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Canada

Taxpayers’ watchdog launches probe of Liberals’ child benefit program

OTTAWA—The federal taxpayers’ ombudsman is launching a review of the Liberal government’s signature child benefit amid concerns that eligibility rules are preventing payments to some of Canada’s most vulnerable families.

Sherra Profit said in a statement today she continues to hear about challenges with how the Canada Child Benefit is administered despite raising the matter with the government and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Federal rules stipulate, among other things, that payments can only go to someone who lives with a child under age 18 and is primarily responsible for their care.

She says ongoing complaints suggest the rules can be “stringent to a fault” and that proving and maintaining eligibility for the benefit remains an issue for many people.

She says parents managing child custody arrangements or new immigrants are among the Canadians struggling the most to get access to the benefit.

Profit is aiming to deliver her final report to the government this coming spring.

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