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North Island – Powell River MP wants clause repealed

Marriage after 60 provision discriminatory, states Rachel Blaney
WANTS CHANGE: North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has called on the federal government to revise a ruling that denies survivor benefits for spouses of Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members who get married after the age of 60.

North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, the federal NDP veterans affairs and senior critic, was joined by NDP House Leader Peter Julian and RCMP veterans to discuss eliminating the century-old marriage after 60 clause. According to a media release, the marriage after 60 clause, also known as the gold-digger clause, makes spouses who married veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP after the age of 60 ineligible to receive survivor pensions. “The marriage after 60 clause is harmful to seniors and veterans – it denies those who find love later in life the support they deserve,” stated Blaney. “This is discriminatory and disproportionately impacts women. The Liberals promised to eliminate the clause in 2015 – yet they’ve done nothing. It is very clear that this government isn’t interested in making sure that the spouses of veterans who fought for Canada have the same security as other couples." The release stated the countless calls from veterans’ organizations, including the National Council of Veterans Associations, the RCMP Veterans Association, and the Armed Forces Pensioners, have criticized the government and called on them to end this discriminatory and sexist rule, but the government hasn’t listened. To make matters worse, in 2019 the Liberals promised to offer $150 million as a veterans survivors fund as a measure to fix their own failures with the gold-digger clause but, to date, not a single penny has been spent on this fund, the release stated. “The Liberals are punishing veterans for finding love later in their lives,” stated Julian. “Canadians are living well into their eighties – clearly, with the marriage over 60 clause, this government expects veterans to spend the last 20 years of their lives alone. This is shocking and outdated. “New Democrats will keep pushing the Liberals to fix their failures and give veterans and their spouses the same rights that all Canadians have." The release stated that last year, MP Blaney proposed a private member's bill that would remove this clause, allowing the spouses of veterans to receive the same supports as every other couple.

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