Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Social Services

NEWS RELEASE – Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Social Services release first NCB Progress Report

Québec, May 14, 1999 -- Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for Social Services released "The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 1999" which demonstrates the progress the NCB has achieved since it was introduced in July 1998. Under the NCB, governments have agreed to regularly report to Canadians on the progress of this initiative.

The report shows 2.5 million Canadian children in low-income families have received increased Government of Canada income support through the Canada Child Tax Benefit. The report highlights the innovative approaches Provincial and Territorial governments are implementing to support children and their families through their reinvestment strategies.

Ministers also discussed plans for the next phase of the National Child Benefit initiative, scheduled to begin in July 1999.

"The National Child Benefit is about giving children a better chance for a better future. It is about supporting parents in providing for the well-being of their children," said federal co-chair, Pierre S. Pettigrew, Minister of Human Resources Development Canada. "This report shows that the Government of Canada and Provincial and Territorial governments are determined to keep Canadians informed of our progress in fighting child poverty."

The NCB was developed jointly by Federal/Provincial/Territorial governments. During the past year, governments have been working together to deliver a wide range of new and enhanced support programs to address child poverty and promote attachment to the workforce. The progress report provides details on the number of children and families benefiting from the NCB, the amount of money invested so far, Provincial/Territorial/First Nations reinvestment strategies, and potential indicators that may be used in the future to assess further progress towards the goals of the NCB.

"This Progress Report shows we're headed in the right direction with the National Child Benefit," said lead Provincial/Territorial Minister Dr. Lyle Oberg, Minister of Alberta Family and Social Services. "The flexible approaches demonstrated by Provinces, Territories and First Nations, combined with the federal support, are helping to improve the lives of children in our country."

The government of Quebec stated that it agreed with the basic principles of the National Child Benefit. It is, however, not taking part in this initiative because it wishes to retain control over income support for the children of Quebec. In this report, all references to the joint positions of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments do not include the government of Quebec. The next NCB progress report will be released in the fall of 2000.

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For more information contact:

Sylvie Bussières
           Office of Minister Pettigrew
           (819) 994-6764 (French)
           (819) 953-2353 (English)
Kathy Lazowski
           Communications for Dr. Oberg
           (780) 422-3004