News Release - January 30, 1997
CALVERT WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON CHILD BENEFIT
Social Services Minister Lorne Calvert today said he is pleased with
the agreement reached by federal and provincial social services and
inter-governmental affairs ministers at their meeting in Toronto
earlier this week.
The ministers agreed to implement a National Child Benefit which would
assist low-income children and their families and would help families
on social assistance to move into the work force.
"This is a significant achievement for this country," Calvert said.
"We have a growing problem of poverty among children and families in
Canada. If we are to have a strong, vibrant, prosperous country in the
future we must address this issue, and address it very soon.
"I am very pleased that Saskatchewan has played such an important role
in placing this issue on the national agenda and in developing this
program proposal. Given the agreement to proceed, I am now very
hopeful that the federal government will move as quickly as possible to
implement the Benefit."
Calvert said to be effective the program will need a substantial
investment from Ottawa. He agreed that an initial payment of $600
million, with additional dollars coming later, would be a meaningful
start to the program.
"It is critical that the federal government commit to full
implementation over a reasonable period of time and make a significant
initial contribution," Calvert emphasized.
The National Child Benefit will provide a supplement to low-income
families with children and will ensure that working families are better
off than they would be on social assistance.
"We need to ensure that families have enough resources to be able to
continue to take part in the workforce while providing for their
children and youth," Calvert said. "Over time those families will
become more independent and the children will be better able to be
contributing members of society as adults."
Calvert said he is also pleased that all provincial governments have
agreed to re-invest any savings they receive from individuals moving
off social assistance and into the workforce, back into programs for
low-income children and families. The new benefit will complement
Saskatchewan's social assistance re-design initiatives.
"It has been said that the strength of a nation is in the strength of
the home," Calvert said. "Children are our greatest resource, they are
in fact our future. By investing in them now, we are ensuring an
economically and socially strong Canada in the years to come.
"The soul of a nation is gauged by the way it treats its most
vulnerable citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing to build a
strong society for the future," Calvert said.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (306) 787-0916