Budget 2009: Caregivers

There are increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Canada Child Tax Benefit that will benefit low and middle income families. These together with proposal to set up an expert panel to examine how to provide self-employed Canadians with access to EI maternity and paternity benefits will provide fairly comprehensive support for families caring for children.

Nothing new was offered to help the estimated 5 million Canadians who undertake caregiving responsibilities for their older relatives and other loved ones. CARP has recommended a comprehensive National Caregiver Strategy
that provides financial and tax support that makes it financially feasible for people to take time off work to look after their loved ones, to make sure that their job is waiting for them when they get back and to ensure that the formal health care system facilitates their care giving role. Any of the existing and proposed measures for child rearing could be delivery models for caregiver support. What is needed is political leadership that values the care of older Canadians as much as the care of children.