CUB 38323 - The claimant was disentitled to parental benefits as the board found that the claimant had received permanent custody rather than fully adopting the child. The Umpire found that this was effectively an adoption situation and reinstated the benefits. The appeal was allowed.
Appellant: Timothy J. Bennoit
CUB 62941 - In September 2000, a child was placed in the care of the claimant and his spouse for the purpose of foster care. In November 2001, the couple became the child's legal guardians, and the couple petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia for adoption of the child on July 24, 2003. The adoption Order was issued on January 29, 2004 and the claimant then took parental leave from his employment with the RCMP on April 17, 2004 and applied for benefits on April 17, 2004. In a letter dated April 27, 2004, the Commission stated:
We are writing to inform you that we have approved your parental benefits for 12 weeks, effective April 18, 2004. We cannot pay you the maximum payable 35 weeks of benefits, given the date on which you made your claim. Parental benefits are payable only within the 52 week period following the week of birth of the child or children or the week of the child's or children's placement for adoption.
The claimant appealed to a Board on the grounds that the Supreme Court of British Columbia did not grant the adoption until January 29, 2004, and his lawyer advised him on March 9, 2004, when the appeal period from the Court's Order had expired, that he could apply for parental benefits. The Board allowed the claimant's appeal, and felt that they must make an interpretation of section 23(2)(b). Umpire Urie stated that he was in agreement with the Umpire in CUB 57499 that, " the period between the time that the child was physically and actually placed with the claimant cannot be considered the placement period pending adoption. It is a question of fact and law. " If the child had originally been placed in the home with the purpose of adoption then that would have been the start of the fifty two weeks. The appeal was dismissed.
CUB 60638 - The Commission is appealing a decision from the Board that held that the claimant's, Miriam Wiebe, maternity leave benefits from the Ontario Ministry of Health are not earnings subject to allocation pursuant to the Regulations. The facts of this case are that the claimant was employed as a physician with a community health centre in Ontario until January 16, 2003. The claimant then established a claim for maternity benefits, effective January 19, 2003. In addition, on January 20, 2003, the Ontario Ministry of Health commenced payment of maternity leave benefits to the claimant, in the amount of $880.00 per week. The Commission felt that the payment of benefits from the Ontario Ministry of Health, constituted as earnings under sections 35 and 36 of the Regulations. The wording of section 38 is therefore clear and unambiguous and there is no reason to interfere with the decision of the Board. The appeal was dismissed.