OTTAWA — NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan is accusing the Canada Revenue Agency of “going after refugees” after two Syrian refugee families in B.C. became the target of audits of their Canada Child Benefit payments.
The private group that sponsored both families has raised concern about the way the tax agency dealt with these refugees, which led to one family having its benefits halted and being sent a bill for $27,000.
Leona Etmanski of the refugee support committee at St. Philip’s Anglican Church in Victoria, B.C., says the refugees were asked to prove their children were still living in Canada and the documentation they had to produce was difficult for them to gather.
Etmanski says she believes the Canada Revenue Agency should change its policies on how it deals with refugees, given their language barriers and lack of knowledge about how to handle Canadian bureaucracy.
But she also wonders why both of the refugee families that her group has sponsored ended up with audits of their Canada Child Benefit payments.
Kwan asks why the CRA is targeting refugees in Canada and how this squares with the government’s stated plan to crack down on large-scale tax cheats.
The Canadian Press