GIS changes take burden off taxpayers, Kenney says

Canada's Employment and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney speaks during Question Period in the...

Canada's Employment and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:22 PM ET

OTTAWA — Immigrant families, not taxpayers, should be on the hook to support family reunifications in Canada, said Employment Minister Jason Kenney.

Kenney was defending his government's policy Friday that makes it harder for elderly immigrants to receive taxpayer subsidies.

The Guaranteed Income Supplement is provided to the poorest Canadians in old age. Immigrants who arrive under the parents and grandparents program has traditionally been able to qualify for GIS after living here 10 years. Through that program, the immigrant is sponsored by a family member who signs a declaration saying they bear financial responsibility for the relative for 10 years.

The measure, brought in through the budget implementation bill, proposes to extend the sponsorship period from 10 to 20 years and disallows immigrants from applying for GIS while they are sponsored.


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