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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Taxes, Social Assistance & a Backpack

There I was, pondering my own destiny, thinking this lot right now is mine to bear alone. I went to baby group (where we get social time with other parents/kids, and a free lunch), and picked up one of their Parenting magazines and started reading my way through it. I came across this article about being Homeless in the Suburbs. Though my plight isn't quite this drastic, it sure is a reflection of how bad it could be for me family. It truly makes me grateful that I will always have family who can take us in, for however long we need them. Once again, the good lord is speaking to me, telling me to be grateful for all that I have, and not to bemoan it. Once again, it could always be worse.
There are plenty of programs available to us, to get free meals and social time, parenting classes, workshops for training, there's even a Food Bank (should we need it).
It seems kind of hypocritical that I'm sitting here, complaining about not having any money, and still being able to blog. I'm still able to check my email on a regular basis, still have electricity in my home, hot running water, and air conditioning. Heck, I even have unlimited long distance to Canada and the US (very important, having family members on both sides of the border).
The truth is, I have those things because the family members' house I'm at, can afford to pay them themselves. Currently I'm really only responsible for my kids' health. That means their food, their laundry, and their sense of well being. I'm very lucky.
In Canada, when you apply to be a sponsor for someone's Immigration paperwork, you can't accept any kind of Social Assistance. Makes sense right, no country wants to let people in before they've had a chance to pay into the system that could possibly help them one day, and turn out being a burden to society right off the bat. That means that I can't go on Welfare, collect Food Stamps, or accept Cash Assistance from the government. I can get MSP for my kids and I, and collect Child Tax Benefit, because once I start working, I'll be paying into those programs, and they're automatic for anyone with children under a certain age anyways. Though these programs will help me greatly, they won't be near enough to help us get our own place. We live in a beautiful, bountiful region of BC, but we also pay for the beauty (they call it the sunshine tax). We pay 14.5% in taxes on everything taxable that we buy (more for Alcohol & Tobacco), and pay around 5% of our wages to government prorgams each payday. Now, I could complain about those, but in truth, they're a reality that seems normal to me. That 5% will be banked for me should I ever have the ability or need to go on Unemployment Insurance, or Welfare, or even the Canada Pension Plan. They also help pay for my Medical Service Plan for my kids and I, and once my Mr gets a SIN # (Social Insurance Number) him as well.
It's true, though our plight is on a down turn, life could always be worse. We, as a family, constantly look for the positives, and the brighter side, while making our struggle. I don't want my kids to think that just because a few roadblocks spring up, that that's the end of their road. I want them to find another way, and keep ploughing on, no matter what it takes.
On that note, since I can't think of where else I was going to take this post, I'll leave on an up note, I was happy to find that we were able to procure a Free Backpack with school supplies for D, through the Victory Life Fellowship in town...thanks guys, you rock!

6 thoughtful remarks:

Ama said...

My heart leaps for all of you! It is that direction to which your children (my grandsons) will look when things are bleak. Family will always pull along with you and cheer you on!

Southern Sage said...

kids usually don't know how "bad" those kids of things are. Many people even raised very very poor look back on their childhood and smile, even if they had very little in the way of possessions.

Hope it gets nothing but better for y'all!

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