一篇广为流传的网上报道向华人社区扔下一枚重磅炸弹，给特别是华社的老年群体造成恐慌。据该文称，加拿大政府已经开始打击OAS / GIS诈骗行为，目标直指华人社区申请者。这些来自大陆的老年申请者大多在中国拥有房产，并享受着从退休养老金到投资盈利等一笔笔可观的收入。但许多申请者都将这些收入隐藏不报，既不在税表中填写，也在OAS / GIS申请过程中隐瞒。
A widely circulating news article has dropped a bombshell to the Chinese community, causing panic reactions particularly among the senior demographic. It says that the government of Canada has started to crack down on OAS/GIS applicants from the Chinese community, who own properties in China and have a considerable amount of income from multiple sources in the country– from retirement income to investment revenue. Many applicants have never reported the money received from their home country – says the article, either through tax returns or on their OAS/GIS applications.
该文称，加拿大政府于2018年8月开始使用OAS / GIS新申请表格，要求申请人提供中国当局颁发的身份证号码。通过这个号码，加拿大政府可以很容易地查到申请人在中国领取, 但从未在加国申报的收入，并对这些申请人提出欺诈或逃税指控。加国政府还将要求他们偿还在加国领取的OAS / GIS收入，其数额可能高达数万元。该文章附有新申请表的图片。
According to the article, OAS/GIS started a new application form in Aug. 2018, requiring applicants to provide the personal identification number issued by the Chinese authority. The Canadian government, through this number, can easily track down all the income applicants have collected in their home country but never been reported in Canada, laying fraud or tax evasion charges against these applicants. It will also seek repayments of OAS/GIS they’ve collected from them, which could reach as high as tens of thousand dollars. The article attached a picture of the new application form.
Many OAS/GIS recipients came to Canada under the family reunification program and have lived in Canada for ten years or more. “They were terrified over the new rule,” says the news article, “many have given up the application, worrying their unreported income in China would be exposed.”
的确，这则消息使许多华裔老年人极度焦虑，那些在中国领着多渠道收入的华裔老人们更是噤若寒蝉。然而，这个看似令人信服的消息却出现许多疑点。加国联邦服务部的确于2018年8月推出的新的综合的OAS / GIS申请表格，表格中B5一项要求申请人填写国外保险号码或个人身份号码，但这一要求并非新规，是老人金旧申请表中一直要求填写的信息。难道说加国政府针对大陆移民制定了新规，只要求中国大陆申请者，而非来自其他国家的申请者提供相关信息或身份证号码？
Indeed, the story has caused extreme anxiety among many seniors, sparking fear among those who have collected multiple sources of income in China. However, this seemingly convincing story raises suspicion. In its new integrated OAS/GIS application launched in Aug. 2018 by Service Canada, question B5 asks for the applicant’s foreign insurance numbers or identification number, but this request was nothing new and had appeared in previous OAS applications. Is this a question exclusively asked for applicants from China, not those from any other countries in the world?
Chinese News has raised these concerns with the federal government, and their answers have cleared the air. Amélie Maisonneuve, senior Media Relations Spoke Person for Employment, and Social Development Canada has provided a written response through an email.
According to the email, the foreign insurance number or identification number requested on B5 is used to assess the pension income for applicants who came from a foreign country that has a comparable pension program with Canada. Canada has entered a Social Security Agreement with 59 countries across the world, such as the US, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, and many smaller countries. However, China is not on the list.
“Canada has a limited agreement with China which does not extend to helping people qualify for social security benefits from Canada and China,” says the email. It clearly indicates that the government has not started to crack down OAS fraud by seeking personal ID information exclusively from Chinese applicants.
The email says the new application form is designed to be used by all applicants – including ethnic minorities from all countries around the world. “The application is the same for everyone. People who have lived and worked only in Canada or in Canada, and any other countries, use the same form,” wrote the email.
Fake news can rapidly spread on the internet as social media increasingly becomes the dominant sources for news consumption. Diligent fact-checking– as a strategic ritual for journalism, plays a crucial role in stopping false information from hurting susceptible readers – terrified seniors in this case
I hope who were spooked by the fake story can have a good sleep tonight.
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