Test Petition: Reform the CCTB Program
We are seeking signatures for our petition to reform the CCTB program. Our concerns are as follows: Problems with the current CCTB program: 1. Lack of checks and scrutiny before granting CCTB recipient status: The current system allows someone who is not the child's parent or primary caregiver to become the CCTB recipient for that child very easily. There should be greater scrutiny and checks in place to prevent non-parent or non-primary caregiver claimants from usurping the "primarily responsible" status without the knowledge and consent of the person who is truly responsible for the upbringing of the child. 2. "Primarily Responsible" definition: The definition of "the person who is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child" should be amended. The definition of "primarily responsible" should clarify the distinction between "arranging for child care when necessary," and giving full responsibility for the care and upbringing of the child over to another caregiver. Furthermore, the language of this definition should be enhanced to protect the right of the legal parent or primary caregiver to claim the CCTB for children under his or her care. In particular, the definition should protect this right by including other eligibility factors. Additional factors could include the primary caregiver's continued financial support in meeting the child's needs, and his or her involvement in the child's upbringing. 3. "Shared Eligibilityâ" application option is not sufficient: The Canada Child Benefits guidelines (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4114/t4114-08e.pdf) provide that if a child does not reside with you all of the time you may still claim a portion of the CCTB under the principle of "shared eligibility." However, this option pertains to situations where the child resides with two different individuals, and both of these individuals share equally in the child's care and upbringing. This option does not address the CCTB needs of caregivers who require their child to live with another individual part-time as part of a childcare arrangement or custody and access agreement. In this situation, the caregiver may remain primarily responsible for the upbringing of the child, even though the child does not live with him or her exclusively. This option is therefore not viable for parents or caregivers whose situation necessitates that the child live elsewhere temporarily, but who remain the primary caregiver and financial supporter of the child. In order to address these concerns, DLAS and Charna Gough propose the following amendment to the definition of "Primarily Responsible" under the CCTB guidelines: Primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of a child means that you are responsible for such things as supervising the child's daily activities and needs, making sure the child's medical needs are met, and arranging for childcare when necessary. THERE ARE SITUATIONS WHERE CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSITATE THAT THE CHILD RESIDE WITH ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL TEMPORARILY AS PART OF THE CHILDCARE ARRANGEMENT, OR AS PART OF A CUSTODY AND ACCESS AGREEMENT. WHERE THIS IS THE CASE, THE PERSON WHO MAKES PRIMARY DECISIONS REGARDING THE UPBRINGING OF THE CHILD, AND WHO ENSURES THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD, FINANCIAL AND OTHERWISE, ARE MET WILL BE DEEMED TO BE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE. If there is a female parent who lives with the child, we usually consider her to be this person (alteration in capital letters). For further information about the Canada Child Tax Benefit program, go online to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca. BY SIGNING THE PETITION, YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE FOLLOWING POSITION: To The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Revenue and Mr. William V. Baker, Commissioner - Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency A Call for Reform: THE CANADIAN CHILD TAX BENEFIT PROGRAM The current Canadian Child Tax Benefit program does not address the needs of all parents and caregivers who require the CCTB in order to meet the needs of their children. I am a concerned community member because I am and/or know parents and caregivers who have not been able to access the CCTB under the current guidelines. I believe that the CCTB program needs to be changed so that parents and caregivers receive the support they need to provide for their children.