|(QMI Agency file photo)
A new grant will become available to parents of murdered or missing children on Jan. 1, the government announced Sunday.
The Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant will help eligible parents who suffer a loss of income as they take time from work to cope with the death or disappearance of a child as a result of a probable crime.
The announcement was made by Dr. Kellie Leitch, the parliamentary secretary to Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley.
"Our government is taking action to provide more support for victims of crime and their families," Dr. Leitch said in a statement. "This new grant will ease the financial pressure on parents struggling to cope with the death or disappearance of a child."
The grant is expected to support an estimated 1,000 families annually. It will provide $350 per week in income support for up to 35 weeks.
To receive it, affected parents will need to have earned a minimal level of income ($6,500) in the previous calendar year or the previous 52 weeks and take leave from their employment, Leitch said.
Sharon Rosenfeldt, the president of Victims of Violence/Canadian Centre for Missing Children, said her organization "is very pleased with this grant which will benefit victims of crime."
In addition, through the Helping Families in Need Act, the Canada Labour Code has been amended to allow for unpaid leave and to protect the jobs of parents whose child dies or disappears as a result of a crime.
For more information on this new grant, please visit servicecanada.gc.ca/pmmc.