NDP to introduce bill to reduce costs for grandparents raising their grandchildren

With increasing numbers of grandparents raising their grandchildren, NDP MP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) is introducing a Private Member’s Bill designed to amend Employment Insurance (EI) and Income Tax legislation to help ease their financial burden.

“According to the 2011 Census, 75,000 children were being raised by their grandparents. This is a 20 per cent increase from 2006 figures and the numbers are likely only the tip of the iceberg as informal arrangements are not reported,” said Gravelle.

Gravelle’s bill, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Income Tax Act, would qualify grandparents to receive EI for taking parental leave to raise a grandchild under five. As well, grandparents who qualify would be able to claim child care deductions which were previously only available to a lower-income spouse.

“Some families are struggling with mental health issues, drug use and other concerns. The grandparents have stepped up to prevent their grandchildren from being placed into care and are frequently already having difficulty making ends meet on limited incomes,” said NDP Seniors critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard). “The least we can do is recognise this and afford them the same benefits biological parents would receive.”