May 2022

Public Appearance

On May 13, the Coalition appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. One of our Coalition Co-Chairs, Maurice Gill, was there at the invitation of one of the Committee’s Co-Chairs, MP Luc Désilets (Bloc Québécois). MP Désilets had written about the issue last year to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lawrence MacAulay.

We were part of a panel of witnesses in view of the Committee’s study of Survivor Pension Benefits in the military pension plan (Marriage After 60) and presented a brief entitled an “Unfinished Reform. Maurice also commented on the Veterans Survivors Fund - a program created to provide financial assistance to veterans’ widows denied a pension. The program has still not been implemented three years after its creation!

September 2021

The Bloc Québécois supports our cause

In the 2019 federal election, the Bloc Québécois Party made a real comeback, winning 32 of the 78 Quebec seats. We thought that obtaining the support of this party was worthwhile and would add to the important actions, in recent years, by the NDP, who have presented Private Member’s Bills.

Last January, we contacted two key-MPs of the Bloc, directly concerned by the issue: Andréanne Larouche, critic for Seniors and Women and Gender Equality matters and Luc Desilets, for Veterans Affairs issues. They reacted very positively to information about the unfairness of survivor pension legislation and our Coalition’s goal. We quickly began discussion about the initiatives they could take to support the cause.

The Electoral Platform

One action was possible, in the short term, since there were growing rumours about an early election. They seized this opportunity and prepared a statement for a commitment. It is in their Electoral Platform and is presented in the section 02- Seniors Living Conditions, on page 10 of the document:

“Finally, some archaic and discriminatory provisions in the federal legislation on pensions must be abolished.  Actually, the spouses of retirees who got married or started a common law relationship after the age of 60 or after the date of their retirement, are deprived of a surviving pension on the death of the pensioner.

The Bloc Québécois will require the repeal of these discriminatory provisions which undermine the dignity /of the spouses/ of pensioners who have served, for instance, in the Public Service or the Armed Forces.” 
(Unofficial translation)

More on actions by the Bloc Québécois 

In the Politics page, the Bloc reacts to the broken promise of the Liberal government. 

November 2020

A TV Report (in French) on spouses deprived of a survivor pension

The CBC/Radio-Canada French TV program, La facture, which covers consumer issues, has produced a report about the federal legislation on pension plans that contain clauses restricting the right to a survivor pension.

The report was presented in the Nov. 17 broadcast and is now available on line:

The Coalition’s mission is precisely the repeal of the provisions of these unfair laws that limit the eligibility to a pension. Depending on the pension plan, two different conditions lead to exclusion:

1 - The marriage or common law union began when the pensioner was over 60 years of age.  This clause is applied to the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP pension plans.

2 - The marriage or common law union happened after the date of retirement. This clause is applied in the pension plans of the Public Service, Crown Corporations and in private sector plans under federal jurisdiction.

The television report presents the stories of two retirees and their spouses:  Mr Robert Demers from the RCMP (“after 60” clause) and Mr Pierre Sasseville from Canada Post (“after the retirement date” clause).

 A trade-union point of view on these unfair laws is given by Ms. Magali Picard, National Executive Vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.  The legal aspect is discussed with Mr. Louis-Philippe Lampron, Professor at Laval University Law School.