‘Terrifying for any new parent’: Mother left waiting for her daughter’s Manitoba birth certificate due to backlog

WINNIPEG — A new mother is speaking out about her experiences with Vital Statistics Manitoba, saying that almost six months after her child was born, they still aren’t registered with the province.

Janna Weber gave birth in Winnipeg on Dec. 17, 2020, and said she filled out and submitted all of the paperwork immediately to register her daughter.

Weber, who has since moved to British Columbia, was looking for information to help register her daughter for immunization, which is when she realized her daughter did not have a birth certificate.

Weber said she called Vital Statistics and was told her daughter’s birth certificate is backlogged, and she was not registered with the province’s Vital Statistics System due to the backlog.

“I’m frustrated,” she said. “I understand there is a pandemic and there is a backlog, systems have flaws everywhere, but this is a little too much.”

Weber said the delay is giving her difficulty in accessing the Canada Child Benefit, and worries in an emergency, there would be no way to prove her daughter is hers.

“This little flaw can ruin families, and that is terrifying,” she said. “I should not be terrified that something like that is going to happen, and there is no tie to my daughter. That’s terrifying for any new parent.”

CTV Winnipeg reached out to the provincial government, who provided a statement, saying the Vital Statistics Branch is committing to improving turnaround times for documents.

“Since the branch started its backlog reduction plan in March, it has reduced the backlog of birth certificates to be issued by 8 per cent, death certificates by 46 per cent and marriage certificate issuance by 15 per cent,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson said parents aren’t required to apply for a birth certificate to access some federal and provincial programs and benefits, saying parents can allow Vital Statistics Branch to share their information with Canada Revenue Agency for the Canada Child Benefit and Service Canada to apply for a Social Insurance Number.

-With files from CTV’s Mason DePatie

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