Liberals increasing Canada child benefit, to come into effect this summer
OTTAWA – The federal government has announced they will be increasing the Canada child benefit program this summer, meaning families who qualify across the country will be receiving slightly larger payments just three months before going to the polls.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos announced the increase — which will come into effect July 20 — on Monday in Barrie, Ont.
"The cost of raising children keeps increasing. If we want our children, our beautiful children to have a fair chance in life, to have the best possible start in life, then their parents need to have the support that they need, and that they deserve," Duclos said at his second announcement about the increase in Richmond Hill, Ont.
"And that cost which is high and increasing needs to be acknowledged by the federal government," he said.
As CTV News first reported on Sunday, the increase is being made to keep up with the rising cost of living. The new maximum yearly benefit will be $6,639 per child under the age of 6, and $5,602 per child aged 6 through 17. That means that families will be receiving between $12 and $30 more a month than they receive under the current system.
This move, while being unveiled now, was planned for in the 2018 federal budget.
The current CCB program began in 2016, providing families with a tax-free monthly payment to help with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The change marks the second occasion the government has raised the child benefit since it launched. The last increase happened in July 2018 – two years ahead of the scheduled increase.
The payments vary from family to family, and are based on income, as well as the number of children.
Increasing payments will cost the government more than $24.3 billion. Nearly 3.7 million families receive the benefit, which the Liberals say have brought 278,000 children out of poverty as of 2017.
This program has been one of the Liberals’ marquee policies, and it’s expected this boost will be part of the party’s campaign messaging ahead of the next federal election scheduled for Oct. 21.
Duclos offered a hint of that Monday, saying: "the former Conservative plan never indexed the cost, never indexed the benefits for children."
With files from CTV National News' Kevin Gallagher and CTVNews.ca's Nick Kirmse