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'Take away as many barriers': event giving free identification to people in need

(Megan Benedictson/CTV News). (Megan Benedictson/CTV News).

The Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg is holding an event on Friday evening to provide people with free birth certificates and social insurance numbers.

It’s all to help people 19 years old and younger, who are from low-income families, sign up for the Canada Learning Bond, which provides up to $2,000 into an RESP for post-secondary education.

However, in order to get this bond, you need a social insurance number, and to get a social insurance number, you need a birth certificate.

“What we’re trying to do is take away as many barriers as possible for those families who are, again, lower income,” said Jana McKee, program director of Seven Oaks Immigrant Services.

“A lot of families when they’re giving birth in the hospital, the $50-$60 fee, they often say, ‘Oh, why does my baby need a birth certificate?’”

McKee explained that the event, which has been going on for a few years, came about after the Canada Revenue Agency informed the school division that a lot of people in the area were not claiming money they were eligible for.

She said the event is beneficial because it helps community members get the money they are entitled to and also provides them with a form of ID.

“It’s a complicated system, which we’re trying to un-complicate,” she said.

“So, it’s important that we run these events, so that we inform people, first and foremost, about the Canada Learning Bond. And also making sure that it’s a one-stop shop.”

The event takes place at the Maples Collegiate commons on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. All are welcome. It is being funded, in part, by the Government of Canada’s Canada Learning Bond Program. Top Stories

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