PEI

Cardigan MP lauds increase in Canada Child Benefit during Stratford stop

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay touted the federal government's recent increase to the Canada Child Benefit, which came into effect two years earlier than initially planned, during a media availability in Stratford Wednesday.

Maximum annual benefit is now $6,496 for a child under 6

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay was in Straftford on Wednesday promoting the increase to the Canada Child Benefit. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay touted the federal government's recent increase to the Canada Child Benefit, which came into effect two years earlier than initially planned, during a media availability in Stratford Wednesday.

The government had pledged to index the credit to inflation by July 2020, but is putting the change into effect this year instead.

On Wednesday, MacAulay met with families receiving the benefit to celebrate the two-year mark of the program.

"What we want to do is make sure more families have the opportunity to be in the middle class," MacAulay said.

The maximum annual benefit is now $6,496 for a child under 6, and $5,481 for children aged 6 to 17. Those numbers will continue to rise to match inflation.

Chance to be 'as good as everybody else'

"[Helping families] is vitally important if you want a society that's going to enrich itself, become more wealthy, more people in the middle class and enjoy life," MacAulay said.

Aleisha Robbins-Lee says the benefit has allowed her family to save for education costs. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"It gives families the opportunity to be as good as everybody else. That's exactly what we want to see happen ... This gives them the opportunity to buy a few extra things or enrol the children in some programs they would probably not be able to be enrolled in."

'It has improved our way of living'

Aleisha Robbins-Lee was among the parents at MacAulay's gathering. She and her husband have three kids under the age of 3, and a fourth is on the way.

The family was able to start a registered education fund for their kids as a result of the benefit, she said.

"It definitely has improved our way of living ... We have more than what we need for the children," Robbins-Lee said.

"It's a big relief because I want them to have the best things and I want them to have stuff that me and my husband never had."

'A little help can do so much'

'It's always important for governments to realize that if you help people get a little boost, [it] means so much,' says MacAulay. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

According to the federal government, Island families received more than $100 million from the CCB during the 2017-18 funding period. About 15,300 families and 27,290 children benefited from the tax credit, which is now being indexed to inflation.

Of the $200 million paid out to Island families in those two years, about $52 million of it went to households in the Cardigan district.

"It's always important for governments to realize that if you help people get a little boost, [it] means so much. A little help can do so much."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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