FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST HONOUR ITS COMMITMENTS TO CANADA’S VULNERABLE CHILDREN
September 18, 2018
OTTAWA – Today NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby) and Ms. Shawn Bayes, Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, called on the Government of Canada to uphold its responsibility as signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure children across the country have equal access to federally funded financial benefits and supportive programs and services. Current eligibility rules and regional variations in service delivery result in some of Canada’s most vulnerable and poorest children being further materially deprived and marginalized.
“We cannot be satisfied by the current situation,” said Julian. “The Government of Canada must uphold its responsibility to guarantee equal access to federally funded benefits, services and programs so children with informal or less stable living arrangements are not further marginalized”.
This morning, Julian tabled a petition with thousands of signatures calling on the Government of Canada to uphold its international commitment to support all children in Canada equally, regardless of how and where they live. This petition is the second piece in a series of legislative initiatives drafted by Julian in close collaboration with the local chapter of the Elizabeth Fry Society in New Westminster.
The petition asks the Government of Canada to:
• Ensure federally funded services like the Homelessness Partnering Strategy provide client support funding for children.
• Ensure federally funded child benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit and Children’s Special Allowance are equal for children regardless of how or where they live.
• Adhere to the Bangkok Accord and develop awareness and the capacity for non-custodial sentencing options for pregnant women and women with dependents.
• Set standards within the Canada Social Transfer to recognize children whose parents are homeless, incarcerated or have addictions and are in need of special support to enable them to achieve improved life outcomes and receive equal benefit to their rights under the UN Convention.
“As a society, it’s our collective responsibility to ensure the basic needs of every child in Canada are met,” said Ms. Bayes. “Right now, there are barriers and inconsistencies in the way federally funded benefits and services are delivered, which leaves vulnerable children like those who are homeless, have an incarcerated parent, or who are affected by neonatal substances are barred, delayed or disqualified from the supports they desperately need. That must change.”
Julian sponsored e-petition E-1840: petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1840
For more information, please contact:
NDP Media Centre: 613-222-2351 or firstname.lastname@example.org