What this petition is for
EFry is calling on the Canadian government to ensure all children, regardless of where or how they live, have the same access to federally funded benefits, and to provincially delivered programs and services aimed at supporting marginalized children. Currently, barriers within the government’s direct payments to families systems materially deprive children who move a lot due to homelessness, parental addiction or incarceration, or government care.
Why this petition matters
All children are entitled to receive the benefit of government financial programs available for Canadian children. However, the current rules and delivery of government benefits and services result in many of Canada’s poorest children being further deprived because they can’t access them.
- Children living with grandparents, family members or friends in informal care arrangements don’t receive the Canada Child Benefit or Child Special Allowances. Only parents or legal guardians can claim such benefits, so children in informal care situations are disadvantaged. The expense and legal requirements of appointing a formal guardian are barriers for grandparents on a fixed income, the poor, and caregivers of children whose parents are incarcerated or have addiction or mental health issues.
- The federal government funds services for children that are delivered by the provinces and territories. It specifically recognizes some groups of children as disadvantaged and in need of support. EFry wants children who are homeless, or who have incarcerated parents, recognized as in need of special supports. This designation will allow targeted services to these children.
- The Government of Canada also funds services like Housing First, which houses people who have been homeless for an extended period of time. Currently, the funding provided to support a single adult is the same as for a homeless mother with children. EFry wants the Government of Canada to recognize children and to provide funding for them.
When Canada signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it committed to acting in the best interests of all children. This petition calls on the Government of Canada to uphold its responsibility to support all children in Canada equally, regardless of how and where they live, and to specifically recognize children affected by homelessness or parental incarceration as impacted by their circumstances and in need of focused support.
How the petition works
The petition is registered with the Clerk of the House of Commons. Member of Parliament Peter Julian, who is the MP in our head office’s riding of New Westminster, has agreed to sponsor the petition. Every paper sheet of 25 signatures allows him or other members to speak for one minute on the issue.
Signatures on the e-petition can be spoken to only once. The petition was closed as of January 15, 2019, and thanks to your help received 690 signatures.
Help us call on the Government of Canada to take direct action.
Who can sign
- ANYONE living in Canada can sign the petition – regardless of age – children included.
- Each person can only sign once.
Important rules to know about the paper petition
While the paper petition carries more weight, there are some important guidelines:
• Each person signing must print their full name, their street address or the name of their city and province, and postal code, as well as provide their signature.
• The petition is formatted to fit on legal paper (8.5×14). The petition cannot be changed or written on except to complete the names section.
• It is double sided but you don’t have to print it that way. It is designed to be a “self-mailer” with the second side showing the address to mail it to in the House of Commons. If you prefer, you can just print it single-sided and then put it in an envelope and mail it to the address below.
If you prefer not to print your own petition sheets, EFry will send them to you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your mailing address and the number of sheets you want.
Completed petition sheets can be returned to EFry or mailed for free (no postage required) to:
Peter Julian, MP
Suite 203, Wellington Building
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6