North

Government reminds parents about Universal Child Care Benefit

Federal "cash payments" are being offered to Canadian parents says Minister of Employment Pierre Poilievre. But there's a problem: About 200,000 eligible families have not registered for the government's Universal Child Care Benefit.

Minister Pierre Poilievre says 'millions' of dollars unclaimed as 200,000 families haven't registered

Federal Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre 2,400 families have not registered for the Universal Childcare Benefit in Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut. "This will literally mean millions of dollars in the local economy," he said of the unclaimed payments. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

About 200,000 families haven't applied for a federal "cash payment," even though they're eligible says federal Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre. 

Poilievre says federal government is trying to remind people about its Universal Childcare Benefit.

'There is a problem," said Poilievre today in Whitehorse. "My staff have looked at the StatsCan data and we found there are 4 million families with kids under 18, but only 3.8 million in our database. There are about 200,000 families that are not on the list and therefore won't receive it until they register."   

The Universal Child Care Benefit applies to all Canadian families regardless of income so long as they have children under the age of 18.

Applying for the tax rebate is a separate process from filing income tax as people need to register their name in a database.

'Millions' unclaimed in Canada's North

In Whitehorse today, Poilievre said 800 Yukon families have not registered for the tax rebate. 

Another 2,200 families have not registered in NWT and Nunavut. 

'We're trying to reach out to them through the media, through community groups, so they can get signed up and receive those payments. For Northern communities like this it will literally mean millions of dollars in the local economy," he said.

Benefits increased this year 

The tax break, increased this year, provides up to $1,920 per year for each child under the age of 6. 

This year there is also a new benefit worth up to $720 per year for children aged 6 through 17.

Poilievre said many people don't know about the program. 

"Let's say you have a family with two children under six, that's about $4,000 a year. That's serious money. For a middle-class family that's a lot of money."

Parents are asked to register at www.Canada.ca/taxsavings.

Poilievre notes that anyone with questions can also call their MP. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.