Ottawa — Today, New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) along with MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) introduced two bills that will amend discriminatory legislation that impacts veterans and their families. 

The first bill addresses the paternalistic legislation that prevents veterans, RCMP, judges and public sector employees who choose to marry after the age of 60 from providing pension benefits to their spouses upon their death.

“It is unfathomable that this legislation is still on the books,” said Mathyssen. “As we age we depend more and more on our spouses for care.  Sometimes these can be the most difficult years of one’s life.  These spouses have a right to access these benefits; it is none of the government’s business when the relationship began.

Rick Inglis, Co-Chair of the Surviving Spouses Pension Fairness Coalition supports this legislation, “Our coalition is extremely pleased that the NDP is joining the fight to change unfair legislation that has, in various forms, been hurting Canadians for 115 years. These archaic laws have no place in a modern society.”

The second bill ends the unfair reduction of service pensions for retired and disabled Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans.

“The service pensions of Canadian Forces or RCMP members are unfairly offset when members begin to collect Canada Pension Plan benefits or if members become disabled and collect Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits,” stated Mathyssen. “This bill will end these unfair reductions.”

“For their service and sacrifice, veterans and their families deserve to be treated with financial dignity when they retire or become disabled,” said Johns.  “We also need to support our veterans, RCMP veterans, public sector workers and their families.  I am pleased to be able to second both these bills today to amend the discriminatory and unfair legislation we currently have.  


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