for families.

“There will always be families – maybe a single parent, a single income household, or there are reasons the other parent is unable or unable to work – who will continue to need this benefit. “said Gould. said in an interview.

“I think this will continue to be a very important way for us to fight child poverty in Canada.

The government’s December economic update predicted spending on family allowances to decline for the second consecutive year from April, from $ 26.4 billion to $ 25.5 billion, before climbing to $ 25.5 billion. $ 28.2 billion by 2027.

The decrease is the result of the end of a temporary bonus paid to families with young children.

Gould said there had been a reduction in ACE payments because they received emergency income support in 2020, but the decline was nowhere near as dramatic as that seen for people low-income seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

As spending on benefits increases, the government will increase its annual funding for provincially administered child care systems. The Liberals have signed agreements with 11 provinces and territories, only Nunavut and Ontario remain.

On talks with Canada’s most populous province, Gould said there was political goodwill on both sides of the negotiating table to strike a deal, although she did not specify how many time it might take.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Gould Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in October, after previously serving as Minister of Democratic Institutions and, more recently, International Development.

For Gould, taking on his new job helps merge his political and personal life: his three-year-old is in daycare in Ottawa and in his riding of Burlington, in the western end of the Greater Toronto Area.

A relative of a pandemic herself, Gould said she kept in mind that families, and children in particular, need a little more support than usual “because life is dying. ‘so much more difficult’.

A recent report from the government’s Poverty Advisory Board noted that the pandemic has been traumatic for children through a series of deadlocks that can have “lasting impacts on general health and on the educational attainment of an entire generation. “.

Gould is charged with strengthening mental health services for children and has suggested that one way to do this would be to funnel money to the provinces in transfers for health care.

It also has on its plate the modernization of Service Canada, which is responsible for distributing billions of benefits annually.

The decision to digitize the ministry’s systems included automatic enrollment of seniors for Old Age Security and Income Supplement payments.

More work could better identify older people who are still not receiving benefits, she said, and perhaps deliver unemployment benefits to people faster by seeing payroll changes in real time.

“There is a huge opportunity here to serve Canadians and provide support to citizens in a much more effective and efficient manner which will alleviate a lot of stress and really help provide them with these benefits when they need them,” said Gould said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 28, 2021.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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