IN THE HOUSE
Presenting petitions on the rights of Canada's most vulnerable children

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Context : Presenting Petitions

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to present a petition on behalf of dozens of residents of New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver, British Columbia. They are joining their voices to the thousands of Canadians who have signed petitions thus far. It was initiated by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver and sponsored by the Elizabeth Fry societies across Canada. The Elizabeth Fry Society in New Westminster is celebrating its 35th anniversary. All of them are calling on the Government of Canada to end discrimination against children in irregular situations.

As members know, in a wide variety of irregular family situations, a parent may be incarcerated or homeless or the child may be raised in a foster home. Presently, there is no provision in government services to ensure that all of the benefits that normally go to children in this country go to those children. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to meet the criteria of the United Nations to recognize the barriers that exist in its own direct payment process to family systems and ensure that all children in Canada benefit equally from benefits that should be given to them.