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Ontario Parents Won't Get Funds

February 28, 2006 permalink

Ontario is about to keep social services safe from parents who might care for their own children. The hundred dollar a month federal tax credit for parents of pre-school children will be taken back by the province.



Ontario could claw back child-care benefit

Last Updated: Feb 28 2006 11:13 AM EST

Some of Ontario's poorest families might never see the monthly child-care allowance proposed by the federal government.

The provincial government is expected to deduct the annual $1,200 child-care benefit for every child under age six directly from social assistance or disability support cheques.

"I'd be horrified if they did," said Cynthia Wilkey, a lawyer with the Income Security Advocacy Centre of Toronto. "I would just be horrified. But would it surprise me? No."

The $100 monthly allowance is intended to replace the current national child-care funding deal with provinces, but Wilkey and other advocates for low-income families worry the province will claw back the benefits.

Stephen Harper reads to children at Copper House
Stephen Harper reads to children at Copper House day care in Bolton, Ont. during the federal election in January. (CP Photo/Paul Chiasson)

The Ontario government already deducts the National Child Benefit Supplement from social assistance and disability cheques, despite a campaign promise to stop the clawback.

Sandra Pupatello, minister of community and social services, says the goverment has not yet decided if the benefit will be deducted, but refused to rule out the possibility.

"Our history since we became the government has been to try to make life better for people who are on social assistance, and I think that every single thing we've done since we've become the government has indicated that," said Pupatello.

She says the province is still focused on fighting to save the existing child-care deal signed with the previous federal government.