Who should be entitled to child benefits?

Julian Wolfe
July 24th, 2011

Revenue Canada rule on child benefits upsets dad

Ottawa-area father Yannick Cloutier raised 2 children on his own for 8 years. Recently, he moved in with a common-law spouse and two years after she moved in with him, the Canada Revenue Agency decided that they would transfer the child benefits for his two children to his common-law spouse.

The “female presumption rule” states that the benefits must go to his girlfriend despite the fact that she isn’t a biological parent to any of his children, nor raised either of them with Cloutier.

His partner Chantal Huot was given 30 days to reply to a notice to accept the transfer of the benefits or risk losing the benefits all together.

Coutier said that the rule is based on sexist assumptions about the family and have no connection to modern reality.

“I don’t know why the government would think today now there’s a woman that my rights are gone,” he said. “I told them I didn’t realize I called the 1950s.”

Huot filed the paperwork on time and agreed with her partner that the rule is wrong.

“I think it’s wrong. I think the parent should be getting it whether you’re a woman or a man.”

“Not everybody’s like me…Anybody could just go for it and say ‘yeah I want the money’. It’s not right. Nobody should get this letter.”

Revenue Canada said that the rule was upheld after being taken to the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the past.

A single biological mother has a male – who has nothing to do with the child – move in after 8 years and doesn’t lose her child benefits, but a single biological father has to give up child benefits when a woman – who has nothing to do with the child – moves in with him… Does that make sense to you? Does that sound fair to you?

The Government of Canada needs to learn that biological parents know what’s best for their children and put an end to this sexist rule that makes no sense at all. How should a biological father be inferior in terms of child care to a woman who had nothing to do with his child?

Comment below with your thoughts. Are you in Yannick’s situation? Who do you think should be entitled to child benefits? I made my position clear, I think that only biological parents should be given the benefits for their biological children and that the government shouldn’t interfere with such sexist and invasive rules. Now, I want to read yours.

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   Categories: Canada Revenue Agency, Families

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