It's Time to End Veteran Discrimination

Media release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 3, 2016

IT'S TIME TO END VETERAN DISCRIMINATION

OTTAWA —Yesterday, NDP Veterans Affairs Critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe), along with NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni), introduced two bills that will amend discriminatory legislation impacting veterans and their families.

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

"It is unfathomable that this law is still on the books. The burden of our aging population falls most heavily on spouses and it can be the most difficult years of one's life," said Mathyssen. "These spouses have a right to access benefits and it's none of the government's business when the relationship began."

Rick Inglis, Co-Chair of the Surviving Spouses Pension Fairness Coalition stated his support for 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 aims to end the unfair reduction of service pensions for retired and disabled Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans.

"For their service and sacrifice, veterans and their families deserve support and to be treated with financial dignity when they retire or become disabled," said Johns. "I am pleased to be able to second both these bills today to end the discriminatory and unfair legislation we currently have. "

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