Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

March 28, 2007 12:02 ET

Allowing Feds to Control Child Benefits a Mistake, OPSEU Says

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 28, 2007) - OPSEU President Leah Casselman is calling on Finance Minister Greg Sorbara to block a planned transfer of the administration of the Ontario Child Care Supplement (OCCS) to the federal government.

"This benefit is a provincial benefit," Casselman said. "To take the administration of OCCS out of the hands of provincial workers is foolish, and will only lead to more problems for the working poor in Ontario."

Under the planned transfer, the provincial child benefit will be replaced by a new "income-tested" program for Ontario families with children. The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) would consolidate social assistance and the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families into one benefit that would be paid to all low income families with children. The "new" benefit would then be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

"There will obviously be a lot of issues with the changeover," Casselman said. "With Canada Revenue controlling this, it will be a nightmare for those who need assistance. That agency has enough problems dealing with income tax. Families who rely on these benefits don't need another layer of bureaucracy when they need help."

Kathleen Demareski, Chair of OPSEU's Finance Ministry division, says that the province needs to stop shirking its responsibilities and handing matters over to the federal government. "The Ministry of Finance is already transferring corporate income tax administration to the federal government," Demareski said. "We have to keep the supervision of this benefit at the provincial level. Our workers already know how to do the job, and we have to ensure that this new benefit is properly applied."

Demareski also says the province must stop draining jobs out of Oshawa. "Hundreds of jobs are already being lost in this city because of the tax administration transfer," she said. "Oshawa certainly doesn't need to lose any more."

Contact Information

    Kathleen Demareski
    (905) 213-8397