Since the implementation of the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) by the federal government in July 1998, the province of Ontario deducted the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) portion of this benefit from income assistance paid to families with children who are receiving social assistance.
ISAC represented three individuals in a Charter challenge to this deduction (commonly referred to as the “NCBS clawback”) that was filed in December 2004.
The applicants were sole support parents who were subject to the NCBS clawback. They argued that the clawback discriminated against them because of their status as social assistance recipients.
The applicants also argued that the clawback unfairly affected women, sole support mothers, persons with a disabilities, Aboriginal people, and people belonging to a racial minority, as members of these groups are more likely than others to have low-income and to need to rely on income support through social assistance.
Since the application was initially filed, changes to the program have reduced the negative impact on social assistance recipients and the challenge was discontinued.