On February 16, 2021, LEAF sent a letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to extend the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) to all children in Canada regardless of their parents’ immigration status.

The CCB is one tool in addressing the feminization and racialization of poverty in Canada.

Not every child in Canada, however, or every family in need, is eligible for the CCB.

Excluded from accessing CCB are refugee claimants and other individuals who are living in Canada with precarious status – even if they are legally working and filing a personal income tax return. In some cases, these families have Canadian born children, but are still denied CCB because of the parents’ immigration status.

The denial of CCB to low-income families on the basis of status constitutes a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a breach of Canada’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As women are still the primary caregivers for children in most Canadian families, the denial of CCB also has a disproportionate impact on women. This reinforces pre-existing gendered poverty.  Furthermore, as the vast majority of people with precarious immigration status are people of colour, this exclusion adversely impacts racialized communities – the communities that already face a higher risk of poverty.

You can read and download our letter below.