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North Island-Powell River MP calls for end of ‘sexist’ marriage after 60 clause

Clause prevents spouses of veterans who marry after 60 from receiving survivor pension
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney speaks during Question Period on April 1, 2022 in Ottawa. Credit: Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney is working to eliminate a clause that prevents spouses of married veterans who are older than 60 from getting survivor pensions.

Blaney discussed eliminating the century-old “marriage after 60 clause” with NDP House Leader Peter Julian and RCMP veterans on June 20. The clause prevents spouses of veterans who get married after they turn 60 from being eligible to receive their pensions after death.

“The marriage after 60 clause is harmful to seniors and veterans – it denies those who find love later in life the support they deserve. This is discriminatory and disproportionately impacts women,” said Blaney.

“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.”

Blaney sponsored a private member’s bill in 2021 to eliminate the clause, allowing spouses of veterans to receive the same supports as other couples.

“The Liberals are punishing veterans for finding love later in their lives.

“Canadians are living well into their eighties – clearly, with the marriage over 60 clause, this government expects veterans to spend the last twenty years of their lives alone. This is shocking and outdated,” said Julian. “New Democrats will keep pushing the Liberals to fix their failures and give veterans and their spouses the same rights that all Canadians have.”

Various organizations, including the National Council of Veterans Associations, the RCMP Veterans Association, and the Armed Forces Pensioners have been calling for the government to remove the rule.

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