OTTAWA -- Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre touted the Conservative government's enhanced child care benefit as boost for the economy while warning Canadians should take heed of offshore financial chaos.

He used an event at an Ottawa-based department store chain to flog the benefits of the lump sum payment, which will start arriving in mailboxes and bank accounts on July 20.

With parents and young children, as well as aspiring Conservative candidates as his backdrop, Poilievre said the cash in the pockets of parents will be an important injection of consumer spending in the economy at a time of uncertainty, which includes the bankruptcy of Greece and the meltdown of the Chinese stock market.

The enhanced benefit provides almost $2,000 per child per year in families with kids under 6 years of age, and $720 per year per child between the ages of six and 17.

Poilievre claimed the spending will increase consumer demand and create jobs.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged this weekend that the Canadian economy is in a downturn, but noted that the rest of the world is in the same boat.